Ganja: European Youth Capital 2016 Yesterday, Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, was awarded the European Youth Capital 2016 title. The European Youth Forum gave the award based on an application from Ganja that focused on strong local and European youth participation and the commitment to work on human rights. "Connecting" will be the key theme for Ganja as European Youth Capital 2016. The programme aims to promote close cooperation across borders and bring together policy, research and practice for young people. The Azerbaijani government and local youth-related organisations are committed to working in close cooperation with young people, paying special attention to disadvantaged and marginalised youth. Ganja won over rival bids from Vilnius (Lithuania), Varna (Bulgaria), Galway (Ireland), La Laguna (Spain) and Badajoz (Spain).
The award ceremony took place during the European Youth Forum’s Council of Members in Thessaloniki, which becomes European Youth Capital in 2014.