"European Capitals of Culture" have been around since 1985. Germany was represented so far with Berlin (west) 1988 and Weimar (1999), 2010 follows Essen. Since Tuesday, the European Capitals of Culture for 2012 and 2013 have also been finalized.
In 2012, Guimaraes in Portugal and Maribor in Slovenia will hold the coveted title. Marseille in France and Kosice in Slovakia follow the next year. A decision to this effect was taken by EU culture ministers in Brussels on Tuesday. They followed recommendations of an international jury. This year, Linz in Austria and Vilnius in Lithuania hold the title. In 2010 it will be the turn of Essen and the Ruhr area, Pecs in Hungary and Istanbul in Turkey. Turku in Finland and Tallinn in Estonia will follow in 2011.
Guimaraes and Marseil
Guimaraes, which currently has around 160.000 inhabitants is considered the birthplace of Portugal, the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The goal is to renew the urban fabric of the city and improve encounters between artists and residents, says Portuguese Culture Minister Jose Antonio Pinto Ribeiro. Maribor in Slovenia, with about 90.000 inhabitants, it is the country's second-largest city and a cultural crossroads with the Balkans. Under the motto "Pure Energy", the importance of culture as a creative force should be emphasized in 2012, said the Slovenian representative in the EU Council of Ministers. Marseille, probably in the 7. Founded as a Greek trading settlement in the pre-Christian century, it now has more than 800.000 inhabitants and is the second largest city in France. Another 500 live in the metropolitan area around the Mediterranean port city.000 people. The goal in 2013, he said, is to establish the city as a "laboratory" for Euro-Mediterranean relations. Kosice has about 230.000 inhabitants and is the center of eastern Slovakia near the border with Hungary. State Secretary for Culture Ivan Secik said that as a cultural capital, Maribor wanted to show that even small countries have their own culture. "European Capitals of Culture" have existed since 1985. Germany has so far been represented by Berlin (West) in 1988 and Weimar (1999). The cities must present a specific cultural program for the year they are designing. This program should also have a lasting impact on the cultural, economic and social development of the city. EU Culture Commissioner Jan Figel said the European Capital of Culture program is the flagship of EU cultural policy. For more than 20 years, the project has been promoting European encounters and cultural exchange in Europe.