European Capitals of Culture 2022

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As many as three cities, Novi Sad in Serbia, Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg and the Lithuanian Kaunas, will be named the European Capitals of Culture in 2022.

Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania and its former capital. Situated on the right bank of the Nemunas, at the mouth of the Neris River, it has always been a strategic point, and today it is a place where tradition collides with modernity.

Esch is a vibrant centre of innovation, a region that was once driven by a unique industrial tradition and is now turning into a future-oriented centre of knowledge and innovative and creative technologies. At the same time, it remains faithful to its unique identity, which is made up of deeply ingrained cultural diversity with a strong sense of belonging and community.

Novi Sad is located in northern Serbia and is the country's second largest city. Founded in 1694 as a settlement linked to the construction of the Petrovaradin Fortress, a defensive structure on the bank of the Danube, it is a place with complex history, known for its specific, multicultural climate and rich cultural offer. Today, Novi Sad is growing rapidly, both in the industrial and service sectors, but also as an information technology centre.

The European Capital of Culture programme aims to promote the richness and diversity of cultures and to strengthen the citizens' sense of belonging to a common European culture. The choice of a given city as the European Capital of Culture has a long-term and multidimensional impact not only on culture, but also on the social and economic situation of both the city itself and the entire region.

The idea to use culture to integrate Europeans more deeply was born on June 13, 1985 during a meeting of the Council of the European Union. The European Cities of Culture initiative quickly caught on in Europe, and the Greek city of Athens was the first European City of Culture.

To obtain the title, candidate cities must meet a number of conditions specified in EU legal acts. Among the requirements is to promote the city’s own culture through the institution of the Cultural Ambassador, i.e. an artist with strong links to the city, through international cooperation, emphasising European values and conducting cultural activities promoting the city and the region. From Poland, two cities have obtained this title so far: Krakow in 2000 and Wrocław in 2016.

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