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Coronavirus: Commission proposes extension for 2020 European Capitals of Culture and postponement of 2021

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The effects of the coronavirus crisis have led the European Commission to propose that the 2020 and 2021 European Capitals of Culture extend or postpone their activities.

The Commission has been in close contact with the teams of all European Capitals of Culture from 2020 to 2023 with a view to better understanding the impact of the pandemic on the delivery and preparation of current and upcoming European Capitals of Culture.

Rijeka and Galway 2020 have been severely hit by the coronavirus crisis. They have had to postpone or cancel all events since March 2020. The European Commission proposes to give Rijeka and Galway the possibility to have their title year prolonged until 30 April 2021.

The pandemic has also caused great uncertainty around almost every area of preparation for the 2021 European Capitals of Culture and slowed down preparations.

The Commission also proposes to postpone the year in which Novi Sad (Serbia) is due to host a European Capital of Culture from 2021 to 2022 and the year in which Timisoara (Romania) and Elefsina (Greece) will hold the title from 2021 to 2023.

The 2022 European Capitals of Culture, Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch (Luxembourg), and Veszprém (Hungary) in 2023 are less affected as they still have enough time to adjust their programmes to take account of different future scenarios.

The Commission’s proposal is now with to the European Parliament and the Council for consideration and final adoption.

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