This evaluation report considers the European Capital of Culture Action in the year 2010 including the cultural programmes of the three cities designated as European Capital of Culture (ECoC) for that year: Essen for the Ruhr (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul (Turkey). The evaluation considers the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of the 2010 ECoC throughout their “life-cycle”, i.e. from the preparation of their application, through the designation and development phase and up to the completion of their cultural programmes at the end of the title year. Consideration is also given to their likely sustainability and legacy. The evaluation also considers the relevance, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the ECoC Action as a whole. It builds on the recent evaluations of the 2007-08 and 2009 ECoC.