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In addition to the cultural and artistic program for 2020, the presentation and discussions highlighted the heritage of the project, which remains a lasting value in cultural facilities that are being renovated and built in Rijeka, but also in encouraged activities of citizens who are strongly involved in the project. In several ways, among other things through a rich training program, the Rijeka 2020 team points out. Namely, the European Commission wants to influence the integration of culture into the long-term development of cities with the European Capital of Culture project. Director of the company Rijeka 2020, established for the implementation of the European Capital of Culture project, Emina Visnic points out that the Melina Mercouri Award is a great and important financial confirmation that the project is being successfully managed and developed. “This award is a symbolic confirmation that Rijeka is and that Croatia is in line with European cultural values, that we carry and transmit the values of the European cultural circle, that we write new messages for the future in this project and that we truly belong to it as European citizens.”Visnic pointed out. With these values, the project of the European Capital of Culture was founded, which connects European citizens and raises awareness of the fact of common belonging to the European cultural circle. This is a valuable financial award, which also carries a message of success in the work done so far on the development of the project “Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture”. This award for Rijeka means that it has met all the highly set criteria by the expert panel and that by seriously managing the project by the year of holding the ECOC title, it has achieved all the tasks set before it. The decision to award the prize worth 1,5 million euros was made in Galway after the meeting and the third monitoring of the implementation of the project “Rijeka 2020 – European Capital of Culture”. The Melina Mercouri Award, named after the Greek Minister of Culture who is considered the most deserving for founding the European Capital of Culture project, was won by Rijeka on the recommendation of an expert panel of the European Commission assessing the seriousness and success of the project. Source / photo: City of Rijeka; Rijeka 2020; Pixabay Melina Mercouri, back in 1985, advocated for better mutual knowledge of European citizens, for exchange and conversations about culture. Understanding Europe as a place of a common cultural past, but also a future, she argued that the whole of Europe should be united and that culture carries the strongest potential for peace.