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Every year since 1985, the European Union is designating one or more city(ies) as “European Capital(s) of Culture” (ECoC) for a duration of 12 months during which an active programme of cultural events is organised.

This successful initiative is designated too:

  • 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 also 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

Some non-EU countries, in particular EU candidate countries, are also invited to apply for the ECoC programme. Novi Sad in Serbia has been selected to be the European Capital of Culture in 2021.