The chairperson of the European Capitals of Culture Expert panel announced on 18 December 2020 that the city of Nova Gorica has been recommended for the European Capital of Culture 2025 title in Slovenia. A panel of twelve independent experts assessing applications from 4 shortlisted Slovenian cities recommended Nova Gorica at the outcome of a 2 and half day online meeting.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
"Congratulations to Nova Gorica, its public authorities, its cultural institutions and its inhabitants on winning the national competition to become European Capital of Culture in 2025. It will be the second Slovenian city, after Maribor in 2012, to hold this title. Hosting a European Capital of Culture is a great opportunity for a city and a region to boost their cultural ambitions, to bring culture close to the heart of their communities and to learn more about each other – and about themselves. Next to Chemnitz in Germany, Nova Gorica will form a dynamic duo that will make the most of this title and ensure its long-term cultural, economic and social benefits.”
The selection process for the Slovenian 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 2 European Capitals of Culture in 2025: 1 in Germany and 1 in Slovenia.
Regarding the competition in Slovenia, the relevant Slovenian authorities invited applications from interested cities in February 2019.
6 cities submitted applications by the closing date of 31 December 2019:
- Nova Gorica
The pre-selection meeting took place on 25-26 February 2020 and, at a press conference on 27 February, four cities were shortlisted:
- Nova Gorica
Shortlisted candidates were able to complete their applications until 24 November 2020 and then were invited to a final selection meeting that took place between 16 and 18 December.
A panel composed of 12 independent experts, 2 appointed by the relevant Slovenian authorities and 10 by EU institutions and bodies (European Parliament, Council, Commission and Committee of the Regions), examined the applications.
The European Capital of Culture 2025 in Germany
The final selection meeting for the competition in Germany took place between the 26 and 27 October. The expert panel recommended the city of Chemnitz for the European Capital of Culture 2025 in Germany.
How cities become European Capitals of Culture
According to the current scheme for designating the European Capitals of Culture, the selection has two rounds:
- a pre-selection round (following which a shortlist of candidate cities is drawn up)
- 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 across 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 the European Parliament and the Council for consideration and final adoption is expected to take place before the end of 2020.
Since 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