European Capital of Culture is the city selected by the European Union, which for the period of one year becomes the cultural centre of Europe. For a year, the designated capital of culture has an opportunity to present a cultural potential not only of the city but also of the entire region and the country.
The city, which by way of a multi-level contest obtains the title of European Capital of Culture, becomes a truly European city. This is due to the fact that the ECC is, above all, an initiative that was created in order to strengthen integration in Europe.
Cities wishing to apply for the title of European Capital of Culture must show its European character and its inhabitants must prove that they are citizens of the united Europe. Culture is an excellent instrument that can be used in the implementation of the idea of European integration and projects run within ECC programme should reflect the Community spirit and co-existence of diverse cultures in Europe.
The idea of the ECC has continuously developed since 1985 and today it is one of the most known initiatives of the European Commission. Studies, which were conducted by the EC, as to how the initiative was received by the Europeans show that it had a positive impact on development of culture and tourism in specific cities, and, what is important, it triggers social energy, the feeling of pride and co-responsibility in people who live in the candidate cities.
Each year the title of European Capital of Culture is given to different cities. One Polish city was granted the honour to be European Capital of Culture 2016.
For more information see ECC 2016.