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Each year since 1985 the European Union designates one or more cities as a European Capital of Culture.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to
• Highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe
• Celebrate the cultural features Europeans share
• Increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area
• Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities
How does it work?
European Capitals of Culture are formally designated four years before the actual year. This long period of time is necessary for the planning and preparation of such a complex event. The panel, supported by the European Commission, has a continuing role during these four years in supporting European Capitals of Culture with advice and guidance and taking stock of their preparations.
At the end of this monitoring period, the panel will consider whether to recommend or not that the European Commission pays the Melina Mercouri Prize (currently €1.5m funded from the EU Creative Europe programme).

What has been done so far?
The initiative was developed in 1985 and has, to date, been awarded to more than 50 cities across the European Union.
A new framework for the initiative, post 2019, has been adopted by the European Parliament and Council in April 2014. It includes the chronological list of member states that can host the title from 2020 until 2033. Croatia and Ireland will host the event in 2020, and launched their respective competitions in June and December 2014.
This new framework makes it possible for a city in a candidate country or potential candidate for EU membership to hold the title every third year as of 2021. This will be selected through an open competition, meaning that cities from various countries may compete with each other. Galway is competing with Dublin, Limerick and the South East for the title.

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Galway is proud to be supporting the bid for Galway to become the Capital of Culture 2020.

Find out here how you can get involved