On 30 May 2016, Ljubljana, this year’s European Green Capital, launched the European Green Week »Ljubljana.Tailored to the Youth.«, an annual gathering held under the auspices of the European Commission.
The European Green Week was opened by Mayor Zoran Janković and European Commission’s Director-General for Environment Daniel Calleja Crespo.
Mayor Zoran Janković stated all cities should adhere to the sustainable development principles accentuated by the title European Green Capital, and added he is pleased that even in Australia, the United States of America and Asia the significance of urban sustainable development is recognised and that the title Green Capital is establishing itself there, as well.
On this occasion, the Mayor stressed again the importance of solidarity with fellow people and future generations so they inherit at least well preserved nature that we have. Namely, as much as 75% of the population lives in cities, therefore it is necessary to apply the principles of sustainable development. The Mayor called upon the European Commission to additionally strengthen its support for the expansion of green capitals across Europe.
The European Commission’s Director-General for Environment Daniel Calleja Crespo underlined the significance of the opening of the European Green Week in Ljubljana, this year’s
European Green Capital. He pointed out that we can be proud of Ljubljana as it had made the highest number of sustainable changes in the shortest period of time and by doing so received this flattering title. »We, as well, are proud of Ljubljana and its title European Green Capital 2016.« As the most important achievement he identified the change in citizens’ attitude in line with the European Green Capital title and European policies to be more responsible and environment-friendly, and to actively include children, as well. »Today is a day of responsibility, a day to share experiences. You are the ambassadors and your duty is to share your knowledge,« said Daniel Calleja Crespo and concluded his speech in Slovene: »Čestitam, Ljubljana!« (»Congratulations, Ljubljana!«)
The students from the Primary School Poljane handed the Director-General a »message in a bottle«, in which they expressed their concrete initiatives to preserve our environment and nature so our planet would remain beautiful and friendly. Mr Calleja Crespo will take the children’s messages in the Museum Water bottle to Brussels.
Following the event was a presentation of the pilot project Livada run by the Bob Institute within the framework of the international project Green Surge with the aim of designing an urban green space where young people can creatively spend their free-time and by doing so improve the quality of the local environment as well as achieve diverse goals within environmental and socio-economic development.
European Green Week in Ljubljana
Until 2015, the most important events of the European Green Week traditionally took place in Brussels but this year the European Commission decided to hold the opening event in Ljubljana, this year’s European Green Capital.
In addition to the official opening, numerous other events are taking place in Ljubljana this week: such as the campaign »100 SUPs on Ljubljanica« carried out on the day of the opening. The boarders received degradable bags and gloves so they could clean the embankments of the Ljubljanica River as they were stand up paddle boarding. On Tuesday, 31 May, the City Museum of Ljubljana is opening the exhibition Genesis by the world-renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado, and on Wednesday, 1 June, the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) »Urban Forests for Resilient Cities« is starting at the Ljubljana Castle.
The Ljubljana ZOO is also taking part in the European Green week, namely, this week they are drawing attention to the coexistence of people and nature, respect and love towards nature and animals. This will contribute to the preservation of rural areas and nature for future generations. The main theme of the Green Week is investing for a greener future, and the aim of all events held across Europe is to contribute to the discussion on how to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.