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Kaunas to be the European Capital of Culture 2022 in Lithuania

 

There will be two European Capitals of Culture in 2022: one in Lithuania and one in Luxembourg. Kaunas has been recommended for European Capital of Culture 2022 in Lithuania by the selection panel of independent experts responsible.

 

© 2016 Kaunas 2022

 

The selection criteria state that cities should prepare a cultural programme with a strong European dimension. The programme should involve city's residents, stakeholders and neighbourhoods and attract visitors from the whole country and Europe. The programme should contribute to the long-term development of the city. The cities must demonstrate that they are supported by the public local authorities and have the capacity to deliver the project.

 

The Culture Ministry of the Republic of Lithuania invited applications from interested cities in July 2015. Six cities applied and the pre-selection meeting took place in June 2016, when Kaunas and Klaipėda were shortlisted. They were given until February 2017 to complete their applications and then invited to a final selection meeting in Vilnius on 29 March. The applications were examined by a panel composed of 10 independent experts appointed by EU institutions and bodies. The results were announced on 29 March. With this title, Kaunas wants to create a unifying identity and become a 'Contemporary Capital': a "City which is open, democratic and relevant to contemporary audiences, engaging and inclusive, creative and innovative. It is a City, which acknowledges its complicated past and its legacy, and moves towards new visions for the future" (Kaunas' bid book).

 

A Culture for Cities and Regions coaching visit took place in Kaunas in December 2016, where one of  the objectives was to help the city make the current preparation of both a local cultural strategy and the European Capital of Culture bid a unique opportunity to use creativity as a local driver for action and to develop a clear long term cultural vision. Kaunas is developing this ambitious cultural strategy, and the preparation of the European Capital of Culture 2022 bid provided momentum for the city to develop its cultural vision. The strategy is part of a wider process aiming to make the city attractive and retain inhabitants, by betting on Kaunas key assets: architecture and design. You can read more about the conclusions from the coaching team here

 

More information: Kaunas' selection for the European Capital of Culture title (European Commission website here), and Kaunas 2022 website

 

 

Cécile Houpert