Skip to main content
Culture and Creativity home page Culture and Creativity home page

Culture and Creativity

Published:  21 Feb 2024

2 cities shortlisted for European Capitals of Culture 2029 in Sweden

Kiruna and Uppsala have been shortlisted in the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2029 in Sweden.

Kiruna and Uppsala: shortlisted cities for the 2029 European Capitals of Culture in Sweden

A panel of 12 independent experts recommended the shortlist following a 1,5-day meeting in Stockholm. In 2029, Sweden will host the European Capital of Culture for the third time, after Stockholm in 1998 and Umea in 2014.

Sweden invited applications from interested cities in December 2022. Two cities submitted applications by the deadline of 2 January 2024: Kiruna and Uppsala.


Nestled in the northern reaches of Sweden, the small yet rapidly expanding mining city of Kiruna seeks to share its strong blend of Arctic and industrial narrative through creative experiences.


A city steeped in history and home to two world-class universities, Uppsala intends to explore the pivotal role of culture in the development of sustainable cities.

Being shortlisted for the title can result in significant cultural, economic and social benefits for the cities concerned, providing that their bid is part of a longer-term culture-led development strategy.

Once the relevant Swedish authorities formally endorse the panel's recommendation, the cities will have until the autumn 2024 to complete their applications. The panel will then meet again in December 2024 to recommend the Swedish city to become the European Capital of Culture 2029.

In the same year, there will also be another European Capital of Culture, in Poland where the cities of Bielsko–Biała, Katowice, Kołobrzeg and Lublin were shortlisted.

How cities become European Capitals of Culture

The selection procedure has 2 rounds:

  1. a pre-selection round, following which a shortlist of candidate cities is drawn up
  2. a final selection round approximately nine months later. The selected city is then officially designated by the Member State concerned.

A panel of 12 independent experts examine the applications. The European Union institutions and bodies appoint 10 experts and the other 2, by the relevant national authorities.

The cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension and must have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term development of the city. The cities must also show that they have the support from the relevant public local authorities and the capacity to deliver the project.


Born in 1985 from an idea of the then Greek Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the European Capitals of Culture have grown into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and one of the best known – and most appreciated – activities of the EU. Their objectives are to promote the diversity of cultures in Europe, to highlight the common features they share and to foster the contribution of culture to the long-term development of cities.

Tagged in:  Creative Europe
Published:  21 Feb 2024