The Coronavir epidemic has mixed up almost all areas of our lives, needless to say, it has had a particularly marked impact on culture. Although the title of European Capital of Culture is regularly awarded for one calendar year, it is preceded by many years of careful preparation. The Serbian city of Novi Sad thus won with its comprehensive cultural vision long before the epidemic hit the world. Although Novi Sad was originally chosen as the city of culture for 2021, due to the spread of COVID-19, the hosting of the main program part was postponed for a year, and so Novi Sad will eventually take over this role in 2022, together with the Lithuanian city of Kaunas. and the Luxembourg city of Esch. COVID-19 and the measures taken in connection with it were thus signed on the culture on such a symbolic level, and in 2021 the ECOC title did not belong to any city. The cultural cities of 2020, Rijeka in Croatia and Galway in Ireland, then exceptionally retained the title until April of the following year.
Although Serbia is not a member of the European Union, the cities of the candidate member states or countries that are part of the European Economic Area (EEA) can also apply for the ECOC title. Novi Sad will therefore be among the more than 60 cities that have been awarded in this prestigious competition since 1985. The main thematic line of candidacy was thus given to Novi Sad to a certain extent - how to properly integrate not only the city but also the entire Serbia into Europe through cultural dialogue. In the culture and comprehensive art program, Novi Sad sensed immense potential, and formulated his vision as a diverse tool for this integration.