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Brussels, 9 February 2010

Mons nominated as 2015 European Capital of Culture

The panel responsible for selecting the European Capitals of Culture for 2015 have recommended that Mons in Belgium should be one of the two cities that will share the title. Its formal nomination by the EU Council of Ministers will take place around November 2010.

The Czech Republic will also host a European Capital of Culture in 2015. Its choice will be announced after a final selection meeting in Prague on 8 September 2010.

Mons was the only city to apply for the title in Belgium, however its selection was not automatic. It had to comply with strict criteria, assessed by an independent panel of 13 experts, six appointed by Belgium and seven by the European institutions.

Cities vying for the title must prepare a cultural programme which highlights the European dimension of the event and encourages participation by citizens. The European dimension is reflected in the chosen themes and through cooperation between 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 selection panel appointed by the European institutions are:

  • Appointed by the European Commission: Sir Robert SCOTT , who headed Liverpool's application for the title of European Capital of Culture 2008. He is currently the international ambassador of the Liverpool Culture Company; Manfred GAULHOFER , director-general of Graz 2003, has managed many European projects.

  • Appointed by the Council: Erna HENNICOT-SCHOEPGES , Luxembourger and former Member of the European Parliament, the Council of Europe assembly and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe ( OSCE), heads various national and international cultural organisations; Constantin CHIRIAC , vice-president of Sibiu 2007 and currently director of the Romanian national theatre, Radu Stanca.

  • Appointed by the European Parliament: Andreas WIESAND , a German consultant and researcher in cultural policy and activities; Danuta GLONDYS , head of the Villa Decius association in Krakow (Poland), which runs many activities in the field of international culture.

  • Appointed by the EU Committee of the Regions: Elisabeth VITOUCH , represents the consultative body's Commission for Culture and Education and is a member of the Vienna city government.

    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.

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