European Capitals of Culture

European Capitals of Culture: an initiative putting culture at the heart of European cities with EU support for a yearlong celebration of art and culture. 

The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) initiative is designed to:

  • Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe 
  • Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share 
  • Increase European citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area 
  • Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities 

In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for: 

  • Regenerating cities
  • Raising the international profile of cities
  • Enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants 
  • Breathing new life into a city's culture 
  • Boosting tourism
Year City Links
2019 Matera, Italy Matera 2019
Plovdiv, Bulgaria Plovdiv 2019
2020 – 2021 Rijeka, Croatia Rijeka 2020
Galway, Ireland Galway 2020
2022 Kaunas, Lithuania Kaunas 2022
Esch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg Esch-sur-Alzette 2022
Novi Sad, Serbia Novi Sad 2021
2023 Veszprém, Hungary Veszprém 2023
Timișoara, Romania Timișoara 2023
Eleusis, Greece Eleusis 2023
2024 Tartu, Estonia Tartu 2024
Bad Ischl, Austria Salzkammergut 2024
Bodø, Norway Bodø 2024
2025 Nova Gorica, Slovenia - Gorizia, Italy joint bid GO! 2025
Chemnitz, Germany Chemnitz 2025
2026 Oulu, Finland Oulu 2026