The European Capital of Culture is a pathway leading to change, an exercise playground for the future, our opportunity to become what we really are.
Initiated in 1985 out of an idea of Melina Mercouri, this EU project aims to bring together European citizens, underlining differences and shared values of the various cultures scattered across the continent, thus favouring a sense of belonging to a community which is "united in diversity", as stated in the Union's motto. So far over 30 cities have been awarded this prestigious title, which not only attracts the attention of the media and professionals, but also triggers positive processes in terms of change and enhancement of a city's identity.
A city is not awarded this title because of its historical, artistic or environmental heritage, but because of its ability to raise a renewed cultural interest, while paying attention to its own urban and productive fabric.
The city is therefore invited to promote its peculiarities and show its creativity.
A candidate city's plan needs to comply with two criteria: the European dimension and the relationship between the city and its citizens, who are called upon to have an active and long-lasting role in the cultural development of the city.
The title of European Capital of Culture may serve as a tool to bring about change, provided that the local authorities and communities are truly committed to it.
It provides the government and the communities with the opportunity to thrive together, in order to achieve a medium or long-term goal. This requires a constant dialogue, which is an essential component in this process activation. The candidacy is the beginning of a journey, a playground for the future, a dream, a laboratory of ongoing and future experiments, and an opportunity to become what we are, if we really want to.
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