European Capitals of Culture

Unión Europea
European Commission
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 
The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) initiative is designed to: - Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe - Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share - Increase European citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area - Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for: - Regenerating cities - Raising the international profile of cities; - Enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants - Breathing new life into a city's culture - Boosting tourism The initiative was developed in 1985 and has, to date, been awarded to more than 60 cities across the European Union (EU) and beyond. The 2014 Decision establishing the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020-2033 explicitly references the UNESCO 2005 Convention, and includes outreach to young people as a factor in the assessment of cities’ applications:
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 
During the reporting period the 8 designated European Capitals of Culture have been: 2017 – Aarhus (Denmark), Paphos (Cyprus) 2018 – Leeuwarden (Netherlands), Valletta (Malta) 2019 – Matera (Italy), Plovdiv (Bulgaria) 2020 – Galway (Ireland), Rijeka (Croatia) There are no 2021 European Capitals of Culture, due to COVID-19. However, the 2020 European Capitals of Culture exceptionally held their title until April 2021.
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
National governments in participating countries
Public Sector
City authorities in participating countries
Public Sector
Cultural and creative sector organizations in participating countries
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
If yes, what are the main conclusions/recommendations?: 
Each year until 2019 the European Commission published an evaluation report on the outcomes of the European Capitals of Culture of the previous year. For the Capitals post 2019, the cities themselves carry out their own evaluation and send it to the Commission by the end of the year following that of the title. This 2020 Brochure highlighting successful projects in recent European Capitals of Culture, shows that ECoCs have become laboratories of strategic investment in culture, benefiting economies and societies as a whole. Cultural activity in ECoCs increases, new audiences are reached, and the cities’ cultural operators acquire a more international outlook and thus improve their skills and professionalism.
Objetivo(s) de la Convención 2005 de la UNESCO
Cultural Domain(s)