European Commission - Culture

Education & culture DG
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European Capital of Culture
Past, Present and Future Capitals


More than 40 cities have been designated European Capitals of Culture so far, from Stockholm to Genoa, Athens to Glasgow, and Cracow to Porto.

Up to 2010, cities from non-EU countries were able to host the event. But, from 2011, only cities in EU countries are allowed to bear the title. Each year, two cities from two different Member States will be selected.


EU countries are invited to host the European Capital of Culture event in turn between 2005 and 2019. The order, given below, was decided in agreement with the Member States and laid down in the Decision on the European Capital of Culture 2007-19 – 1622/2006/EC.

European Capital of Culture event in turn between 2007 and 2019

2007 Luxembourg and Romania

 2008 United Kingdom

 2009 Austria and Lithuania

 2010 Germany and Hungary

 2011 Finland and Estonia

 2012 Portugal and Slovenia

 2013 France and Slovakia

 2014 Sweden and Latvia

 2015 Belgium and Czech Republic

 2016 Spain and Poland

 2017 Denmark and Cyprus

 2018 Netherlands and Malta

 2019 Italy and Bulgaria


In 2011, Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia)  share the title European Capital of Culture.

Future European Capitals of Culture up to and including those for 2015 have already been selected.

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