On the website of the European Union, that is, the European Commission, in the section on culture and creativity, it is announced that two cities have been shortlisted to become the European capital of culture in 2028 as candidate countries.
The holder of the application is the public institution Universal Hall, and the project is financed by the City of Skopje. For the first time in 2014, the City of Skopje announced the idea of a candidacy for the title of European Capital of Culture as part of the city’s European integration efforts. Skopje is the capital of a country with multi-year candidate status for EU membership.
“Budva and Skopje have been shortlisted in the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture for 2028 in EFTA/EEA countries, a candidate country or a potential candidate. A panel of 10 independent experts proposed the shortlist at the one-day online meeting,” the statement said.
Shortlisting for the EPK 2028 title can result in significant cultural, economic and social benefits for cities, provided their bid is guided by a long-term development strategy for culture.
Cities have until June 2023 to complete their applications. The panel will meet in September 2023 to select and propose a city to become the third European Capital of Culture from an EFTA/EEA country after EPK Novi Sad (Serbia) in 2022 and EPK Bodø (Norway) in 2024.
In the same year, there will be two more European Capitals of Culture, one in the Czech Republic (Bromuv and Budweiser were shortlisted in October 2022) and one in the Republic of France (the selection for French cities will take place in early March 2023 ).
How do cities become European capitals of culture?
The selection procedure is carried out in 2 rounds:
- Pre-election round, after which a short list of candidate cities is drawn up;
- Nine months later – final election round.
For the competition between cities in an EFTA/EEA country, a candidate country or a potential candidate participating in the Creative Europe programme, a panel of 10 independent experts appointed by the institutions and bodies of the European Union evaluates the applications and proposes a shortlist, and in the second round they propose the selected city to the European Commission. The selected city is then officially designated by the European Commission.
The cities that will submit an application should prepare a cultural program with a strong European dimension, and they must have a lasting impact and contribution to the long-term development of the city. Cities must also demonstrate that they have the support of the relevant public local authorities and the capacity to implement the project (team and infrastructure).
The idea of EPK was initiated and started in 1985 at the suggestion of the then Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri (actress).
The European Capital of Culture has grown into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and has become one of the most well-known and appreciated activities of the EU. The aim of the EPK is to promote the diversity of cultures in Europe, to highlight commonalities and to encourage the contribution of culture to the long-term development of cities.