The European Capital of Culture was not so much a city project, but a common direction in which the city was invited to look and towards which to direct its energy and various projects.

The complex governance of the Programme and the changes in management and funding policies, the consistency and professionalism of the way financial resources and city spaces are managed for the benefit of the cultural scene, and the substantial last-minute funding for cultural projects from the state budget have strengthened existing local networks and created surprising new alliances and partnerships in the cultural scene and beyond.

The original territories have been supplemented by dozens of other initiatives, but the programme has remained true to the need to empower people to look at the city, to own it as their own, to engage with it through culture, and to make arts and heritage a more important part of their lives. For me, the greatest joy is to see the actors of the Timisoara cultural scene taking a more curious, confident and open attitude towards the interests and preferences of the public and those who come here. This is the chance to have genuine and deep relationships, to grow together.

Beyond the year of the European Capital of Culture, Timisoara and all those who have known it better in these years carry, I believe, forward the feeling of discovering a familiarity with a city that breathes a special cultural and human atmosphere and has a special attitude towards the new, the different, oneself and others. Timișoara is today an extremely vital city, full of creativity and depth, which has to offer Romania and Europe exactly the image of this dynamic, well-anchored and precious balance between light and shadow, between being open and being assumed identity, between curiosity, appetite for new ideas and the need for anchors, for remembrance, for the past. This process, this relationship can be one of the essential keys to living in an open world, where, still, we want to know who we are.