Three cities, Debrecen, Veszprém and Győr, have been shortlisted to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture, organisers said.
The decision was made by a twelve-member international jury of independent experts in Budapest earlier this week. The remaining candidates are the eastern Hungarian Debrecen, the country’s second-largest city, which served twice as the nation’s capital; the beautifully renovated baroque city, Győr, in northwest Hungary; and one of the oldest urban areas, the ‘City of Queens’, Veszprém. Further applicants for the competition included Eger, Gödöllő, Székesfehérvár and Szombathely. Earlier this month, Debrecen’s Cultural Capital of Europe Brand Project received an award at Highlights of Hungary as one of the best creative projects of 2017.
The panel will make a recommendation for the Hungarian winner, to compete for the title with other EU cities in late 2018. As usual, the European Commission will then appoint two cities to be referred as the European Capitals of Culture in 2023. In 2010, the southern Hungarian city of Pécs was the European Capital of Culture.
Besides the Hungarian candidate, a city from the United Kingdom had been due to have one of its cities designated, but after Brexit, it is likely that the EU will not allow a British city to hold the title.
The European Capital of Culture initiative was designed to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe, celebrate the cultural features Europeans share, and foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities.