Latvia’s next opportunity as European Capital of Culture
The European Commission recently adopted a proposal 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.”
Being European Capital of Culture provides many benefits for cities and regions. Although primarily a cultural event, the status has an important social and economic impact, especially if part of a culture-based long-term 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).
Information prepared by:
Representation of the European Commission in Latvia