European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is an undertaking implemented and financed under the Creative Europe programme. The title of the European Capital of Culture was first awarded to Athens in 1985. The originator of the initiative and an active promoter of activities for the protection of cultural assets was the Greek Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri. Since the beginning, the objectives of the award have been to present and promote cultural and artistic achievements of a given city on the international arena, and to build a sense of belonging to the European cultural community, while taking care of maintaining diversity.
The idea of the European Capital of Culture is still evolving. Initially, the title was awarded to one city a year. An important moment in the history of the initiative was the year 2000, when, exceptionally, to celebrate the new millennium, as many as nine European cities, including Krakow, could enjoy this prestigious title. This event gave rise to new rules, which were the awarding of the title to two cities within the borders of the European Union. So far, the title of European Capital of Culture has been awarded to two Polish cities: Kraków in 2000 and Wrocław in 2016. Poland may now submit its city to the competition in 2023. Its winner will organize events in 2029. The Polish city will share the title with Sweden.