European Union External Action

European Capitals of Culture

26/10/2017 - 15:09
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Kick-Off Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017

Started in 1985, the European Capitals of Culture are an initiative of the European Union.

Over the years, this initiative has grown into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and one of the most popular with our citizens.

Its aim is to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Europe and to highlight the common features they share, thereby promoting mutual understanding, intercultural dialogue as well as increasing citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area.

Being a European Capital of Culture can also contribute to the long-term socio-economic development of cities as the title can be a powerful tool for cities to regenerate themselves, inject new vitality into their cultural life, boost their creativity, raise their profile on both European as well as international level and foster social cohesion.

In 2024, a city from one of the following EFTA/EEA countries, candidate countries / potential candidates for EU membership will hold this prestigious title: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro and Norway.

The competition has been launched by the publication of a call for submission of applications on 18 October 2017:

Cities have until 10 October 2018 to submit an application, but must inform the Commission in writing of their intention to take part at the latest on 10 September 2018 (e-mail to

Cities can ask questions to the Commission by e-mail (

To know more on the "European Capitals of Culture" EU action:

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