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European Commission

Press Release

Brussels, 4 November 2013

Androulla Vassiliou will take part in the Mediterranean Economic Week, which will offer an initial insight into the progress of Marseille-Provence, European Capital of Culture

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will be in Marseille between 5 and 7 November 2013 to take part, on 6 and 7 November, in the seventh Mediterranean Economic Week, which is devoted entirely to culture as a factor in economic development. One of the aims will be to give an initial overview of Marseille-Provence, European Capital of Culture 2013.

'I am delighted that Marseille-Provence, European Capital of Culture 2013, has been such a resounding success with the public,' said Mrs Vassiliou. 'The events arranged as part of this Capital of Culture year have so far attracted over 7 million visitors altogether, and several flagship buildings have opened, such as the Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée (Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations) and the Musée d'histoire de Marseille (Marseille History Museum), boosting the city's cultural wealth and raising its international profile. Marseille's example shows the extent to which culture can help boost urban regeneration and regional development.'

Furthermore, on 5 November, Mrs Vassiliou will present to journalists from all 28 Member States the EU's new Creative Europe programme aimed at boosting the cultural and creative sectors. With a budget of around EUR 1.5 billion for the period 2014-2020, the Creative Europe programme is aimed at safeguarding and promoting Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity and at strengthening the competitiveness of Europe's cultural and creative sectors. According to Mrs Vassiliou, 'Creative Europe will help tens of thousands of people working in the cultural and audiovisual sectors to derive maximum benefit from the digital world and the single market, and to reach new audiences in Europe and beyond'.


The European Capital of Culture is one of the most high-profile cultural events in Europe. The Capitals are selected on the basis of a cultural programme that must have a European dimension, involve the public, be attractive at the European level and fit into the long-term development of the city.

It is also an excellent opportunity for the cities to change their image, put themselves on the world map, attract more tourists and rethink their own development through culture. The award of Capital of Culture has long-term cultural, social and economic ramifications, for both the city and its region.

After Marseille and Košice in 2013, the European Capitals of Culture will then be Riga (Latvia) and Umeå (Sweden) in 2014, Mons (Belgium) and Plzeň (Czech Republic) in 2015, Donostia - San Sebastián (Spain) and Wrocław (Poland) in 2016, Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) in 2017 and Valetta (Malta) in 2018.

Creative Europe will build on the experience and success of the Culture, MEDIA and MEDIA Mundus programmes which have supported the cultural and audiovisual sectors for more than 20 years. Creative Europe is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council (the ministers of the Member States) by the end of the year and its budget should be around 9% higher than the current budget.

Creative Europe will help the cultural and creative sectors to derive maximum benefit from the new horizons offered by globalisation and the digital world and to overcome problems such as the fragmentation of the market and the difficulty of obtaining funding.

For more information

Marseille-Provence 2013European Capital of Culture

Košice 2013European Capital of Culture

European Capitals of Culture

Creative Europe

Androulla Vassiliou's website

Follow Androulla Vassiliou onTwitter @VassiliouEU

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

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