Brussels, 30 September 2010
Commissioner Vassiliou congratulates the cities preselected in Spain for the title of "European Capital of Culture 2016"
At its four-day meeting in Madrid, the selection panel appointed to assess the cities applying to be a European Capital of Culture in 2016 recommended that the following be preselected from a fiercely competitive field: Burgos, Córdoba, Donostia-San Sebastián, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Segovia and Zaragoza. Once this recommendation has been ratified by Spain, the preselected cities will have to flesh out and complete their applications by the summer of 2011.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: ‘I would like to congratulate Burgos, Córdoba, Donostia-San Sebastián, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Segovia and Zaragoza on their nomination following the first round of the competition for the title of Capital of Culture 2016 in Spain. I am very pleased with the quality of the many applications we received, which shows the high level of interest in this European initiative. This event provides an exceptional opportunity for the long-term development of the cities concerned, not only in terms of culture but also in terms of tourism and socio-economic development. The preselected cities will be required to demonstrate the European dimension of their project and their ability to place culture at the heart of their long-term development.’
In accordance with the Decision on the European Capital of Culture event1, Spain and Poland will be the two Member States hosting a European Capital of Culture in 2016. The preselection meeting in Poland will be held in mid-October.
Spain published a call for applications from interested cities at the end of 2009. Fifteen cities presented their bids to the panel:
Alcalá de Henares, Burgos, Cáceres, Córdoba, Cuenca, Donostia-San Sebastián, Málaga, Murcia, Oviedo, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Pamplona, Santander, Segovia, Tarragona and Zaragoza.
Their applications were examined on the basis of the criteria established in the above-mentioned Decision by an international panel consisting of 13 members: six appointed by Spain and the remaining seven by the European institutions. The panel members appointed by the European institutions are:
Under the present procedure for designating the European Capitals of Culture, selection takes place in two stages: following this preselection stage, during which a shortlist of applicant cities is drawn up, the panel will make the final selection in summer 2011. The selected Spanish city will then be officially designated by the EU Council of Ministers at its meeting in May 2012.
Following Essen for the Ruhr (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul (Turkey) this year, the future European Capitals of Culture will be Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) in 2011, Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) in 2012, Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2013, and Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014.
Decision No 1622/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006