On March 11, the Day of Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence, Klaipėda invites to celebrate the opening of Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021 together. During the festive event, complemented with Lithuanian accents, which will take place on March 11th at 6 p.m. and which will be broadcasted on LRT PLUS television, greetings from Klaipėda will be sent to Lithuania and Europe by well-known Klaipėda residents, politicians important to young people, artists, performers, and representatives of youth organizations.

“This is a unique opportunity for our oldest Lithuanian city, counting its eighth century, to show that it is free, energetic, that its people have always been creative, that it is good for young people to be, study and create here. For me, as a person, coming from Klaipėda, it is especially pleasant to say this” – the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda sent congratulations during the event.

The idea of the event was inspired by youth and Klaipėda

Although the “Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021” project and its events have been taking place since the beginning of this year, the opening event, which marks a symbolic start, is an important message for Lithuania and Europe. With the opening event, each European youth capital launches the start of major events, introduces the city, its uniqueness, young and talented people, local creators, performers, artists, politicians.

“This title is a sign of appreciation for young people, which has required a lot of work and effort. I believe in the youth of Klaipėda, in those burning eyes and enthusiasm that we can be proud of and share with the entire Europe” – said the Mayor of Klaipėda Vytautas Grubliauskas during the opening of the European Youth Capital.

Klaipėda invites everyone to celebrate this unique title for the city and youth on the Day of Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence, a historically important date. While the world is still experiencing pandemic challenges, the opening event aims to show that the project “Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021” will take place and that solutions to implement activities for Klaipėda youth will be found.

The opening event of Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021 presents the project content, ideas, and issues which are laid out in nine platforms: “Dialogues”, “Solidarity”, “Leadership”, “Out of the Box”, “Spaces”, “Colours”, “North-South” , “Connections”, “Potential”.

“We present the idea of the opening event as “9+9” – nine project platforms and nine performers or interviewees reflecting the presented topic. We will give an exclusive Klaipėda evening to Europe and Lithuania, where one stage will be shared by internationally acclaimed individuals and the ambassadors of the youth capital, who appear on the big stage for the first time. I very much invite everyone indifferent to Klaipėda to become a part of the festive evening on the other side of the screen, to celebrate together and support young people, who are the future of our city”, says project manager Greta Meškauskienė.

The scenography of “Klaipėda – European Youth Capital 2021” is also exceptional, combining the uniqueness of Klaipėda as a maritime city and the worldview of a young person.

“Klaipėda received this title at such a special time when every young person faces great challenges, when security and communion become the common goal of all. Youth and the works of young people are the pearls that travel through the oceans of the world to the farthest lands. And the young person himself is an undiscovered pearl that is still just on the way to his real-life path and purpose. The scenography of this event speaks about it, about Klaipėda, about the sea, about the young person and his world” – says Rūta Steponavičienė, the project manager and acting director of “Klaipėdos šventės”.

On March 11, at 6.00 PM, via LRT PLIUS channel, greetings to Lithuania and Europe from Klaipėda will be sent by performers and evening guests coming from or living in Klaipėda, or exclusively attractive for the youth audience: „The Roop“, Jurijus Veklenko, „Graži ir ta galinga“, „Royce“ and Vilius Popendikis, „Voiceless“ and many more. 

Lithuanian youth will be greeted by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, the Mayor of Klaipėda Vytautas Grubliauskas, the youngest European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius, journalist and public figure Andrius Tapinas, the President of the Council of Lithuanian Youth Organizations Lukas Kornelijus Vaičiakas and others. Also, greetings from abroad will be sent by the European Youth Forum representatives – President Silja Markkula and board member Tom Matthew. And Brigitte Fouréthe, Mayor of Amiens, France, the European Youth Capital 2020, will wish the biggest success.

European Youth Capital – for the first time in Lithuania

Klaipėda is the first city not only in Lithuania, but also in Northern Europe to win this important title for young people. The European Youth Capitals competition was launched by the European Youth Forum more than a decade ago.

The youth of Klaipėda persistently pursued this title: they participated in the European Youth Capital competition two years in a row, gathered over 500 young people, with the help of whom the goals and basis for this project were created.

The 2021 program includes 67 events, 70 different organizations, and 133 ambassadors not only from many European, but also world countries. The title won is an extraordinary opportunity not only for young people but also for the city itself, to attract the attention of European youth, to present the city in an international context and to strengthen the identity of European youth.