Varna is running for European Capital of Culture in 2019
Varna is a front-runner for European Capital of Culture for 2019.
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension.
Preparing a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city's image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.
In 1985, former actress Melina Mercouri, then Greece’s Minister of Culture, and her French counterpart Jack Lang came up with the idea of designating an annual Capital of Culture to bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values.
The Commission of the European Union manages the title and each year the Council of Ministers of the European Union formally designates European Capitals of Culture: more than 40 cities have been designated so far.
An international panel of cultural experts is in charge of assessing the proposals of cities for the title according to criteria specified by the European Union.
A 2004 study conducted by Robert Palmer for the European Commission demonstrated that the choice of European Capital of Culture served as a catalyst for the cultural development and the transformation of the city. Consequently, the beneficial socio-economic development and impact for the chosen city are now also considered in determining the chosen cities.
List of European Cities/Capitals of Culture
2000: Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Helsinki, Krakow, Reykjavik, Prague, Santiago de Compostela.
2001: Porto and Rotterdam
2002: Bruges and Salamanca
2007: Luxembourg and Sibiu
2004: Genoa and Lille
2008: Liverpool and Stavanger
2009: Linz (Austria) and Vilnius (Lithuania)
2010: Essen for the Ruhr (Germany), Pécs (Hungary) and Istanbul (Turkey)
2011: Turku (Finland) and Tallinn (Estonia)
2012: Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia)
2013: Marseille (France) and Kosice (Slovakia)
2014: Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia)
2015: Belgium and the Czech Republic
2016: Spain and Poland
2017: Denmark and Cyprus
2018: Netherlands and Malta
2019: Italy and Bulgaria
The 2019 European Capitals of Culture will be officially nominated in May 2015.