The European Capital of Culture as an "institution"

The “institution” of the European Capital of Culture was created with the aim of contributing to the bringing together of the peoples of Europe. With this in mind, and on the initiative of Melina Merkouri, it was established by the council of Ministers of the European Union in June 1985. Since then, the institution has attracted many supporters, knowing ever greater success amongst Europeans. The institution is also noteworthy for its cultural and socioeconomic benefits.

Over the years, the institution has evolved, without however losing sight of its initial aim which is the highlighting and promotion of the wealth and diversity of the culture of the peoples of Europe and their common attributes, a chance for European citizens to get to know each other better, and the consolidation in their subconscious that they belong to the same “European” community.

The European Capital of Culture initiative is one of the most noteworthy and prominent European cultural events. It is significant in terms of scale as well as scope, and as a consequence the prerequisites for the awarding of the title are high both from the artistic as well as from the cultural point of view.


This is a unique opportunity for the revitalisation of the cities, the enhancement of their image, and affords them the opportunity to become better known, both on a European as well as an international scale.