Mayors of Nova Gorica and Gorizia hold first official meeting
Nova Gorica, 19 January - Mayor Samo Turel, who has led Nova Gorica since last year's local elections, met Mayor Rodolfo Ziberna from Gorizia across the border in Italy for their first official meeting on Thursday to discuss specific ideas for cooperation, especially as the two cities will hold the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2025.
"We raised some important topics. Of course, the first one was the European Capital of Culture and its impact on the entire region, in terms of tourism and other aspects," Turel said after the meeting.
Turel and Ziberla agreed to hold regular monthly meetings, exchanged information on issues they face and agreed to address some of them together.
As part of the European Capital of Culture, the two cities want to produce a catalogue of cultural and historical sites, and of all accommodation facilities on both sides of the border.
Ziberna meanwhile proposed that the Italian and Slovenian culture ministers meet in the near future to discuss the European Capital of Culture project.
He believes this would be an opportunity for both mayors to hand to the ministers a joint letter proving "not only that we think the same but also live the same, as if there are no more borders between us".
Ziberna is convinced that "we can and must speed up cooperation because 2025 is just around the corner, we only have a year and a half to do everything for the project".
To also improve cooperation with the Slovenian ethnic minority in Italy, Turel also met the mayors of three small municipalities with a large Slovenian minority in the Gorizia area, Doberdo del Lago's Fabio Vizintin, Savogna d'Isonzo's Luca Pisk and San Floriano del Collio's Franca Padovan.
Already on Wednesday, he had a meeting with representatives of the Slovenian minority organisations in Italy, emphasising the role of their cooperation with Nova Gorica.
Turel would like them to be more engaged in the European Capital of Culture project, and also that they organise Nova Gorica's ceremony marking Culture Day next month.
The two main umbrella organisations, the SKGZ and the SSO, meanwhile proposed establishing a common panel or platform to regularly discuss topical issues.
Establishing two working groups was discussed, for opening issues within the European Capital of Culture project and for all the other topics concerning cooperation.
Turel would like to improve the city's cooperation with the Slovenian minority in Italy and make sure it is better informed about developments on this aide of the border.