In Timișoara, I have regained hope that things are possible in Romania. It can be done differently, with courage.

The city has changed a lot. We have learned to get out of the house, to take part in a cultural event, to pay for a cultural event, and it is an extraordinary thing. I was also involved in the Sibiu – European Capital of Culture event, even at the closing event, I organised the concerts. Things have changed a lot in Romania, in general, from 2007 to today, but this year has radically changed cultural consumption in the city and it is the only long-term thing that will keep the cultural area active and will be able to develop society through culture. I hope that every city in the country will learn from Timișoara's experience and the authorities will invest intelligently in culture.

Timisoara welcomed me well, it's a wonderful city. I think Timisorenes have the greatest reservations about the city. Coming from outside, I think it is one of the most beautiful we have in Romania and, the way it is developing, I see it at the top. Now, almost at the end of the year, it's a time of analysis for what has been and what is to come. I think in life we need punctuation marks where we can reflect on what has gone before and what will come after. I believe that for Timisoara the great change is just beginning.

The cultural area has to learn about the way projects have been approached, with courage, taking into account traditions, but also looking to the future and understanding that the cultural act is one that has to be paid for, to which you go and make a contribution however small. I think this is the big problem in the cultural area in Romania, especially in the state-funded area, where we live with this feeling that everything must be free. There is no such thing as free in culture, someone from one source or another pays. What I don't like about free culture is that we educate people, and especially the younger generations, that we only pay for material goods. But a theatre performance, a concert, a book read are also an investment in our inner world. The Cultural Capital also has the role of educating citizens that investment is first of all in inner development and then in material development.

In Timișoara I regained hope that things can be done in Romania as well. They can be done differently, with courage. I wish Timișoara and its people to have faith in themselves and in the path they have embarked on, because it is a beautiful European path.