The Netherlands and Malta are the two Member States hosting a European Capital of Culture in 2018.
The independent selection panel appointed to assess the Dutch cities applying to be European Capital of Culture in 2018 met in Amsterdam on 6 September and recommended the Dutch city of Leeuwarden for the title. Leeuwarden beat off the challenge of Eindhoven and Maastricht. The winning city will be formally designated by the EU's Council of Ministers, normally in May 2014.
The other European Capital of Culture for 2018 is the city of Valletta, which was officially designated last May following Malta's decision to proceed with its selection procedure one year ahead of the normal time schedule.
The designated cities will propose a cultural programme with a strong European dimension including the participation of citizens living in the city, its neighbourhood and the whole country.
The European dimension will be reflected in the chosen themes and the way in which the events in the programme will be organised.