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We are so close to 2019 in our adventure, we have achieved and done so much that sometimes, for a moment, we forget that we are on the road. Exactly 438 kilometres from Novi Sad, a reminder was waiting for us.

Varaždin, Croatia. The city with around 40 thousand citizens. One of top 5 cities for the European Youth Capital and long-promised invitation to visit one of the best festivals in the region – ŠPANCIR FEST.

Varaždin is under construction – and the goal is the construction of the new model which would increase the participation of young people in that city.

“Even now, during the candidacy process, attention is paid to the Youth Council which is something like an advisory authority in the City of Varaždin. The increase of the budget for youth organisations and organisations which will be a part of the new Youth Centre in Varaždin is planned” Nino Preložnjak, the coordinator of the initiative of Varaždin for the European Youth Capital 2012 says and adds that he would like Varaždin to win the title at the ceremony in Novi Sad in November, but he also thinks that it is more important to start with the activities intended for young people as soon as possible. “Apart from the application and sending application documentation and the discussion with the potential partners in this project, we initiate a part of the program, with certain activities, which are probably more numerous now that before, in the city itself, in terms of young people but also the youth policies.”

That Varaždin is the city of young people can be seen on every step from the old core of the city, where Street Art Festival with long tradition – Špacir Fest – is on-going. Every corner is coloured in a new colour and other art, enough for us to take a bit of such energy and inspiration back to Novi Sad. Especially after the discussion with Damir Habljan, the president of the City Council of Varaždin and Sandra Malenica, the Deputy Major of Varaždin.

“These exchanges of experiences are very useful to us, as well as the information received during the visit to Novi Sad and your visit to Varaždin. I think that your experience has improved our application”, Sandra Malenica says.

So, we needed precisely 438 kilometres from Novi Sad to remind us of our beginnings and successes until now. We needed five hours from Novi Sad to see what we have done so far and the energy the process of the European Youth Capital spreads through the whole region. November is close, as is the moment when we will find our whether the title remains in the region in 2021, too.


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