Four cities short-listed for European Capital of Culture 2025 in Slovenia

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Ljubljana, Nova Gorica, Piran and Ptuj have been shortlisted in the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2025 in Slovenia.

A panel of independent experts recommended the shortlist after evaluating applications from six competing cities at the outcome of a 2-day meeting in Ljubljana. In 2025, Slovenia will host the European Capital of Culture for the second time, after Maribor in 2012.

Being shortlisted for the European Capital of Culture title can result in significant cultural, economic and social benefits for the cities concerned, if their bid is part of a longer-term culture-led development strategy.

Once the relevant Slovenian authorities formally endorse the panel's recommendation, cities will have until the autumn of 2020 to complete their applications. The panel will then meet again in Ljubljana in December 2020 to recommend the Slovenian city to become the European Capital of Culture 2025.

In the same year, there will also be a European Capital of Culture in Germany. The pre-selection round in Germany took place in December 2019 and five cities were short-listed:

  • Chemnitz,
  • Hannover,
  • Hildesheim,
  • Magdeburg and
  • Nurnberg.

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 selected city is then officially designated by the Member State concerned.

A panel composed of 12 independent experts examine the applications.

The relevant Slovenian authorities appoint two experts to the panel while the European Union institutions and bodies (European Parliament, Council, Commission and Committee of the Regions) appoint ten experts.

According to the selection criteria, cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension, which fosters the participation of the city's different communities 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 as well. Selected candidates must also show that they have the support from the relevant local authorities and the capacity to deliver the project.

The next European Capitals of Culture

Following Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland) in 2020, these will be the European Capitals of Culture during the next five years:

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);
2024: Tartu (Estonia), Bad Ischl  (Austria) and Bodo (Norway, EFTA/EEA country)


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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