Serbia and Spain have each submitted a letter of candidature to the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) to organize a Specialized Expo in 2027. Serbia’s proposal includes hosting the expo in Belgrade, while Spain would plan to host in the city of Malaga.
On January 25, the letter, from Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, was handed to the Secretary General of the BIE, Dimitri S. Kerkentzes, by the Ambassador of Serbia to France and Monaco, H.E. Natasa Maric.
Serbia’s candidature is based on the theme “Play for Humanity — Sport and Music for All,” and if successful, the Expo would take place in Belgrade between May 15 and August 15, 2027.
The day after Serbia delivered their letter of candidature, Spain followed suit when the Ambassador of Spain to France, H.E. Victorio Redondo Baldrich handed the letter from Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares Bueno, to the Kerkentzes.
Spain’s candidature is based on the theme “The Urban Era: Towards the Sustainable City,” and if successful, the Expo would take place in Malaga between June 5 and September 5, 2027.
Prior to its formal submission as a candidate, Spain voiced its intent to apply during the 169th session of its General Assembly on December 14, 2021. Its letter of candidature was received only two days before the closure of the candidate list.
The six-month candidature phase for Specialised Expo 2027/28 was launched on July 29, 2021 when the United States notified the BIE of its candidature for Minnesota. This was followed by Thailand’s candidature for Phuket on January 11, 2022. The BIE will close the candidate list on January 28, 2022 at 5 p.m. CET.
Read IPM World’s Fair Editor Jim Ogul’s exclusive interview with former President and CEO of the Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee Mark Ritchie as the committee prepared for its formal candidature submission.
Once the list is closed, the project examination phase of the candidature process will be launched, during which each candidate will submit a detailed candidature dossier. The BIE will then organize Enquiry Missions and assess the feasibility and viability of each candidature project. The host country of Specialized Expo 2027/28 will then be elected by BIE Member States gathered in a General Assembly, on the principle of one country, one vote.
The Republic of Serbia has been a member of the BIE since 2010, but the country’s involvement in Expos dates back to the 19th century. Today, Serbia participates regularly in World and Specialized Expos, and is currently taking part in World Expo 2020 Dubai with its own pavilion themed “Serbia creates ideas.”
Spain has been present at Expos since the first — the 1851 Great Exhibition in London. In 1888, Barcelona hosted a World Expo, followed by a second one in 1929. As an active participant and organizer of Expos, Spain is a founding Member State of the BIE, signing the Paris Convention in 1928. Spanish involvement in Expos has continued ever since, with active participation in both World and Specialized Expos, and with the organization of World Expo 1992 in Seville and Specialized Expo 2008 in Zaragoza.
Expos are global events that explore a chosen theme through engaging and immersive discoveries. Among the different categories of Expos, Specialized Expos are designed to respond to a precise challenge facing humanity and may take place in the interval between two World Expos. Specialized Expos are limited in terms of duration — lasting up to three months — and space — with the exhibition area not exceeding 25 hectares (62 acres). The site is entirely built by the Organizer, Participants being provided with pavilion space.
The most recent Specialized Expo, Expo 2017 Astana, took place in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, under the theme “Future Energy,” and welcomed almost 4 million visitors.