The Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski, announced last week the invitation for the candidate cities to submit their applications to be named with the European Capital of Culture title in 2016. Katowice will rival Toruń, Lublin, Łódź, Warszawa, Poznań, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Szczecin and Białystok. The deadline for applications is 31st of August 2010. At the end of 2010 a short list of the cities which will qualify to the next stage of the competition will be published. The cities to be considered further will have 9 months to complete their applications.The final meeting of the selecting commission will be held in the third quarter of 2011. A 13-person selection panel, consisting of six national experts and seven experts nominated by the European institutions, will judge the candidates and announce the winning city in the second quarter of 2012. The winner will receive the Melina Mercouri Award of EUR 1.5 million from the European Union.
Annually there are chosen two European Union countries, from which the willing cities put forward their candidatures 9 years earlier. Among the submitted cities the commission chooses one from each country. The cities have to fulfil regulations described in the legal documentation of the EU law, i.e. promoting one’s own culture through an institution of the Ambassador of Culture – a creator who is strongly connected with a city, international cooperation, emphasising European values, and creating artistic movements that promote a region.
Those European cities that get the title of the European Capital of Culture have an opportunity to present throughout a whole year their historical and cultural heritage, as well as broadly understood promotion of the region and the country. Concerts, festivals and shows organized especially on this occasion attract an International audience. The title of the European Capital of Culture means not only prestige, but also financial profits for all the events are in 60 percent covered from the European funds.