Tartu becomes UNESCO City of Literature

Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia and its self-proclaimed intellectual capital, is the first city is the Baltic-Nordic region to become UNESCO City of Literature.

UNESCO’s City of Literature program was launched in 2004 and forms part of its Creative Cities Network. This year, Tartu and eight other cities were welcomed to the program, almost doubling the number of Cities of Literature in the world. The first to earn the honor in 2004 was Edinburgh in Scotland, followed by Melbourne and Iowa City in 2008.

Altogether, 47 cities from 33 countries joined the Creative Cities Network this year within seven creative fields (crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music).

“The most characteristic feature of cultural life in Tartu is creativity joining all free arts, openness to new ideas and a will to attract the citizens and the visitors to join these creative experiments,” the application committee said. “Tartu is historically a city of verbal arts and literary culture but it is also essential that in Tartu literary activity is closely connected with other arts and spheres of life: many events and projects bring together literature, music, visual arts and performing arts and literature often serves as the connecting link between different spheres of culture.”

Tartu is the location of several state institutions like the Ministry of Education and Research, Estonian National Museum, and Estonian Literary Museum. The city is also the center of many nationwide literary events and projects, including the Estonian literary festival Prima Vista, and has over one thousand institutions related to creative industries registered in the its Business Register.

Tartu submitted its preliminary application for the title in 2013 and the final application in July 2015. The application process was led by the Estonian Literary Society.

“Tartu is a city where culture, creative freedom and interdisciplinary innovation have been vital aspects of identity, of local and global aspirations to uniqueness as living environment. Becoming a member of the CCN is an acknowledgment of our historic and current creative achievements, but foremost an affirmation of our willingness to share best practices with partners worldwide,” the committee said.

Source: ERR News via Estonian Review

Estonia sees biggest employment growth in EU in Q3

Among EU member states for which data are available, Estonia registered the biggest increase in employment in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the previous three-month period, Eurostat said on Tuesday.

Next after Estonia, which posted employment growth of 2.1 percent, came Hungary with 0.8 percent, and Ireland, Spain, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, all with 0.6 percent. Decreases were recorded in Croatia, 0.6 percent, Portugal, 0.5 percent, and Malta, 0.3 percent.

The number of persons employed increased by 0.3 percent in the euro area and by 0.4 percent in the EU28 in the third quarter of 2015 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat.

Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, employment increased by 1.1 percent in both the euro area and the EU28 in the third quarter of 2015.

Source: Baltic News Service via Estonian Review