The Community Action European Capital of Culture aims to protect and promote the diversity of cultures in Europe and to highlight the common characteristics that they share, as well as to intensify the feeling of citizens of belonging to a common cultural space and encourage the contribution from culture to the long-term development of cities, in accordance with their respective strategies and priorities.
Call for submission of applications ‘European Capital of Culture’ - EAC/A04/2021. Deadline: 11 november 2022 | OJ C 512/04 20.12.2021
Decision 445/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Union action for the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020 to 2033 and repealing Decision 1622/2006/EC | OJ L 132/01, 3.5.2014
Commission Communication European Capital of Culture. The European Capital of Culture 2027 in Portugal is Évora | OJ 142/02, 25.4.2023
In this new period 2020-2033, the action replaces and complements the one held under the same heading during the years 2007-2019. For the new stage, the candidacy of countries that are not currently members of the EU has been foreseen.
The cities of the Member States may exercise the right to be designated European Capitals of Culture for one year, in the following order:
2007. Luxembourg and Romania (Sibiu).
2008. United Kingdom (Liverpool) and Norway (Stavanger).
2009. Austria (Linz) and Lithuania (Vilnius).
2010. Germany (Essen), Hungary (Pécs), and Turkey (Istanbul).
2011. Finland (Turku) and Estonia (Tallinn).
2012. Portugal (Guimaraes) and Slovenia (Maribor).
2013. France (Marseille) and Slovakia (Kosice).
2014. Sweden (Umeå) and Latvia (Riga).
2015. Belgium (Mons) and Czech Republic (Pilsen).
2016. Spain (Donostia-San Sebastián) and Poland (Wrocław).
2017. Denmark (Aarhus) and Cyprus (Paphos).
2018. The Netherlands (Leeuwarden) and Malta (Valletta).
2019. Italy (Matera) and Bulgaria (Plodviv).
2020. Croatia (Rijeka) and Ireland (Galway). Extended to 2021 due to COVID19.
2022. Lithuania (Kaunas), Luxembourg (Esch) Serbia (Novi Sad).
2023. Romania (Timisoara), Greece (Elefsina) and Hungary (Veszprém).
2024. Austria (Bad Ischl), Estonia (Bodø) and Norway (Tartu).
2025. Slovenia (Nova Gorica) and Germany (Chemnitz).
2026. Slovakia (Trenčín) and Finland (Oulu).
2027. Latvia, Portugal (Évora) and Candidate or potential candidate country.
2028. Czech Republic and France.
2029. Poland and Sweden.
2030. Cyprus, Belgium and Candidate or potential candidate country.
2031. Malta and Spain.
2032. Bulgaria and Denmark.
2033. Netherlands, Italy and Candidate or potential candidate country.
The designation will apply to one city from each of the Member States that appear on the list. The chronological order appearing in this list may be modified by mutual agreement between the Member States concerned.
Any application must include a cultural program with a European dimension, based mainly on cultural cooperation. The cultural program of the event will be created specifically for the year of the European Capital of Culture and will highlight the European added value of compliance. The program will last one year. A link will be established between the programs of the cities designated for the same year.
Each of the Member States concerned shall publish a call for applications no later than six years before the start of the event in question. The Member State concerned shall notify the requests to the Commission. A Selection Committee will be established for each interested Member State to assess the applications of the candidate cities. Each Committee will recommend the nomination of a city in the Member State concerned.
Each of the Member States concerned will propose the candidacy of a city to be European Capital of Culture and will notify it to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the Committee of the Regions, no later than four years before the start of the event.
On the basis of the report drawn up by the Monitoring and Advisory Committee, the Commission may award a cash prize in honor of Melina Mercouri to each of the designated cities, provided that their programs meet the established criteria and have been implemented the recommendations made by the Selection Committee and the Monitoring and Advisory Committee. Such award shall be paid in full no later than three months before the start of the relevant year.
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