Interested cities attend information meeting on European Capital of Culture 2020

Representatives from a number of Irish locations vying to host the European Capital of Culture 2020 have today (Monday) attended an information briefing hosted by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the European Commission in Dublin.


The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, last month announced an open competition to select an Irish city as European Capital of Culture 2020. Interested cities must make an application by October 17th 2015. A shortlist will then be drawn up, and the shortlisted cities will have a further nine months in which to develop and refine their applications. Both the shortlisted cities and the final winner will be selected by an international Expert Panel.


Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“Hosting the European Capital of Culture is a fantastic opportunity for Ireland to showcase its wonderful culture and boost tourism. This opportunity only comes around every 15 years or so, so it is essential that Irish cities are armed with all of the information necessary to put together the best possible bid.


“Interested cities will enter an intensive preparation period in the coming months, before submitting their initial application by mid-October

. I expect to be in a position to announce a shortlist of finalists later this year. I am encouraged by the level of interest and enthusiasm which is already evident, and I would like to wish all interested cities well with their bids.”


Local authority representatives from Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Louth, Waterford and Wexford attended today’s information session, where a representative from the European Commission outlined the selection process involved.


Cities will have to meet a variety of criteria focussed on:

  • Contribution to long term strategy: the plan for the Capital of Culture should contribute to the long term cultural, economic and social development of the city.
  • European dimension: the plan should show strong cultural connectivity with Europe
    Cultural and artistic dimension; a high quality of cultural and artistic content is required
  • Capacity to deliver: there should be evidence that there is broad political support and adequate infrastructure in place
  • Outreach: there should be a strategy for audience development and community involvement
  • Management: budgetary, management and delivery structures must be robust


Ireland will make its designation for the European Capital of Culture based on the Expert Panel’s final recommendation. The designation is expected to be announced in July/September 2016.



Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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