Are you a candidate city? If so, here you will find all the information and documents you need to successfully prepare your application.
Didn't find the answer to your question? In the Frequently Asked Questions, we collect all the general questions and answers from the candidate cities and publish them under the FAQs. The list will be updated as we receive new questions.
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This initiative was developed in 1985 and has, to date, been awarded to more than 60 cities across the European Union (EU) and beyond.
On December 1, 2023, the first Information Meeting took place at the Royal Library in Brussels.
In the morning, the European Commission gave a presentation on ECOC's objectives, criteria and procedures. In the afternoon, cities had the opportunity to meet two previous European Capitals of Culture and learn more about European funding with VLEVA.
To submit your candidacy you must use the common application form. This form can be found in Annex I of the Call for submission of application. There are different questionnaires for the pre-selection and final selection. The Call for submission is available in English, Dutch, French, and German.
Formal requirements for the questionnaires:
2 August 2024: Express your intention
One month before the pre-selection deadline, you must express your intention to submit as a candidate city by sending us an email no later than 17:00 on 2 August 2024.
2 September 2024: Pre-selection deadline
To submit your candidacy, you must send your application by email and hard copy.
Send 20 hard copies to the following address:
Secretariat of the ECOC 2030 BE Committee
Department of Culture, Youth and Media
Submit your application before 17:00 on 2 September 2024.
Each application will be evaluated based on the eligibility criteria, award criteria and exclusion criteria.
The award criteria are divided into six categories:
A detailed list of the criteria can be found in the Call for submission of applications.
The procedure for selecting a city as the next European Capital of Culture consists of two stages:
An international panel of 12 independent experts will assess each candidate city on the basis of the applications and hearings against the objectives and criteria of the European Capital of Culture. During the pre-selection stage, the panel will agree on a shortlist of candidate cities that will be invited to revise and complete their application for the final selection stage. During the final selection stage, the panel may visit the pre-selected cities.
After the final selection meeting, the panel will agree on the recommendation of one city for the title. Based on the panels recommendation, Belgium will designate one city to hold the title in 2030 and will notify the European Union.
The European Commission provides literature to help candidate cities prepare for candidacy.
Curious about the experiences of other European Capitals of Culture? The following website provides an overview of all European Capitals of Culture and some inside information: