Benefits accruing to former European Capitals of Culture

Designation as a European Capital of Culture can offer many benefits to a city, from the cultural, social as well as the financial point of view, both in the year of its designation as well as in subsequent years. It is a unique opportunity to revitalise the cities and change their image. It affords them the opportunity to become better known, both on a European as well as an international scale, a fact which can assist in the development of tourism.

A study by an independent expert of cities designated as European Capitals of Culture over 1995 to 2004, shows that 80% of those who were responsible for the organisation of the events and who replied to the study believe that it is the most useful cultural event for the cities, and that it promotes their development.

In accordance with the evaluation of certain previous European Capitals of Culture, every Euro invested in the event yields 8 to 10 Euro. As a result, the programme can contribute to development as well as to employment.

Within this frame it is useful to note that the sector of “culture and creativity” play an important economic and social role in Europe: the sector has contributed 2.3% of GDP of the EU30 countries during 2003.

Benefits for Culture
New audience for cultural events
Increased cultural activity
New infrastructure for culture
New know-how for management of cultural events
Increased international exposure of cultural institutions

Economic benefits
Revitalisation and urban development
Tourism: an increase of 12% on average compared to previous year
A chain of benefits to other sectors
An improvement of the image of the city, a “creative” city

Social benefits
Social cohesion and intercultural dialogue
Programmes for children, the young and the elderly, minorities, people with special needs
Programmes for volunteers


The title is awarded for one year, exclusively to cities of European Union Member States.