The independent selection panel responsible for assessing the Dutch cities competing for the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2018 met in Amsterdam today. The panel recommended that Leeuwarden should be selected. The other two cities in contention were Eindhoven and Maastricht. The formal nomination of Leeuwarden by the EU’s Council of Ministers will take place in May 2014. Valletta in Malta has already been selected as the other European Capital of Culture in 2018, announced the European Commission.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, stated: “I congratulate Leeuwarden on its successful bid. It was not an easy decision for the panel because the applications presented by all three cities were of very high quality. I am confident that Leeuwarden will develop an exciting programme of events with a strong European dimension, which will attract visitors from all over the world. I am also convinced that the title will bring Leeuwarden and its surrounding area significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits, as we have seen with previous European Capitals of Culture.“
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 2006 in a decision of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.
Malta organised its selection procedure one year ahead of the normal schedule, and the city of Valletta was officially designated as European Capital of Culture 2018 by the EU Council of Ministers in May 2013 .