The title of European Capital of Culture was conceived in 1985 for the purpose of bringing European peoples together by utilizing cultural assets and improving the knowledge that European citizens have of each other, thus encouraging a sense of belonging to the same community.
A city is not designated European Capital of Culture solely on the basis of what it has done in the past but mostly for the programme of cultural events that it intends to realise during the designated year.
In this period the city is invited to make the most of its distinguishing features and demonstrate its creativity.
The cultural heritage and life of the past are important elements, but they represent only a starting point for improving cooperation in the cultural sector and promoting dialogue at the European and international levels.
The Council of the European Union is the institution qualified to assign the title that is conferred for one year. Starting in 2011 and on the basis of a new ruling, every year two cities will be selected from two European countries: the turn of Italy will be in 2019 together with Bulgaria.
In November 2012 a national competition was announced and the candidatures of cities interested have to be applied by September 20th in 2013.
The project will be examined by a commission consisting of 13 members: six Italian experts and seven appointed by European institutions. The commission will make a first selection of cities which will then have a few months in which to develop and work out the program, and finally to present a detailed dossier based on which a second meeting of the commission will make a final selection.
At the end of 2014, presumably, the choice will be made and the Council of the European Union will officially designate the city which will hold the title for Italy.
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