Valletta has been officially recognized as the European Capital of Culture for the year 2018!
‘Imagine 18’; the final product was submitted at 14.30hrs, after an international pane of cultural experts assessed Malta’s bid. A Dutch city, currently not known, will be sharing this prestigious honour.
Valletta presented its final bid to host the European Capital of Culture (EcoC) in 2018 on Friday 14th September.
The bid was prepared by the Valletta 2018 Foundation for the Valletta Local Council, and presented to the local Managing Authority for the ECoC, namely the Ministry for Toursim, Culture and the Environment.
The Maltese capital of Valletta was recommended today for the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018 by an independent selection panel. The formal nomination of Valletta by the EU's Council of Ministers will take place in May 2013.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, stated: "I congratulate Valletta on its successful bid. I am happy to see the enthusiasm generated in Malta for the European Capital of Culture title. I am confident that Valletta will develop an exciting programme of events with a strong European dimension and that the title can bring significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits for the city and its surrounding area. I wish every success to Valletta."
Bidding cities are assessed on the basis of criteria laid down by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. These criteria state that the cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension and foster the participation of citizens living in the city, its neighbourhood and the whole country.
The European dimension is reflected in the chosen themes and the way in which the events in the programme are organised. Cooperation between cultural operators in different EU countries is encouraged. The programme must also have a lasting impact and contribute to the long-term cultural and social development of the city.
The Netherlands and Malta are the two Member States hosting a European Capital of Culture in 2018. The list of countries hosting the title until 2019 was laid down in a decision of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers in 2006. The Commission recently proposed countries to host European Capitals of Culture after 2019.
Valletta was the only city to apply for the title in Malta. The application was examined by a panel made up of 13 independent cultural experts - six appointed by the Member State concerned and the remaining seven by the European institutions (see list of European members below). They assessed the application on the basis of the criteria laid down by the European Parliament and Council decision.
The pre-selection phase in the Netherlands will take place in November and the final selection round is planned for summer 2013. The two cities chosen (one per country) are then officially designated by the EU's Council of Ministers.
The members of the panel appointed by the European institutions are:
The Labour Party spokesperson for Youth and Culture Dr Owen Bonnici joins the Maltese and Gozitan people in expressing satisfaction for the Maltese capital city receiving this prestigious honour.
"PL has been working hand in hand with the government in promoting our culture and bids to continue to fully cooperate so as 2018 will be inscribed with golden letters in our country's cultural history," Dr Bonnici said.
The Labour Party congratulates the organisational committee led by Architect David Felice.