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The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the "European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.

Preparing a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster "urban regeneration, change the city's image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.

In 1985, former actress "Melina Mercouri, then "Greece’s minister of culture, and her French counterpart "Jack Lang came up with the idea of designating an annual Capital of Culture to bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values.

The Commission of the European Union manages the title and each year the Council of Ministers of the European Union formally designates European Capitals of Culture: more than 40 cities have been designated so far.

An international panel of cultural experts is in charge of assessing the proposals of cities for the title according to criteria specified by the European Union.

A 2004 study conducted for the "European Commission, known as the "Palmer report", demonstrated that the choice of European Capital of Culture served as a catalyst for the cultural development and the transformation of the city.[1] Consequently, the beneficial socio-economic development and impact for the chosen city are now also considered in determining the chosen cities.



"Aarhus (Denmark), the European Capital of Culture for 2017
"Paphos (Cyprus) is the European Capital of Culture for 2017 along with Aarhus.

The European Capital of Culture programme was initially called the European City of Culture and was conceived in 1983, by "Melina Mercouri, then serving as minister of culture in "Greece. Mercouri believed that at the time, culture was not given the same attention as politics and economics and a project for promoting European cultures within the member states should be pursued. The European City of Culture programme was launched in the summer of 1985 with "Athens being the first title-holder. During the German presidency of 1999, the European City of Culture programme was renamed the European Capital of Culture.[2]

List of European Capitals of Culture[edit]

European Capitals of Culture
Year # City Country Notes/Links
1985 "Athens  "Greece
1986 "Florence  "Italy
1987 "Amsterdam  "Netherlands
1988 "Berlin  "East Germany
 "West Berlin
1989 "Paris  "France
1990 "Glasgow  "United Kingdom
1991 "Dublin  "Ireland
1992 "Madrid  "Spain
1993 "Antwerp  "Belgium
1994 "Lisbon  "Portugal
1995 "Luxembourg  "Luxembourg
1996 "Copenhagen  "Denmark
1997 "Thessaloniki  "Greece
1998 "Stockholm  "Sweden
1999 "Weimar  "Germany
2000 "Avignon  "France The year 2000, called the millennium year, was treated by the European Union in a special way,
in order to emphasize the enduring heritage and contribution of European cities to the achievements
of world culture and civilization. Because of that, as many as nine locations were chosen,
including two cities of states that were to join the EU on 1 May 2004.[3]
"Bergen  "Norway
"Bologna  "Italy
"Brussels  "Belgium
"Helsinki  "Finland
"Kraków  "Poland
"Prague  "Czech Republic
"Reykjavík  "Iceland
"Santiago de Compostela  "Spain
2001 "Rotterdam  "Netherlands
"Porto  "Portugal
2002 "Bruges  "Belgium
"Salamanca  "Spain
2003 "Graz  "Austria
2004 "Genoa  "Italy
"Lille  "France
2005 "Cork  "Ireland
2006 "Patras  "Greece
2007 "Sibiu  "Romania Sibiu 2007
"Luxembourg  "Luxembourg
2008 "Liverpool  "United Kingdom
"Stavanger  "Norway
2009 "Vilnius  "Lithuania
"Linz  "Austria Linz 2009
2010 "Essen  "Germany representing the "Ruhr as "Ruhr.2010
"Istanbul  "Turkey
"Pécs  "Hungary Pécs 2010
2011 "Turku  "Finland
"Tallinn  "Estonia
2012 "Guimarães  "Portugal
"Maribor  "Slovenia Maribor 2012
2013 "Marseille  "France "Marseille-Provence 2013
"Košice  "Slovakia
2014 "Riga  "Latvia
"Umeå  "Sweden Umeå 2014
2015 "Mons  "Belgium Mons 2015
"Plzeň  "Czech Republic Plzeň 2015
2016 "San Sebastián  "Spain San Sebastián 2016
"Wrocław  "Poland Wrocław 2016
2017 "Aarhus  "Denmark Aarhus 2017
"Paphos  "Cyprus Pafos 2017
2018 "Leeuwarden  "Netherlands Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018
"Valletta  "Malta Valletta 2018
2019 "Matera  "Italy Matera 2019
"Plovdiv  "Bulgaria Plovdiv 2019
2020 "Rijeka  "Croatia Rijeka 2020
"Galway  "Ireland Galway 2020
2021 1 "Timișoara[4]  "Romania Timișoara 2021
2 "Elefsina[5]  "Greece Elefsina 2021
31 "Novi Sad  "Serbia Novi Sad 2021
2022 "Kaunas  "Lithuania Kaunas 2022
"Esch-sur-Alzette  "Luxembourg Esch-sur-Alzette 2022
2023 TBA  "Hungary potential candidate cities: "Győr,[6] Debrecen,[7] "Eger,[8] "Miskolc,[9] "Tokaj,[10] Vezsprém[11]
TBA  "United Kingdom candidate cities: Dundee,[12] Leeds, Milton Keynes,[13] Nottingham,[14] Belfast/Londonderry[15]
2024 1 TBA  "Estonia
2 TBA  "Austria bids until 31 December 2018[16]
31 "TBA "TBA bids until 10 October 2018[17]
2025 TBA  "Slovenia
TBA  "Germany potential candidate cities: "Bremen,[18] "Chemnitz,[19] "Dresden,[20] "Frankfurt,[21] "Halle/Saale,[22] "Hildesheim,[23] "Magdeburg,[24][25] "Nürnberg,[26] "Würzburg[27]
2026 TBA  "Slovakia
TBA  "Finland potential candidate cities: "Mänttä-Vilppula
2027 1 TBA  "Latvia
2 TBA  "Portugal potential candidate cities: "Aveiro, "Leiria, "Braga,[28] "Faro, "Évora, "Ponta Delgada
31 "TBA "TBA
2028 TBA  "Czech Republic
TBA  "France potential candidate cities: "Clermont-Ferrand
2029 TBA  "Poland
TBA  "Sweden
2030 1 TBA  "Cyprus
2 TBA  "Belgium potential candidate : "Liège
31 "TBA "TBA
2031 TBA  "Malta potential candidate: "Tarxien
TBA  "Spain potential candidate cities: "Cáceres, "Granada
2032 TBA  "Bulgaria
TBA  "Denmark
2033 1 TBA  "Netherlands
2 TBA  "Italy
31 "TBA "TBA

