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Troubled times. Farmers block roads, others cling to them. Motorcades honking their horns against the government. Tomato soup on Van Gogh! On Mondays, adults walk against the government, on Fridays, children protest against climate killers. Lying press, lying press! The silent centre is against right-wing extremism. Animal rights must be protected, the education system must be reformed and in general: let's all get our whistles out for better pay!

The 'Les Francofolies' festival is the largest international festival of contemporary Francophone music, which has been held since 1985 in the city of La Rochelle, France, but has also moved to various locations around the world.

 Last week the annual General Committee meeting of Eu Japan Fest was held in Tokyo, the non-governmental organization that has supported the exchange between Japanese and European cultures since over thirty years by collaborating with the European Capitals of Culture.

Shine! - Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton Region Celebrated the Start of the European Capital of Culture Year with a Grand Opening Weekend Veszprém will hold the title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 2023.

On 21st January, the European Capital of Culture 2023 programme year will be launched with a grand opening ceremony to fill Veszprém and the Bakony-Balaton region with culture for 365 days. However, it is not only one year that the programme team is thinking about, but long-term cultural development.

On January 9th, 2023, the European Capitals of Culture of 2022 (Esch, Kaunas, Novi Sad) officially handed over their titles to the cities and regions which will be representing the European Capitals of Culture in 2023 (Timisoara, Veszprem, Eleusis).

The countdown started for the three cities that will be European capitals of culture in 2023: Veszprém (Hungary), Timisoara (Romania) and Eleusis (Greece). In fact, the dates of the opening ceremonies of the respective cultural programs have been decided.

These are days of great trepidation in Portugal. The visits of the evaluation panel to the four cities of Portugal that have entered the short list to become European Capital of Culture for 2027 start today.

Leeds 2023 Year of Culture: An epic programme of bold spectacle and hidden stories will awaken the world to Leeds’ unique creativity.

EcocNews continues the journey among the cities that are candidates for European capital of culture for 2028 in the Czech Republic. After Broumov, Brno and Liberec, today we discover the city of Budweis (České Budějovice). In 2028 it will be the third time that the Czech Republic will have a European Capital of Culture after Prague in 2000 and Plsen in 2015.

In France, many cities have decided to participate in the competition to become the European Capital of Culture in 2028 together with a city in the Czech Republic. With EcocNews also for 2028 we discover which are some of the candidate cities and how they are moving to involve citizens and to change the destiny of their cities. Also in this circumstance we asked all the French candidate cities the same questions. After Rouen, Montpellier, Clermont – Ferrand, Reims and Bastia – Corsica, today we discover Bourges.

On 10 September this year, the exhibition The Learning Garden of Freedom by the world- renowned artist Yoko Ono will open at Kaunas Picture Gallery.

Braga’27, Braga’s candidacy project for the European Capital of Culture in 2027, and Braga Media Arts, UNESCO Creative City in the field of Media Arts, will inaugurate a joint exhibition at the event “Noite Branca de Braga”.

Environmental sustainability is one of the constant themes of the European capitals of culture over the last ten years. We do not know if the ecoc project has actually led to concrete results on this issue.

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