Since 1 January 2022, three cities in Europe hold the title of European Capital of Culture for one year: Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg), Kaunas (Lithuania), and Novi Sad (Serbia).
Holding the title of European Capital of Culture gives cities the chance to boost their image, put themselves on the world map, promote sustainable tourism and rethink their development through culture.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, said: “The European Capital of Culture initiative illustrates the importance of culture in promoting the values on which our European Union is built: diversity, solidarity, respect, tolerance and openness."
The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) initiative is designed to: Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe; Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share; Increase European citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area and Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities.
A European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union (EU) for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong pan-European dimension. Being a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for a city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city's image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale. Multiple cities can be a European Capital of Culture simultaneously.