Brussels, 30 November 2012
Eindhoven, Leeuwarden and Maastricht to compete for title of European Capital of Culture 2018
The selection panel appointed to assess the Dutch cities vying to be European Capital of Culture in 2018 met in Amsterdam today and recommended that Eindhoven, Leeuwarden and Maastricht should be preselected for the title. The preselected cities will now flesh out their applications ahead of the second and final selection round. The selection panel will meet again in September 2013 to recommend the city which should be the European Capital of Culture in 2018, together with Valletta in Malta.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "All five competing cities in the Netherlands produced very good proposals and I warmly congratulate Eindhoven, Leeuwarden and Maastricht for their nominations. Along with Erasmus, which also comes under my responsibility, the European Capital of Culture has been one of the most successful EU initiatives since its launch in 1985. The title brings significant cultural, economic and social benefits, so it is no surprise that the competition was fiercely contested in the Netherlands. I am sure that the selection process will enhance the long-term development of all three of the preselected cities."
In accordance with the Decision of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers which sets the criteria for the European Capital of Culture (1622/2006/EC), the Netherlands and Malta are the two Member States hosting the event in 2018. The Maltese capital of Valletta was recommended for the title on 12 October (IP/12/1099)
The Netherlands invited applications from interested cities at the end of 2011. Five applied – Eindhoven, Leeuwarden, Maastricht, The Hague and Utrecht.
Following Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) this year, Marseille (France) and Košice (Slovakia) will be European Capitals of Culture in 2013; Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) in 2014, Mons (Belgium) and Plzen (Czech Republic) in 2015, Wrocław (Poland) and Donastia-San Sebastián (Spain) in 2016. Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) have been proposed by the selection panel as European Capitals of Culture in 2017.
The selection panel which makes the pre-selection recommendation consists of 13 members, seven appointed by the European institutions and six by the Member State concerned. The members of the panel appointed by the European institutions are:
Appointed by the European Commission: Manfred Gaulhofer (Austria), Director-General of Graz 2003 and manager of many European projects; Sir Jeremy Isaacs (United Kingdom), television producer and former director of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Appointed by the Council: Erna Hennicot-Schoepges (Luxembourg), former Minister for Culture, MEP and member of the Council of Europe Assembly and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), currently heading various national and international cultural organisations; Constantin Chiriac (Romania), former vice-chairman of Sibiu 2007 and currently director of the national theatre Radu Stanca.
Appointed by the European Parliament: Jordi Pardo (Spain), responsible for cultural projects at international level; Steve Green (United Kingdom), consultant and researcher in cultural policy.
Appointed by the Committee of the Regions: Elisabeth Vitouch (Austria), a member of the Committee of the Regions' Commission for Culture and Education and a member of the Vienna City government.
According to the current system for designating the European Capitals of Culture, the selection has two rounds: a pre-selection round, following which a shortlist of candidate cities is drawn up, and a final selection round nine months later. The selected cities are then officially named by the Council of Ministers of the EU.
For more information
European Commission: Education and training
Follow Androulla Vassiliou on Twitter @VassiliouEU
Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)