We are at the end of a year of excellence for Timișoara – and also the starting point for a new beginning. I invite each of you to look back on 2023, a year in which Timișoara was, together with Veszprém in Hungary and Elefsina in Greece, in the cultural spotlight of the whole continent.

I am convinced that Timisoara has succeeded in making a consistent and significant contribution this year to consolidating Romania's good image in Europe. With a rich cultural heritage, with a lively and very strong artistic community, Timisoara has proved through each of the thousands of events produced this year, the unique power it has to bring people together, to build strong communities, to revive and rediscover places, to create connections.

The national cultural programme Timisoara 2023 – European Capital of Culture is a driving force for a deep and unprecedented transformation of people, communities, places and the city, and all these transformations will have a strong positive impact in the long term, bringing Timisoara closer to the European values that have consecrated it: freedom, democracy, rule of law, tolerance, human dignity, equality, respect for human rights, i.e. those values that I believe every Romanian, from every corner of the country, wants and for which Timisoara people have fought.

The anniversary moment we are preparing for the end of this year, and which also marks a new stage of this unique journey, I wish to bring us all together in Unirii Square and in all the beautiful places of this city. I invite you to celebrate together, Timișoara, from 7 December, with the same joy with which we celebrate each new beginning.