European Capitals of Culture have already been designated until the title year 2027 and they are as follows:
- 2024: Bad Ischl (Austria), Tartu (Estonia) and Bodø (Norway)
- 2025: Chemnitz (Germany) and Nova Gorica (Slovenia)
- 2026: Oulu (Finland) and Trenčín (Slovakia)
- 2027: Liepāja (Latvia), Évora (Portugal, pending final endorsement by national authorities)
Ongoing competitions for future Capitals of Culture
Competitions are running for title-years 2028 and 2029.
In 2028, 3 cities will hold the title of European Capitals of Culture in the Czech Republic, France and in an EFTA/EEA country, a candidate country or a potential candidate to EU membership. The competition started in August 2021 in the Czech Republic, and in December 2021 in France and for cities from non-EU Member States.
The Czech Republic held its pre-selection meeting on 12-14 October 2022, with 2 cities short-listed:
- České Budějovice (Budweis)
The pre-selection meeting for the competition between cities in an EFTA/EEA country, a candidate country or a potential candidate took place on 16 December, with the following 2 cities short-listed:
The pre-selection meeting in France will take in late February/early March 2023.
In 2029, Poland and Sweden will both host a European Capital of Culture. Poland published its call in October 2022 and plans to have its pre-selection meeting in October 2023. Sweden published its call in December 2022 and will convene its per-selection meeting in early 2024.
How to apply
Competitions are organised at the national level with the publication of a call for submission of applications by the responsible authority (usually the national Ministry of Culture).
This new framework was amended in September 2017 by another Decision of the European Parliament and the Council.
This decision makes it possible for cities in EU candidate countries, potential candidates or members of the European Free Trade Association party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (so-called EFTA/EEA countries) to hold the title in 2021, 2024, 2028, 2030 and 2033.
These cities are selected through an 'open competition', meaning that cities from various countries may compete with each other.
Cities wishing to hold the European Capitals of Culture title should await the announcement of a competition in their own country, and then complete and submit a bid in response to the call for applications published.