European Commission - Culture

Education & culture DG
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Official Designation

The title of European Capital of Culture is awarded by the Council of Ministers of the European Union.

At the end of the selection procedure, the host countries for the year in question each nominate one city on the basis of the selection panel's recommendation and notify the European Parliament, Council, Commission and Committee of the Regions, no later than four years before the event is due to begin.

The European Parliament then has 3 months to forward an opinion on the nomination.

On the basis of the panel's reports and of the opinion of the European Parliament, the EU Council of Ministers officially designates the nominated cities (one per host country) as European Capitals of Culture for the year in question.

This title is now strictly reserved for cities located in the European Union and is awarded for a period of one year.

In depth

Summary of the 25 year anniversary conference on the European Capitals of Culture

Turku, European Capital of Culture 2011

Tallinn, Turku, European Capital of Culture 2011

The brochure: the road to success from 1985 to 2010

European Capitals of Culture: the road to success

Official documents

European Capital of Culture for the years 2007 to 2019

Study on the European Cities and Capitals of Culture and the European Cultural Months
Palmer report