The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, joined with H.E. Mr Tom Hanney, Deputy Permanent Representative of Ireland to the European Union, and H.E. Mr Éamonn Mac Aodha, Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of Belgium, in hosting a special reception in Brussels to celebrate Galway's designation as the European Capital of Culture in 2020 on Monday 21st November
Members of the Galway 2020 bid team led by mayor of Galway, Cllr. Noel Larkin and Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council Cllr. Michael Connolly also attended the event, offering an opportunity for them to connect to key allies within the EU Institutions and Brussels. In July of this year, Galway was selected to hold the title of European Capital of Culture in 2020 along with Rijeka in Croatia, following a competitive process with the other bids coming from Limerick, the Three Sisters Bid (Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny) and Dublin.
Speaking on Monday last, Minister Humphreys said:
"This evening's reception provides the members of the Galway team with an important opportunity to showcase the city's plans under the European Capital of Culture 2020. The event will be attended by high level Irish officials working in the EU Institutions, members of the Irish diaspora, and representatives from the European Commission, the Presidency and the other Member States.
"The European Capital of Culture aims to highlight Europe's rich and diverse culture, as well as the common cultural aspects we share, to help bring the people of Europe closer together and improve mutual understanding. As Minister with responsibility for arts and culture in Ireland, I was hugely impressed by the strength of the Irish bids and the commitment of each city and region vying for the 2020 title.
"Galway's winning project entitled 'Making Waves' focusses on the key themes of Migration, Landscape and Language; themes which are all significant priorities on the European agenda at both institional and citizen level in an increasingly multicultural environment. Galway city itself is a prime example of multi-culturism, where 24% of the city's residents are non nationals.
"It is very positive, therefore, that the programme of events leading up to 2020 and in the year itself offers something for all of the people of the city and county, as well as to the western region as a whole. Galway 2020 also promises to make a lasting and significant contribution to arts and culture in the West."