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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  "Germany
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
2010 "Essen  "Germany representing the "Ruhr as "Ruhr.2010
"Istanbul  "Turkey
"Pécs  "Hungary
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
TBA September 2017[6]  "Luxembourg candidate city:[7] Esch-sur-Alzette /
eliminated:[8] "Differdange, "Luxembourg City
2023 TBA  "Hungary potential candidate cities: "Győr, [9] "Debrecen,[10] "Eger,[11] "Miskolc,[12] "Tokaj,[13] "Veszprem,[14]
TBA  "United Kingdom status unclear due to "Brexit - potential candidate cities: "Bristol,[15] "Dundee,[16] Leeds, "Milton Keynes,[17] "Truro
2024 1 TBA  "Estonia
2 TBA  "Austria kulturhauptstadt2024.at tender to be opened in 2018, announcement in 2020 at latest[18]
31 "TBA "TBA
2025 TBA  "Slovenia
TBA  "Germany potential candidate cities: "Bremen,[19] "Chemnitz,[20] "Dresden,[21] "Frankfurt,[22] "Halle/Saale,[23] "Hildesheim,[24] "Magdeburg,[25][26] "Nürnberg,[27] "Würzburg[28]
2026 TBA  "Slovakia
TBA  "Finland potential candidate cities: "Mänttä-Vilppula
2027 1 TBA  "Latvia
2 TBA  "Portugal potential candidate cities: "Aveiro, "Leiria
31 "TBA "TBA
2028 TBA  "Czech Republic
TBA  "France
2029 TBA  "Poland
TBA  "Sweden
2030 1 TBA  "Cyprus
2 TBA  "Belgium
31 "TBA "TBA
2031 TBA  "Malta
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. ^ Appel à candidatures pour la Capitale européenne de la Culture 2022
  7. ^ Cultural offer in the Grand Duchy - international, and much appreciated
  8. ^ Quelle ville sera capitale européenne de la culture en 2022?
  9. ^ http://onkormanyzat.gyor.hu/cikk/europa_kulturalis_fovarosa_2023_szamitanak_a_gyoriek_javaslataira.html
  10. ^ http://www.haon.hu/2023-ban-europa-kulturalis-fovarosa-lehet-debrecen/2992335
  11. ^ http://www.heol.hu/heves/kozelet/europa-kulturalis-fovarosa-2023-eger-biztosan-palyazik-680264/
  12. ^ http://www.eszak.hu/interju/2016/11/11/europa-kulturalis-fovarosa-a-jovore-vonatkozo-elkepzelesek-kellenek.eszak
  13. ^ http://www.tokaj.hu/hirek/tokaj-is-kandidal-az-europa-kulturalis-fovarosa-cimre/
  14. ^ http://www.veszpremkukac.hu/tag/europa-kulturalis-fovarosa-2023/
  15. ^ http://www.bristol247.com/channel/news-comment/daily/european-capital-of-culture/bring-european-capital-of-culture-to-bristol
  16. ^ http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/dundee/dundee-sets-sights-on-european-capital-of-culture-bid-1.884745
  17. ^ "European Capital of Culture - Milton Keynes Council". www.milton-keynes.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-12. 
  18. ^ "BKA-353.120/0144-I/4/2014" (PDF). Bundeskanzleramt Österreich. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Kulturhauptstadt 2025 – soll Bremen es nochmal versuchen?
  20. ^ Chemnitz will Europäische Kulturhauptstadt werden
  21. ^ Dresden will Kulturhauptstadt 2025 werden
  22. ^ Frankfurt soll sich gemeinsam mit Offenbach bewerben
  23. ^ Halle will "Kulturhauptstadt Europas" werden
  24. ^ "Stadt Hildesheim - Tagung zum Thema „Kulturhauptstadt Europas 2025"". www.hildesheim.de. Retrieved 2016-08-24. 
  25. ^ http://www.kulturhauptstadt-werden.de/
  26. ^ Magdeburg als Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2025
  27. ^ "Nürnberg verhält sich nicht wie Kulturhauptstadt"
  28. ^ Würzburger OB offen für Bewerbung
  29. ^ "European Capitals of Culture". European Union. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

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