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Brussels, 9 September 2008

Košice to be the European Capital of Culture for Slovakia in 2013.

The jury responsible for assessing the bids for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2013, meeting today in Bratislava, has recommended that the title be bestowed on Košice for Slovakia. Four cities were still in contention following the preselection meeting last December: Košice, Presov, Martin and Nitra. The choice of Košice should be formally endorsed by the Council of Ministers of the European Union in May 2009.

This will be the very first time that a Slovakian city has become the European Capital of Culture, and the event is set to be the largest cultural project in the history of the country, with not only Košice and its region but also Slovakia as a whole in the limelight.

Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, said “I congratulate Košice on its nomination and am delighted by the enthusiasm generated by the prospect of becoming the Capital of Culture for 2013 and the seriousness of the preparations. The Capitals of Culture have an important role to play in promoting our diversity and cultural wealth. All the preselected cities were very motivated by the prospect of hosting the event — not only the cultural aspect but also the associated socio-economic impact — and the competition was of a very high standard. I am convinced that those cities which were not chosen will also benefit from the experience.”

In accordance with the Decision establishing the European Capital of Culture event[1], FRANCE and SLOVAKIA are the two Member States eligible to showcase a European Capital of Culture in 2013. The jury will meet in Paris on 15 and 16 September 2008 to decide on the capital for France.

The 2013 title is the first one subject to the new selection arrangements established in 2006, under which there are two selection phases: a preselection phase, at the end of which a shortlist of applicant cities is drawn up, and then a final selection nine months later. The two cities selected are then officially adopted by the Council of Ministers of the EU.

Bids are examined by an international jury of thirteen members, six of whom are appointed by the Member State concerned, whilst the other seven are appointed by the European Institutions. They examine the bids on the basis of the criteria laid down in the above-mentioned Decision.

The members of the jury appointed by the European Institutions are:

  • Appointed by the European Commission: Sir Robert SCOTT, who led Liverpool’s bid to become the Capital of Culture in 2008. An expert in the culture sector (especially theatre), he is now the international ambassador of the Liverpool Culture Company.; Manfred GAULHOFER, executive director of Graz 2003, has also managed many European projects.
  • Appointed by the Council: Mary McCARTHY, the deputy director of Cork 2005. She is currently working on one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects, at the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Mary MICHAILIDOU was director-general for cultural development at the Greek Culture Ministry and has also served on the boards of several Greek museums and foundations.
  • Appointed by the European Parliament: Gottfried WAGNER is director of the European Cultural Foundation, the aim of which is to promote cultural cooperation in Europe; Danuta GLONDYS, director of the Villa Decius Association, has run many activities in the international cultural field.
  • Appointed by the Committee of the Regions: Jyrki MYLLYVIRTA chairs the Commission for Culture and Education of the Committee of the Regions and is a local councillor in Finland.
  • Following Liverpool and Stavanger (Norway) this year, the forthcoming Capitals of Culture will be: Linz (Austria) and Vilnius (Lithuania) in 2009, Essen (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul in 2010, Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) in 2011. For more information, please refer to

[1] Decision No 1622/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006

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