35th Anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture Initiative

In 2020, the European Capitals of Culture initiative celebrates the 35th anniversary of the flagship cultural programme in European Union.

The foundation of what would later become the title „European Capital of Culture” was laid in 1985 by the then Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri. Athens was appointed the first „European City of Culture” in the same year. Since 1999 the programme’s name has been changed to the one we now know and use.

The purpose of the title „European Capital of Culture” is to emphasize the diversity of European culture and to draw attention to Europe's different communities with focus simultaneously on our cultural differences and similarities. The aim is to bring economic, political and social benefits both to the cities and countries, and to maintain the EU exchanges and interconnections.

The title „European Capital of Culture" is an instrument to place culture and art as a local and national priority as well as an opportunity to express identity. Read more here.

Visual identity developed by design studio Punkt ©



General partners

EU Japan Fest

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