One of the European Capitals of Culture in 2024 will again be from Estonia. Today, on November 29th, the Ministry of Culture and Association of Estonian Cities announced a competition to find this city.
In 2024, a total of three cities will bear the title of European Capital of Culture: one from Austria, another from a EFTA/EEA country, candidate country or potential candidate for EU membership, and the third from Estonia.
According to Kadri Jauram, Head of the Foreign Relations Department at the Ministry of Culture, all Estonian cities can apply. “In this competition winning cannot be the only objective. Most importantly, the application process provides an excellent opportunity to increase the importance of culture as a binding agent for all other fields of activity. This affords an opportunity to formulate long-term goals starting with urban planning and the distribution of investments, and ending with the inclusion of the communities in the decision-making process,” said Jauram. She added that creative and innovative cities are being increasing valued, since such activities are long term in nature and a measure that creates added value.
Toivo Riimaa, Deputy Director for International Relations at Association of Estonian Cities, added that participation in the application phase alone can be very instructive. “Compared to the competition that started in 2005, the openness of our cities in the context of the European Union has increased. In comparison to that experience, I dare to predict that we will have plenty of cities that aspire to be the capital of culture. This definitely requires an effort of the part of each city, but this will be rewarded by the benefits and attention that result from being in the European sphere of interest,” he noted.
The pre-selection from among all the Estonian cities that wish to become the Capital of Culture will be made in October 2018, and the final selection, that is, the Capitals of Culture 2024 will be named in the autumn of 2019 at the latest. The selection will be made by an independent expert commission that will include two representatives from Estonia. The application terms and conditions and other necessary information is available on the Ministry of Culture website here.
There has been a Capital of Culture in Estonia once before – Tallinn in 2011. At that time, the many events that united the community included the Youth Song and Dance Celebration called The Wide World Begins in a Small Land, and the unique hangars at the Seaplane Harbour were completed in the wake of Tallinn being named the Capital of Culture.
Head of the Foreign Relations Department, Ministry of Culture
Deputy Director, Association of Estonian Cities