1 A new framework makes it possible for a city in a candidate country or potential candidate for EU membership to hold the title every third year as of 2021. This will be selected through an open competition, meaning that cities from various countries may compete with each other.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palmer, Robert (2004) "European Cities and Capitals of Culture" Part I. Part II. Study prepared for the European Commission
  2. ^ Kiran Klaus Patel, ed., The Cultural Politics of Europe: European Capitals of Culture and European Union since the 1980s (London: Routledge, 2013)
  3. ^ Association of European Cities of Culture of the Year 2000
  4. ^ Selection of the European Capital of Culture in 2021 in Romania, The Selection Panel’s report Pre-Selection Stage
  5. ^ Elefsina to be the European Capital of Culture in Greece in 2021
  6. ^ "Európa Kulturális Fővárosa 2023: Számítanak a győriek javaslataira - Győr Megyei Jogú Város Honlapja". Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "2023-ban Európa Kulturális Fővárosa lehet Debrecen". 22 January 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "Európa Kulturális Fővárosa 2023: Eger biztosan pályázik | | Közélet | Heves megyei hírek". 23 August 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Európa kulturális fővárosa: A jövőre vonatkozó elképzelések kellenek - Észak-Magyarország". 11 November 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Tokaj kandidál az Európa Kulturális Fővárosa címre". 20 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  11. ^ "Európa Kulturális Fővárosa 2023 Archívum - Veszprém Kukac". Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  12. ^ Lorimer, Scott. "The latest news and sport from Dundee, Tayside and Fife". Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  13. ^ "European Capital of Culture - Milton Keynes Council". Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Meredith, Robbie (5 July 2017). "NI councils make bid for European Capital of Culture title". "BBC News. "BBC. Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  16. ^ "Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2024 in Österreich". Bundeskanzleramt Österreich. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 
  17. ^ "Call for submission of applications for the Union action "European Capitals of Culture" for the year 2024 for cities in EFTA/EEA countries, candidate countries and potential candidates for EU membership". European Commission. Retrieved 28 October 2017. 
  18. ^ Kulturhauptstadt 2025 – soll Bremen es nochmal versuchen?
  19. ^ Chemnitz will Europäische Kulturhauptstadt werden
  20. ^ Dresden will Kulturhauptstadt 2025 werden
  21. ^ Frankfurt soll sich gemeinsam mit Offenbach bewerben
  22. ^ Halle will "Kulturhauptstadt Europas" werden
  23. ^ "Stadt Hildesheim - Tagung zum Thema „Kulturhauptstadt Europas 2025"". Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "kulturhauptstadt werden" (in German). Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  25. ^ Magdeburg als Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2025
  26. ^ "Nürnberg verhält sich nicht wie Kulturhauptstadt"
  27. ^ Würzburger OB offen für Bewerbung
  28. ^ "RUM". Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  29. ^ "European Capitals of Culture". European Union. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

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