A panel of 12 independent experts recommended the shortlist following a 4-day meeting in Lisbon. In 2027, Portugal will host the European Capital of Culture for the fourth time, after Lisbon in 1994, Porto in 2001 and Guimarães in 2012.
Portugal invited applications from interested cities in November 2020. Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Funchal, Guarda, Leiria, Oeiras, Viana do Castelo, Ponta Delgada and Vila Real submitted applications by the deadline of 23 November 2021.
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 Portuguese authorities formally endorse the panel's recommendation, the cities will have until the autumn 2022 to complete their applications. The panel will then meet again in the end of 2022 to recommend the Portuguese city to become the European Capital of Culture 2027.
In the same year, there will also be another European Capital of Culture, in Latvia.
How cities become European Capitals of Culture
The selection procedure has 2 rounds:
- a pre-selection round, following which a shortlist of candidate cities is drawn up
- 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.