2010 marks the 25 year anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture, which were launched in 1985. On 23-24 March 2010 the European Commission will be hosting a celebratory event and strategic conference to mark the event, to look back at the achievements of the past 25 years, and to reflect strategically on its legacy and impact. The conference will be opened by President Barroso and Jack Lang, who was the founder of the idea along with the late Melina Mercouri, former Minister of Culture for Greece. The event will begin in the early afternoon on 23 March. In the morning there will be an information day for future bidding cities. There will also be the opportunity to exchange practices with certain past, current and future cities. A strategic conference will take place on 24 March, which will be open to past, present, future, and potential bidding Capitals, as well as other interested stakeholders.