About the European Capital of Culture programme
The title of European Capital of Culture was initiated more than 30 years ago by Melina Mercouri, a Greek-born actress and Minister of Culture, and has been one of the most important projects of the EU's cultural policy ever since.
The title is awarded by the EU's Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, in order to highlight the cultural richness of its Member States, increase the sense of belonging to a common cultural area among European citizens and thus promote better mutual understanding.
The title of European Capital of Culture is to raise awareness that the common space of European culture is the result of the joint contribution of various countries and cities. As the voice of the arts, it conveys the message that European culture is common and it is always the result of cultural activity in a given region.
With their local cultural product, the city and region holding the title will become the focus of European attention, thus improving the image of the city, increasing the efficiency of the local creative industry and its touristic appeal.