European Capitals of Culture

This flagship cultural initiative of the European Union, possibly the best known and most appreciated by European citizens, was developed in 1985 and has been since then awarded to more than 50 cities across Europe.

The overall goal is to highlight the diversity European cultures as well as what they have in common and contribute to a better understanding of the citizens of Europe for one another.

Hosting the European Capital of Culture year offers the designated city an opportunity to showcase its cultural life and cultural development, generate considerable social and economic benefits, foster urban development, change the city's image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale.

European Capitals of Culture in Austria
Graz 2003
Linz 2009
2024 (together with Estonia and an EU candidate country)

European Capitals of Culture

2015: Mons (Belgium) and Pilsen (Czech Republic)
2016: Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain) and Wroclaw (Poland)
2017: Aarhus (Denmark) and Pafos (Cyprus)
2018: Valletta (Malta) and Leeuwarden (Netherlands)
2019: Matera (Italy) und Plowdiw (Bulgaria)



Elisabeth Pacher
Federal Chancellery
II/10/a: Creative Europe Desk Austria
Concordiaplatz 2,
1010 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 1 531 15-203692