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Genoa shining bright during Christmas season, Source: European Capital of Christmas

Genoa and San Sebastian are the European Christmas Capitals for 2022

Genoa and San Sebastian are the European Christmas Capitals for 2022

The contest, established in 2017, sees the common ground between European and Christmas values

The European Capital of Christmas is a fairly new but prestigious award sponsored by the European Parliament, and its newest laureates are: Genoa (Italy) and San Sebastian/Donostia (Spain). The decision was made yesterday in Madrid, where the international jury of the competition met - chaired by José María Gil Robles, former president of the European Parliament.

The jury expressed great appreciation "for the high technical level of the projects presented, for the proposals and the commitment to pursue the European values ​​of Christmas, a moment of special significance in which the profound values ​​of integration, tolerance, coexistence and peace that are at the centre and at the origin of the European project are revealed.”

The recognition also boosts tourism to winning cities 

In that sense, the EU authorities seek to draw a parallel between European and Christmas values and it is, indeed, easy to see how these overlap.

The governments of the two cities were also happy to receive the recognition.

Laura Gaggero, the Genoese Councilor for Tourism, commented that the city has a strong tradition of nativity scene decorations and that the award will help make it a tourist destination all year round.

For her part, Marisol Garmendia, Council for Economic Impulse of San Sebastian said: “This distinction comes after the work in recent years to create a different Christmas for San Sebastián: supportive, inclusive, innovative, original and supporting local economic sectors such as commerce and hospitality. It is a recognition to be used to promote the city at Christmas and position it as a tourist destination. In addition, it gives us access to the Network of European Christmas cities with which we can exchange experiences, knowledge, etc.”

The jury added in their statement: “Promoting a destination for the European Capitals of Christmas means promoting peace, coexistence and harmony. A powerful element of integration and knowledge of Europe's values ​​among its citizens”.

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