Procedure for designation as a European Capital of Culture

The Council of Ministers of the European Union is the only competent Institution with the authority for the awarding of the title of European Capital of Culture. The title is awarded exclusively to cities of European Union member states, for one year.

The European Commission, and specifically the Directorate General for Education and Culture monitors the selection procedure.

The 27 member states of the European Union are called upon to host the European Capital of Culture programme, by rotation from 2005 to 2019. Every year, two member states amongst the 27 may host the event. Consequently, from 2011 two cities may be declared as European Capitals of Culture for a particular year.

For 2017 one Cypriot and one Danish city shall be selected as European Capitals of Culture, and the procedure for their selection and proclamation is as follows:

Pre-selection stage
Six years before the commencement of the event, the interested member states publish an invitation for the submission of candidacies, which they address to the cities which may be interested in the title. The cities then have ten months in which to submit a comprehensive programme of events planned for the whole year. The pre-selection period for cities in Cyprus ends in October 2011.

A selection panel meets in each interested member state. This panel is comprised of thirteen members: six experts appointed by the member state and seven appointed by European Institutions. The seven “European” experts accompany the “national” experts in each of the two interested member states in order to evaluate the various candidacies on the basis of specific targets and criteria which must be fulfilled. The experts which are appointed at a national level, do not necessarily need to be citizens of the particular member state.

The selection panel draws up a list of pre-selected cities which are referred for further evaluation, at the same time expressing their recommendations regarding the required progress and further development.

Selection phase
These short-listed cities will then have several months at their disposal in which to further develop their programme. This detailed dossier, which must contain specific required information, is presented at the second meeting of the relevant selection panel in the corresponding member state.

This meeting takes place nine months after the pre-selection meeting. The panel proposes one city for each interested country and supplies advice and recommendations with regard to the continuation of the preparations. The selection period for the cities of Cyprus ends in September of 2012.

On the basis of the reports of the home country selection panel, each of the member states submits a nomination to the European Institutions.

The Council of Ministers of the European Union, acting on the basis of the recommendation of the Committee which is drafted in accordance with the report of the selection panel, shall proclaim the two cities, one in Cyprus and one in Denmark, as European Capitals of Culture for 2017. The notification of the selected cities will take place in December 2012, and their official proclamation around March of 2013.


Our ambition is that the for the European Capital of Culture for 2017 programme, be written in the annals of the history of Limassol.