It is over three years since mayor Klaus Johannis announced that Sibiu might run for the title of European Capital of Culture – and the statement was met with skepticism and slight disbelief in 2004. Tens of million euro has been invested in the infrastructure since then and many building sites are now closed. However, at that time, the mayor of Sibiu benefited from the support of the Great Duchy of Luxembourg, willing to share the title of European Capital of Culture with Sibiu. This represented the initial stage of the project that would be submitted to the European Commission for approval. On behalf of the city of Sibiu, Constantin Chiriac, director of the “Radu Stanca” National Theatre, and Marius Constantin, ad-interim coordinator of the project, present to the European Commission – in April 2004 - all advantages as well as the details entailed by the organization of Sibiu – European Capital of Culture. The Report drawn up by the Selection Jury is submitted to the European Commission, the to the Council of Ministers who approved the project in spring 2005, on the grounds that such a small city of Romania – Sibiu – managed to achieve great progress in order to be conferred such a prestigious title; this might also have been a good opportunity to celebrate Romania`s long-awaited adhesion to the European Union. This accomplishment is even more important as Sibiu was conferred this title at the invitation of the Great Duchy of Luxembourg, since the European Commission had already established, at that time, the list of all cities that would receive this title by 2019.
The next step was to set up the Association Sibiu European Capital of Culture 2007 and the beginning of the organization proper and promotion of all events. Thus, projects are designed, a cultural agenda of events are being drafted, and the financial support is established; all details are presented to the Luxembourg delegations who had the privileged of having organized another similar event in 1995. In October 2004, the Association Sibiu European Capital of Culture 2007 had collected over 200 projects in view of organizing cultural events submitted by various institutions, cultural associations or individuals.
At the beginning of 2005, following a series of interviews and debates, the members of the Associations, nominate Cristian Radu as General Coordinator of the Program. In February 2005, the Ministry of Culture and Denominations appoint Sergiu Nistor as Commissioner for the Sibiu 2007 Program. He was assigned multiple responsibilities – i.e. organization, finances, administrative and logistics – for the proper development of the program. Two months later, the Association Sibiu European Capital of Culture 2007 appointed the members of the jury that will select the most interesting project of all 300 that had been submitted. Some of the prestigious members of the jury were: Nicolae Manolescu, Gabriel Liiceanu, Horia Roman Patapievici, Ion Caramitru, Victor Rebengiuc, Paul Niedermeier or Dan Perjovschi. Projects were first submitted and validated, then carefully analyzed by the jury nominated by the Ministry of Culture and Denominations, the main sponsor of the program. programului. The beginning of the year 2006 assigned national significance to the Program: Sibiu European Capital of Culture 2007 as in February 2006 it was included in the cultural strategy of Romania`s public diplomacy. Thus Sibiu began to be actively promoted at the most important international tourism fairs. As soon as the advertising company had also been selected, the tagline “Normality.Sibiu” had been decided upon which would further be introduced into many advertising campaigns both on national and international TV channels. Meanwhile, the finishing touch is being given to the cultural programs included in the agenda – especially in terms of finances and development.
On December 9, 2006 Luxembourg officially opens the Cultural Capital Program, an event attended by a Sibiu delegation. The Project Sibiu European Capital of Culture 2007 is supported by representative companies, both national or multinational: Banca Comerciala Romana, Automobile Bavaria BMW, Scandia Sibiu and Ambient. On January 1, 2007 Romania was officially declared a member state of the European Union, and Sibiu was European Capital of Culture, alongside Luxembourg. The special events organized in Sibiu for celebration were attended by Traian Basescu, the President of Romania, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the Prime-Minister of Romania and numerous other representatives of Romania`s Government. Significant cultural events took place in Sibiu between Janury 1, 2007 and December 1, 2007, under the aegis of European Capital of Culture.