There is a large consensus that the European Capitals of Culture (ECoC) have become one of the most ambitious cultural events in Europe and probably one of the most appreciated initiative by European citizens. The current European Capitals of Culture scheme lasts until 2019.
The European Commission has published an updated roadmap on the future of the ECoC beyond 2019. Regarding the political and legislative framework, four policy options are illustrated and an initial impact assessment is provided:
No action: no future ECoC will be designated beyond 2019 and the action stops. The result will be the loss of the cultural, social and economic benefits which the title has on most of concerned cities.
No change: the action continues with an identical legal base to the current one. With the no change scenario there will be any possibility to improve the process and address operational weaknesses encountered so far.
New legal basis with a rotation among Member States for the attribution of the title. This option would enable the weaknesses encountered with the current legal base to be addressed but it would require a slight increase of the EU contribution.
New legal basis with an open competition at European level instead of the rotation among Member States. The open competition for the ECoC title would ensure the selection of only the very best candidates at European level. The negative impact is the loss of territorial balance in the spread of ECoC across the EU.
The Roadmap provides further information on the ECoC initiative: how it relates to other EU policies, which are the results of the analysis of the existing policy and which are the main problems to be addressed.
The document is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/governance/impact