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Published:  28 Oct 2020

Chemnitz to be the European Capital of Culture 2025 in Germany

Chemnitz competed with Hannover, Hildesheim, Magdeburg and Nürnberg to be recommended to become the European Capital of Culture 2025 in Germany.

The chairperson of the European Capitals of Culture Expert panel announced on 28 October that the city of Chemnitz has been recommended for the European Capital of Culture 2025 title in Germany.

A panel of 12 independent experts assessing applications from 5 short-listed German cities recommended Chemnitz, at the outcome of a 2 and a half day long online meeting.

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

After Berlin in 1988, Weimar in 1999 and Essen for the Ruhr in 2010, Chemnitz will be the fourth city in Germany to host the European Capital of Culture title in 2025.

Hosting a European Capital of Culture is a wonderful opportunity for a city and its surrounding area to bring culture right to the heart of their various communities and for their citizens to discover the rich diversity of cultural expressions in the European Union and beyond.

Visitors from Europe and all over the world will also have the possibility to discover the city, its cultural assets and its creativity. Now, more than ever, developing European partnerships is essential to reinforce the sense of community and solidarity between our peoples.

I hope that Chemnitz will reap the long-term cultural, economic and social benefits that the European Capital of Culture title can bring.

About the selection process for the German city in 2025

In accordance with the Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council, which governs the European Capitals of Culture Union action, there will be two European Capitals of Culture in 2025: one in Germany and one in Slovenia.

Regarding the competition in Germany, the relevant German authorities invited applications from interested cities on 24 September 2018.

8 cities submitted applications by the deadline of 30 September 2019:

  • Chemnitz
  • Dresden
  • Gera
  • Hannover
  • Hildesheim
  • Magdeburg
  • Nurnberg
  • Zittau

The pre-selection meeting took place between 10 and 12 December 2019 and the following 5 cities were short-listed:

  • Chemnitz
  • Hannover
  • Hildesheim
  • Magdeburg
  • Nürnberg

Shortlisted candidates were able to complete their applications until 21 September 2020 and then were invited to a final selection meeting on 26-27 October.

A panel composed of 12 independent experts, 2 appointed by the relevant German authorities and 10 by EU institutions and bodies (European Parliament, Council, Commission and Committee of the Regions) examined the applications.

About the 2025 Slovenian selection process

The final selection meeting for the competition in Slovenia will take place on 16-18 December 2020, with 4 cities short-listed:

  • Ljubljana
  • Nova Gorica
  • Piran
  • Ptuj

How cities become European Capitals of Culture

According to the current scheme for designating the European Capitals of Culture, the selection 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 (one city is recommended for the title). The selected cities are then officially designated by the Member State concerned.

The selection criteria state that cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension, which fosters the participation of the city's stakeholders as well as its various neighbourhoods and attracts visitors from the whole country and Europe.

The programme 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.

The next European Capitals of culture

Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland) are the European Capitals of Culture in 2020.
Upcoming European Capitals of Culture are

  • 2021: Elefsina (Greece), Timisoara (Romania) and Novi Sad (Serbia),
  • 2022: Kaunas (Lithuania) and Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg)
  • 2023: Veszprém (Hungary)
  • 2024: Tartu (Estonia), Bad Ischl (Austria) and Bodø (Norway)

The effects of the coronavirus crisis have led the European Commission to propose that the 2020 and 2021 European Capitals of Culture extend or postpone their activities. The Commission’s proposal is now with to the European Parliament and the Council for consideration and final adoption.


Started in 1985, European Capitals of Culture have developed into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and one of the EU's most appreciated activities.

The goals of this initiative are more relevant than ever:

  • to provide Europeans with opportunities to learn more about each other's cultures
  • to enjoy their shared history and values
  • to experience the feeling of belonging to the same European community
  • to develop European cultural connections and partnerships
  • to underline the role of culture in the development of cities
Tagged in:  Creative Europe
Published:  28 Oct 2020