European Commission - Culture

Education & culture DG
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EU monitoring and funding

Once your city has officially been chosen as a European Capital of Culture, it enters a pre-event monitoring and guidance phase involving:

During this phase, progress in your city's preparations is overseen by a committee of 7 experts known as the monitoring and advisory panel.


After the 2nd (final) monitoring meeting, if the panel concludes your city meets the criteria for the event and has implemented the panel's recommendations, the Commission can award your city some funding for the event – the Melina Mercouri prize.


Timeline of monitoring phase


 Timeline (n = 1 January, year of the event)

 Stage in the procedure

 Body responsible

± 6 months after designation

(possible) informal meeting between panel and host city

European Commission

 n - 27 months (3 months before 1st monitoring meeting)

 Submission to Commission of mid-term progress report

 Host city

 n - 2 years (e.g. end of 2011, for an event in 2014)

 1st (mid-term) monitoring meeting between panel and host city

 European Commission

 n - 11 months (3 months before 2nd monitoring meeting)

Submission to Commission of final progress report

 Host city

 n - 8 months

2nd monitoring meeting between panel and host city

 European Commission

 n - 3 months

(possible) award of Melina Mercouri prize

 European Commission

 n

 Year of the event

  Host city

 n + 1 year

 Evaluation of the event begins

 European Commission

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
(1995-2004)
Palmer report