The Council of the EU has named Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) as the European Capitals of Culture in 2012, followed by Marseille-Provence (France) and Košice (Slovakia) in 2013. This decision reflects the recommendation made in autumn 2008 by the selection panel.
As Ján Figeľ, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth points out, “This title has a long-standing and excellent reputation, and to hold the title for a full year puts a city firmly in the spotlight. This creates an enormous potential for local development,” states the European Union press release.
“Today's formal designation is only the beginning of a process leading up to the year as a European Capital. The preparations, lasting several years, are decisive for the eventual success of the event. One of the keys to this success is a consistent commitment on the part of state and municipal governments throughout the process, right up to the year itself, including financial contribution.”
Following Vilnius (Lithuania) and Linz (Austria) this year, the next European Capitals of Culture will be Essen (Germany), Pécs (Hungary), and Istanbul (Turkey) in 2010, and Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia) in 2011.
For more information, visit the European Union website