Banja Luka, Bodø and Mostar have been shortlisted in the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2024 in a city from an EFTA/EEA country, a candidate country or a potential candidate to EU membership.
A panel of independent experts who were evaluating applications from five competing cities made the recommendation at the outcome of a 2-day meeting in Brussels, after which they decided that Bodo will be European Capital of Culture 2024.
A panel composed of 10 independent experts appointed by the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions examined the applications. The selection procedure has two rounds: a pre-selection round, following which candidate cities are shortlisted, and a final selection round nine months later when one city is recommended for the title.
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said:
“In 2024, we will once again have a European Capital of Culture beyond the European Union. After Novi Sad (Serbia) in 2021, it will be the turn of Bodø to be under the spotlight for a year. I am convinced that the city and its region will use this opportunity to reinforce their cultural and other connections with the European Union. I hope that this title will also boost the city’s cultural vibrancy and ambitions, bring culture and cultural heritage right to the heart of its various communities and promote intercultural dialogue in the region. Visitors from all over Europe and beyond will have the possibility to discover the city and its cultural assets, but also to appreciate the diversity of cultures on our continent. I am confident that Bodø will reap the long-term cultural, economic and social benefits that the European Capital of Culture title can bring.“
Born in 1985 from an idea of the then Greek Minister of Culture, Melina Mercouri, the European Capitals of Culture have grown into one of the most ambitious cultural projects in Europe and one of the best known – and most appreciated – activities of the EU. Their objectives are to promote the diversity of cultures in Europe, to highlight the common features they share and to foster the contribution of culture to the long-term development of cities.
European Capitals of Culture also contribute to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage as they also celebrate Europe’s great achievements in arts, as well as to our traditions and values. Both the European Capitals of Culture and the European Year of Cultural Heritage are unique opportunities to safeguard and promote Europe’s cultural diversity, highlight common values and foster the contribution of culture to European societies and economies.