Bad Ischl, Dornbirn and St. Pölten short-listed for European Capital of Culture 2024 in Austria

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All three cities have been shortlisted in the competition to become European Capital of Culture 2024 in Austria.

Bad Ischl, Dornbirn and St. Pölten have been shortlisted on the 31 January 2019 in the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2024 in Austria. A panel of independent experts made the recommendation evaluating applications from three competing Austrian cities at the outcome of a 2-day meeting in Vienna.

Once the relevant Austrian authorities confirmed the panel's recommendation, the bidding cities will have until next autumn to complete their applications. The panel will then meet again in Vienna in November 2019 to recommend the Austrian city to become the European Capital of Culture 2024.
In 2024, Austria will host the European Capital of Culture for the third time, after Graz in 2003 und Linz in 2009. In the same year, there will also be a European Capital of Culture in Estonia and one in an EFTA/EEA country, candidate country or potential candidate country to EU membership.

How cities become European Capitals of Culture

According to the current system for designating the European Capitals of Culture, the selection has two rounds: a pre-selection round, following which candidate cities are shortlisted, and a final selection round approximately nine months later. The Member State concerned officially designates the selected city.
The pre-selection round in Estonia took part in October 2018 with Narva and Tartu being short-listed. The pre-selection meeting for the competition between cities in EFTA/EEA countries, candidate countries and potential candidates took place in November 2018 and the cities of Banja Luka, Bodø and Mostar have been short-listed.

Austria invited applications from interested cities in June 2017. Three cities submitted applications by the deadline of 31 December 2018: Bad Ischl, Dornbirn and St. Pölten. A panel of 12 independent experts examined the applications. The relevant Austrian authorities appointed two experts and EU institutions and bodies (European Parliament, Council, Commission and Committee of the Regions) appointed ten experts.

The next European Capitals of Culture

Following Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) and Valletta (Malta) in 2018, these will be the European Capitals of Culture:

  • 2019: Matera (Italy) and Plovdiv (Bulgaria);
  • 2020: Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland);
  • 2021: Elefsina (Greece), Timisoara (Romania) and Novi Sad (Serbia, candidate country to EU membership)
  • 2022: Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg).
  • 2023 : Veszprém (Hungary)



Born in 1985 from an idea of the then Greek Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the European Capitals of Culture have grown into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and one of the best known – and most appreciated – activities of the EU. Their objectives are to promote the diversity of cultures in Europe, to highlight the common features they share and to foster the contribution of culture to the long-term development of cities.


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