The city of Ganja in Azerbaijan has handed over the symbolic European Youth Capital key to the Bulgarian city of Varna, which will serve as European Youth Capital for 2017.
At a ceremony to mark the end of Ganja's time as the 8th European Youth Capital, the city's mayor, Elmar Valiyev, passed the symbolic key to Varna mayor Ivan Portnih.
Over the course of 2016, more than 250 events have taken place in Ganja with the aim of empowering young people to participate in and shape their societies. The first European Youth Capital outside of the European Union, Ganja placed particular emphasis on volunteering, youth employment, social cohesion, active participation and education in its programme for the year. Events including sports and cultural activities, exhibitions and a “start-up academy”.
During its time as European Youth Capital, Varna will focus on social innovation and entrepreneurship under the slogan “Innowave”.