The selection panel composed of independent experts in the cultural field assesses the applications against the criteria laid down in Article 4 of Decision on the European Capital of Culture 2007-19 – 1622/2006/EC
A pre-selection meeting is organised by the host country for the year in question, around 5 years before the event. This is a closed meeting, and usually takes the following format:
- oral presentation by the candidate city explaining its cultural programme (max. 30 minutes)
- question-and–answer session between the selection panel and the candidate cities (max. 30 minutes).
The panel then:
- agrees – if possible by consensus, or by a vote – on a short list of candidate cities
- issues a report on all applications
- issues recommendations to the short listed cities.
In general, no visit to the candidate cities is planed at this stage.
The regulations governing the competition, in particular the panel's voting rules, are published by the host country before the pre-selection meeting.