WHAT IS ECoC?
The European Union designed the European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) initiative to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe, to celebrate the cultural features Europeans share, to increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area, and to foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities. Each calendar year two cities from two countries are selected to carry the title of European Capital of Culture. In 2025 that will be the cities from Germany and Slovenia
The ECoC candidature is an excellent opportunity for a city to reflect upon its future creative and spatial development: to plan and execute its cultural regeneration, to raise its international profile, and to enhance the image of the city in the eyes of their own inhabitants and its visitors. The ECoC encourages cities to design and strategically facilitate international inclusion and enrich life in urban culture. This increases the flow of visitors and the cultural freshness of the city. In addition to cultural development, the ECoC makes a meaningful and complementary connections with other key urban and regional subsystems and their projects.
The title ECoC gives the selected cities the impetus and opportunity to revitalize and to enhance their cultural, social and economic development. Many of the cities such as Lille, Glasgow and Essen have shown that the title is an excellent opportunity for urban regeneration, bringing creative and entrepreneurial opportunities and economic prosperity, international acknowledgement and recognition. The value of the title is even more important symbolically, as the capitals of culture emphasize the richness of European cultural diversity and a fresh look at common history and heritage. They foster mutual understanding and demonstrate how the universal language of creativity opens Europe to other cultures around the world.