Brussels, 8 September 2010
Pilsen to be the European Capital of Culture in the Czech Republic in 2015
The panel responsible for selecting the European Capital of Culture for 2015 in the Czech Republic recommended today in Prague that the title be awarded to Pilsen. The other Czech city still in contention was Ostrava. The formal nomination of Pilsen by the Council of Ministers will probably take place in May 2011.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, stated: "I am very happy to see so much enthusiasm in the Czech Republic for the 2015 title. Pilsen presented a high quality bid, full of energy and creativity. I am confident that Pilsen will prepare an exciting programme of events, with a strong European dimension, which will appeal to the public at large. I wish every success to Pilsen.
In accordance with the 2006 decision establishing the European Capital of Culture, the Czech Republic and Belgium will be the two host Member States in 2015. In February 2010, Mons was recommended by the panel as European Capital of Culture for Belgium.
The European Capitals of Culture are chosen in two phases: a pre-selection phase, resulting in a shortlist of cities, followed by a final selection nine months later. The two cities chosen are then officially designated by the Council of Ministers of the EU.
Applications are examined by a European panel made up of 13 independent cultural experts, six appointed by the Member State concerned and the other seven by the European institutions.
The cities vying for the title are required to prepare a cultural programme which highlights the European dimension of the event and fosters the participation of citizens living in the city and its surroundings, as well as interest from abroad. The European dimension is reflected in the chosen themes and cooperation between cultural artists from various countries, working together for the event. The programme must also have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term cultural and social development of the city.
The members of the panel appointed by the European institutions are:
Following Essen for the Ruhr (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul (Turkey) this year, the future European Capitals of Culture will be: Tallinn (Estonia) and Turku (Finland) in 2011; Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) in 2012; Marseille (France) and Kosice (Slovakia) in 2013 and Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014.
To find out more: