Our European Youth Capital for 2023 is…. Lublin!
We are delighted to announce that the winner of the European Youth Capital for 2023, is Lublin!
This city in eastern Poland convinced the European Youth Capital jury members that they would be a worthy winner through their commitment to key values of inclusion, support, tolerance, unity and diversity in their programme.
The jury’s selection process was especially extensive this year, and we would like to acknowledge the dedication, passion and effort of this year’s runner-up, Baia Mare, as well as finalist city Kazan, who withdrew a bit earlier in the competition. Our thanks also go to all of the other candidate cities, Izmir, Poznan and Lviv. We believe that their drive to create cities that engage and include young people will not stop here!
As the first Polish Youth Capital, Lublin is determined to lead the way not just locally but also in a national context to create and implement youth policies that empower, protect and invest in all young people.
Mayor of Lublin, Krzysztof Żuk, said he was very proud of Lublin's win:
We have every reason to celebrate. Our application resulted from a joint effort by many representatives of Lublin's NGOs, Youth City Council, students, informal youth groups, and City Hall employees. Thanks to the efforts and commitment of many, we shall implement a varied programme, full of activities that will make young people’s dreams, passions and aspirations come true.
We congratulate Romanian Baia Mare for coming second. We thank them for a fair and inspiring competition, and we hope that we shall work again on many youth projects in the future. Lublin – European Youth Capital 2023. Let’s get started!
As the European Youth Forum, we believe in the power of the European Youth Capital to spark positive change. But most of all, we believe in the determination and resilience of young people to drive this change forward and shape the decisions made in their city.
There is no doubt that Polish young people are facing many challenges within their own country, including major human rights violations and discriminatory policies. The city of Lublin itself, has found itself having to fight back against so-called LGBT-free zones that have been imposed on the region. There may be a long journey ahead for Lublin, but the European Youth Forum will always support young people who strive for positive change within their communities.
Aleksandra Kulik, Chairwoman of Sempre a Frente Foundation, said:
We are tremendously happy as we see this day as the beginning of a new chapter in cooperation between young people, youth organizations and Municipality. The cooperation based on common vision, interest in empowering youth, mutual respect and inclusion.
Now we want this great energy to take us to the next level of partnership and synergy, so we could call Lublin innovative, tolerant and full of growth opportunities, the city of our dreams. We will take this chance to evolve, to support youth participation even stronger and to develop a sense of community by inviting more young people and organizations from different backgrounds, for our city to become the real capital of young people.
Because Lublin is YOUth and it is for ALL.
Traditionally, the winner of the European Youth Capital is announced at our annual award ceremony, celebrating the achievements of all the candidate cities. Due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding this year’s competition, we regret that such an award ceremony wasn’t possible.
For over ten years, winners of the European Youth Capital have led the way in creating innovative, inclusive cities that champion the involvement and engagement of young people in policy making and city life. European Youth Forum President, Silja Markkula said:
Congratulations to Lublin! This is the beginning of a new path leading to a more youth-friendly city that will ensure the fulfilment of youth rights and aspirations.