Podgorica,capital city of Montenegro – the youngest European state experienced in connecting differences – hosts the second gathering of Mayors of capital cities of Central and Eastern Europe and China Forum 16 plus 1. With some 200.000 inhabitants, Podgorica is also the smallest participant of the Forum, a circle of cities with a shared commitment to democratic values, sustainable inclusive development, preservation of cultural, historic, and natural heritage, readiness for exchange of experiences, and ideas, technological and scientific knowledge, as well as accomplishments in the field of culture and education.
Although with the shortest track record among the members of the Forum as a capital city, its centuries-long connecting of peoples and cultures have made Podgorica an urban agglomeration developed into the administrative, cultural, economic, educational and sport centre of modern-day Montenegro. Being on a crossroad of historical highways connecting the Adriatic Sea with the continental Balkans since time immemorial, Podgorica have been bridging its five rivers spreading, often rampantly, along their picturesque banks. The recent past remembers Podgorica as Titograd, while Doclea, Birziminium and Ribnica ensued on the territory of today’s metropolitan area since the Roman time.
Its location and mild Mediterranean climate brought about the economic growth of the city that has, in the modern era, produced a huge influx of population from other parts of Montenegro, facing Podgorica with the challenges of rapid urban development. Self-confident about its belonging to the European traditional and values and strongly committed to its European and Euro-Atlantic integrations, as well as its fruitful regional and international cooperation, Podgorica and Montenegro remain open for participation in mutually useful projects and programmes within international initiatives, among which the Silk Road / One Belt One Road keeps a highly important place.
This is why the opportunity for Podgorica to demonstrate the traditional Montenegrin hospitality to its friends from the Forum of Mayors of Central and Eastern Europe and China is aimed at further strengthening the cooperation model established in 2016 at the First Forum held in Sofia. Podgorica is hereby welcoming its dear Eurasian friends at this year’s Forum, toasting with a glass of excellent Montenegrin wine.