Brussels, 12 October 2012
Valletta to be the European Capital of Culture in Malta in 2018
The Maltese capital of Valletta was recommended today for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018 by an independent selection panel. The formal nomination of Valletta by the EU's Council of Ministers will take place in May 2013.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, stated: "I congratulate Valletta on its successful bid. I am happy to see the enthusiasm generated in Malta for the European Capital of Culture title. I am confident that Valletta will develop an exciting programme of events with a strong European dimension and that the title can bring significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits for the city and its surrounding area. I wish every success to Valletta."
Bidding cities are assessed on the basis of criteria laid down by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. These criteria state that the cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension and foster the participation of citizens living in the city, its neighbourhood and the whole country.
The European dimension is reflected in the chosen themes and the way in which the events in the programme are organised. Cooperation between cultural operators in different EU countries is encouraged. The programme must also have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term cultural and social development of the city.
The Netherlands and Malta are the two Member States hosting a European Capital of Culture in 2018. The list of countries hosting the title until 2019 was laid down in a decision of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers in 2006. The Commission recently proposed countries to host European Capitals of Culture after 2019 (IP/12/815).
Valletta was the only city to apply for the title in Malta. The application was examined by a panel made up of 13 independent cultural experts - six appointed by the Member State concerned and the remaining seven by the European institutions (see list of European members below). They assessed the application on the basis of the criteria laid down by the European Parliament and Council decision.
The pre-selection phase in the Netherlands will take place in November and the final selection round is planned for summer 2013. The two cities chosen (one per country) are then officially designated by the EU's Council of Ministers.
The members of the panel appointed by the European institutions are:
For more information
European Commission: European Capitals of Culture website
Follow Androulla Vassiliou onTwitter @VassiliouEU