EFA represented at Dubrovnik Summer Festival opening

14 July 2010

On 10 July 2010, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival kicked off its 2010 festival season. Since 61 years, this summer festival is celebrated in Dubrovnik, a middle age city with incredible cultural heritage. The President of the European Festivals Association (EFA), Darko Brlek, and EFA Secretary General, Kathrin Deventer, attended the opening. Each summer, Dubrovnik, this city in the south of Croatia listed as Unesco World Heritage Sight, welcomes artists, festival lovers and citizens to its venues. In 2010, on top of its physical audience, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival welcomes ‘virtual’ visitors to enjoy the festival’s programme thanks to a dedicated web project developed in cooperation with Perpetuum Mobile. It is the most visited “un-commercial website in Croatia,” as the programme brochure says; the “Dubrovnik Summer Festival has become the only European festival with more virtual than real visitors.” When enjoying the amazing environment it is hard to imagine that 20 years ago up to 40% of Dubrovnik were destroyed because of the war; the great cultural diversity in this area of Europe turned into conflict. Today, the city of Dubrovnik reflects the immense diversity that unites Europe, bringing together Christianity with Eastern Orthodox and Islam influences. Located on the Adriatic Sea coast Dubrovnik remains a crossroad of cultures. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival has been a member of EFA since 1956 and hosted the EFA General Assembly in 1999. During the months of July and August, it offers a great diversity of programmes to tourists as well as citizens of Dubrovnik and the region. During the opening in the city centre the flag of ‘Libertas’ – this year’s motto – was set up. Spectacular fireworks were to be seen from all over the city and everybody seemed to celebrate the opening. It was a great honour for the festival to have the Presidents of Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia present who met in Dubrovnik for the Croatia Summit (the opening in pictures). As in previous years, the festival welcomed international delegates that came together for the annual Croatia Summit, in 2010 under the motto “South East Europe Facing Global Challenges.” Hosted by Ivo Josipovic, President of the Republic of Croatia, the following delegates were present: Silvio Berlusconi, Italian Prime Minister; Francois Fillon, French Prime Minister; Donald Tusk; Polish Prime Minister; Bojko Borisov, Bulgarian Prime Minister; Borut Pahor, Slovenian Prime Minister; Milo Đukanović, Montenegrin Prime Minister; Hashim Thaçi, Kosovo Prime Minister; Štefan Füle, European Commissioner; Michael Spindelegger, Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Miroslav Lajčák, Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Antonio Milošoski, Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Serbia was not be represented due to the attendance of Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci. Since 2006, this annual summit held in Dubrovnik has tried to engage in a sustainable dialogue for the development of this region.