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European Parliament agrees on European Capital of Culture extensions

The proposal pitched by the European Commission will extend the status of Rijeka and Galway as European Capitals of Culture well into 2021

  • November 01, 2020 15:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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As TheMayor.EU reported earlier this year, the European Commission had put forward a proposal to extend the status of Rijeka and Galway as European Capitals of Culture into 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Following a vote in the European Parliament, the proposal has now officially been adopted which would allow the two cities to benefit from the status and the related programmes and funding until April 2021.

Extraordinary decisions in unprecedented times

Following a debate and vote in the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education, MEPs endorsed the European Commission’s proposal for extending the status and Croatia’s Rijeka and Ireland’s Galway as European Capitals of Culture.

The decision reflects the realities faced by local administrations as they were forced to scrap large parts of their programmes and suspend their events due to circumstances completely outside of their control – namely the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Europe. Thus, the proposal put forward by the EU’s executive was greeted with open arms by city officials who have been eager to resume their operations as soon as humanly possible.

As quoted by CroatiaWeek, Zeljana Zovko, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on this issue, stated that “This decision offers the best solution for these cities to regain missed opportunities due to the corona crisis. Holding the status of European Capital of Culture should be seen as a privilege to promote the cultural scene of the region and European values by bringing together people and cultures. In close cooperation with the stakeholders involved, the European Union is willing to provide additional chances to the affected cities to realise these objectives in a sanitary safe but culturally enriching fashion.”

As part of the same proposals put forward by the Commission, future European Capitals of Culture will also have their timetables shift a bit – Serbia’s Novi Sad will take over the title from 2021 to 2022, while Timisoara in Romania and Elefsina in Greece will do so between 2021 and 2023.

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