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The Warsaw Voice » Society » February 4, 2009
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Vying to Be Capital of Culture
February 4, 2009   
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Seventeen Polish cities are planning to compete for the European Capital of Culture title in 2016. The list is unofficial for now, as formal applications will be accepted in the fourth quarter of this year. The aspiring cities include Warsaw, £ód¼, Wroc³aw and Gdańsk as well as regional cities such as Gorzów Wielkopolski and Gniezno. Cracow is not among the candidates, because it was the European Capital of Culture in 2000.

European Capitals of Culture have been selected since 1985. Under the current rules, in effect since the recent EU enlargements, every year the honorary title goes to two cities, one in the "old" EU and the other one in one of the new member states. This year, the European Capitals of Culture are Linz, Austria, and Vilnius, Lithuania and next year, they will be Essen, Germany, and Pecs, Hungary. In 2011, the title will go to Tallin, Estonia, and Turku, Finland. In 2016, the European Capital of Culture title will be granted to cities in Poland and Spain. The cities will be chosen by ministers of culture from all EU member states in 2012.

The European Capital of Culture project aims to strengthen cultural cooperation and encourage dialogue on the European level. The nominee cities have to prepare special 12-month agendas of cultural and artistic events.

The list of countries whose cities are nominated for the European Capital of Culture is full until 2019. The countries in 2012 will be Portugal and Slovenia, followed by France and Slovakia in 2013, Sweden and Latvia the year after and then Belgium and the Czech Republic. Poland and Spain will be succeeded by Denmark and Cyprus, the Netherlands and Malta and Italy with Bulgaria.
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