Capital of Culture: There are candidates, but procedure has not yet been opened

Eight Portuguese cities have expressed their intention to apply for the European Capital of Culture 2027, having already advanced some details of their strategic plans, but no application has been submitted, because the formal procedure has not yet been opened.

The mayors of Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria and Oeiras city councils have already announced that they will advance with the candidacy for European Capital of Culture in 2027, the year in which Portugal was the chosen country, alongside Latvia, to choose a city.

In the past, Portugal received the title three times, for the city of Lisbon, in 1994, of Porto, in 2001, and of Guimarães, in 2012.

Despite the interest expressed by the mayors, who have even advanced some ideas and names of nominee commissioners, the process has not yet progressed, because the necessary call for applications has not yet been published, according to the Cultural Strategy, Planning and Evaluation Office ( GEPAC).

Candidates will be evaluated by a panel of judges, from among the various European bodies, from which a short list of three candidates will emerge.

From that moment on, the chosen candidates will have about a year to better prepare their application, according to the panel’s recommendations, and then the winner will leave.

According to the decision of the European Parliament and the Council, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, the award of the title should be based on a cultural program with a strong European dimension.

This cultural program should be part of a long-term strategy with a sustainable impact on local economic, cultural and social development.

The evaluation criteria for applications include six categories: “contribution to the long-term strategy”, “European dimension”, “cultural and artistic content”, “execution capacity”, “projection” and “management”.

Each Member State is responsible for organizing the competition between its cities, according to the calendar, with interested cities having a deadline to submit applications at least ten months after the publication of the call for proposals.

It is then up to the Member States to notify the Commission of their applications.

The European Capital of Culture is a community initiative, which started in 1985 and aims to promote cultural dynamism and quality of life in different cities in Europe every year.

Last Friday, seven of the eight cities that declared themselves candidates for the European capital of culture 2027 (Aveiro indicated that they could not be present) met at the Museum of Portimão to discuss points in common in the different processes, and considered the support essential Government for the success of the candidacy.

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