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Veszprém will be the European Capital of Culture 2023 in Hungary

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Debrecen and Győr competed with Veszprém to be recommended for European Capital of Culture 2023 in Hungary.

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said:

"In 2023, Hungary will again have a European Capital of Culture. After Pécs in 2010, it will now be the turn of Veszprém, my home town, to be in the spotlight for one full year. I am convinced that the city and its region will be able to make the most of the European Capital of Culture title. It should enable them to further connect their cultural scene and citizens to the rest of Europe and beyond, to bring people together and help build communities. Visitors from Europe and all over the world will have the opportunity to discover the city and its cultural assets, but also to appreciate the diversity of cultures on our continent. 2018 is now coming to an end and with it the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Across our continent, millions of citizens have joined in the celebration of our common cultural heritage in many different and creative ways. The European Capitals of Culture and the European Year of Cultural Heritage have many similarities, in particular showing that culture can bring significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits – benefits that Veszprém now stand to reap as well."

In accordance with the Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council, which governs the European Capitals of Culture Union action, Hungary is entitled to host a European Capital of Culture in 2023.

How cities become European Capitals of Culture

According to the current scheme for designating the European Capitals of Culture, the selection has two rounds: a pre-selection round, following which a shortlist of candidate cities is drawn up, and a final selection round nine months later (one city is recommended for the title). Then, the concerned Member States officially designate the selected cities.
According to the selection criteria, applicant cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension, which fosters the participation of the city's stakeholders as well as its various neighborhoods and attracts visitors from the whole country and Europe. The programme must have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term development of the city. Candidates must also show that they have the support from the relevant public local authorities and the capacity to deliver the project.
Regarding the competition in Hungary, the Ministry of Human Capacities of Hungary invited applications from interested cities in February 2017. Seven cities submitted applications: Debrecen, Eger, Gödöllő, Győr Székesfehérvár, Szombathely and Veszprém. The pre-selection meeting took place in February 2018 and three cities (Debrecen, Győr and Veszprém) were short-listed. The Hungarian ministry gave until November 2018 for the cities to complete their applications and then they were invited to a final selection meeting in Budapest on 13-14 December.
A panel of 12 independent experts examined the applications. The relevant Hungarian 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).

Background

Started in 1985, European Capitals of Culture have developed into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and one of the EU's most appreciated activities.
The goal of the project is more relevant than ever: to provide Europeans with opportunities to learn more about each other's cultures, to enjoy their shared history and values and to experience the feeling of belonging to the same European community.