A new network was created for the ECoC candidate cities; the Culture Next Network. This Network concerns all previous and current candidate cities, be them in the preparation phase, title holders or former candidates that did not make it through the pre-selection or selection for the title.

Eleusis 2021 and in particular, Angeliki Lampiri, the Director of Cultural Strategy, travelled to Cluj-Napoca to participate in the second meeting of Culture Next – Candidate Cities Network as one of the founding members. It is important to note that the Network was initiated by the Cluj Cultural Center. Cluj-Napoca is one of the Romanian candidate cities that failed to win the ECoC title for 2021; nevertheless chose to implement a large part of the artistic programme described in the bidbook. The example of the city of Cluj indicates that the candidacy is a process that strengthens the city’s cultural activity, develops its long-term cultural strategy and puts the city on the European cultural map.

At the meeting, 15 cultural professionals from previous and current ECoC Candidate Cities have participated such as Aveiro (PT), Cluj-Napoca (RO), Debrecen (HU), Klaipeda (LT), Leeds (UK) and Plunge (LT).