Brussels, 20 July 2012
The Commission proposes countries to host European Capitals of Culture after 2019
The European Commission adopted a proposal today for the continuation of the European Capitals of Culture initiative. The existing scheme runs until 2019 and the new proposal lists the order in which countries will nominate cities to hold the title, up to 2033. In addition to two Member States sharing the title each year, the proposal suggests that EU candidate or potential candidate countries could also nominate a European Capital of Culture every third year. The plan will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council; they are due to make a final decision on the future arrangements before the end of 2013.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said: "The European Capitals of Culture is one of the most visible and successful initiatives that the EU has launched. As well as promoting the European Union's wonderful cultural wealth and diversity, the initiative has been a catalyst for the transformation of cities, to the benefit of citizens and visitors alike. The competition in Member States to host the title is tougher than ever – and this is proof of its enduring value and appeal."
The Commission's proposal retains the main features and structure of the current scheme. It suggests in particular continuing to award the title on a rotating system among Member States (see annex). The selection criteria have been amended to give more detailed guidance to the potential Capitals, which will also enhance the overall selection and monitoring process of the cities involved. There will be more focus on the leverage effect of the initiative in stimulating long-term growth and urban development, as well as on the European dimension of the event and the quality of the cultural and artistic content for the year.
The current European Capitals of Culture (Decision 1622/2006/EC) scheme ends in 2019. As the competition for the title is launched six years in advance, in order to give the cities sufficient time to prepare, the decision on the new cycle needs to be adopted by the Parliament and the Council in 2013.
The Commission's proposal follows several evaluations on the current scheme and a public consultation carried out from October 2010 to January 2011, followed by a public meeting held in Brussels in March 2011. These clearly demonstrate that the European Capital of Culture brings many benefits to cities and regions: though it remains first and foremost a cultural event, it creates a significant social and economic legacy, particularly when the event is embedded as part of a long-term culture-led development strategy.
Since the creation of the title in 1985, 46 cities have been European Capitals of Culture so far. The 2012 European Capitals of Culture are Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia).
For more information
The European Capitals of Culture:
European Commission: Education and training
Follow Androulla Vassiliou onTwitter @VassiliouEU
Future European Capitals of Culture (2013-2019)
2016: Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain) and Wroclaw (Poland) (See also IP/11/800 and IP/11/766)
2018: The Netherlands and Malta
2019: Italy and Bulgaria
Proposed order of countries to nominate a European Capital of Culture (2020-2033)
Subject to its accession in 2013.