Call for applications for 2028 European Capital of Culture
Throughout history, Europe has been a hub of artistic development of exceptional richness and great diversity where European cities have played a vital role in the formation and spread of culture. The European Capital of Culture (ECOC) action is an initiative of the European Union governed by Decision No 445/2014/EU1 for the titles 2020 to 2033, which aims at highlighting this richness and diversity as well as common cultural aspects in Europe with a view to contributing to bring the peoples of Europe closer together and improve mutual understanding. This Decision was amended by Decision (EU) 2017/15452 to open the action, subject to conditions, to cities from European Free Trade Association countries that are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EFTA/EEA countries).
Furthermore, the Decision was amended by Decision (EU) 2020/22293 to rearrange the ECOC calendar for the years 2020-2023 in light of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The general objectives of the European Capital of Culture action have been defined as follows: to safeguard and promote the diversity of cultures in Europe and to highlight the common features they share as well as to increase citizens' sense of belonging to a common
cultural area, on the one hand, and to foster the contribution of culture to the long-term development of cities at economic, social and urban level, in accordance with their respective strategies and priorities, on the other hand.
In line with these objectives, activities developed by the city that will be designated as European Capital of Culture will strive to enhance the range, diversity and European dimension of its cultural offering, including through transnational co-operation; to widen access to and participation in culture; to strengthen the capacity of its cultural sector and the links of the latter with other sectors and to raise its international profile through culture.
In accordance with the calendar set out in the Annex of Decision No 445/2014/EU as amended by Decision (EU) 2017/1545 and Decision (EU) 2020/2229, the title of European Capital of Culture shall be awarded in 2028 to one city in Czechia, to one city in France and to one city in an EFTA/EEA country, a candidate country or a potential candidate to EU membership.
The aim of this call is:
- to trigger applications from cities in EFTA/EEA countries, candidate countries and potential candidates participating in the Creative Europe Programme (at the date of publication of the call), which wish to bid for the "European Capital of Culture" title
for the year 2028 and
- to lead to the designation of one of these cities as European Capital of Culture 2028,
that may be awarded the Melina Mercouri prize (funded from the respective Union
programme supporting culture at the time of its award).