We are running!

The City Council has almost unanimously approved the intention to seek the title of ECoC 2028.

The intention to seek the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) was approved almost unanimously by the city council on Monday, May 10th, 2021. Only two of the councilors present abstained. The vote in the city's highest authority confirmed broad support for the candidacy. This has already been declared by representatives of the South Bohemia Region, with which the city wants to conclude a memorandum of cooperation. The city's ambition to win the title is also supported by representatives of the cultural community and tourism entrepreneurs.
Such large support of councilors clearly shows that the candidacy has great potential. During the discussion, I was delighted by the desire of the representatives to win. We are patriots and such a title would definitely suit our town.
Jiří Svoboda Mayor of Budweis

The city of Budweis has prepared a number of cultural projects that we can link together this way. We have the hardware to which our candidacy for the ECoC can be the software.

Juraj Thoma

Deputy Mayor

"The approval of Budweis' candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2028 is great news and a huge boost for all those involved in culture and related sectors in our city. Budweis deserves to be placed on the pedestal of European culture, and with it the local organizers, creators and artists. I will personally do my best with my project, which stands at the intersection of culture, society and ecology, not only to support the great team that has formed around the candidacy, but also to be a dignified and representative part of the candidacy itself. Europe, get ready!," adds Dana Kalistová, founder of the re-use center Kabinet CB.

The Budweis 2028 association has begun preparing the documents for the application. The coordination and founding team is working intensively with the city council and other entities on the preparations. The vision of the coordinators is to participate as widely as possible in the preparation of the application. Public institutions, cultural and tourism entrepreneurs, as well as the general public are to be involved. In addition to the application, the preparations will also result in a long-term cultural strategy for the city. The City Hall also hopes to restart the culture and tourism sector which was deeply impacted by the pandemic. The South Bohemia Region is also ready to join the project.

I am glad for every action that is meaningful and has the ambition to move Budweis and, consequently, the entire South Bohemian Region forward. On behalf of the region, we are ready to join our city in winning the competition for the title of European Capital of Culture 2028.
Martin Kuba Governor of the South Bohemian Region

We are delighted with the overwhelming support across the political spectrum. It is good that there is a consensus. It gives us more energy to actively prepare and work with the cultural scene in Budweis."

Lukáš Černý.

Candidacy Manager, Budweis 2028 Association

The first meetings with all entities and individuals who are actively involved in culture and tourism in the regional city are currently underway. The organizers have received positive reactions from most of them and a great willingness to get involved in the preparations

The title of European Capital of Culture (ECoC) is awarded for one year by the European Union to two or more cities from different European countries. They have the opportunity to present their cultural life and development to Europe throughout the year.

Since 1985, more than 60 cities have been awarded the title, ranging from metropolises to towns of only ten thousand inhabitants (for example, Bad Ischl in Austria, with its 14,000 inhabitants, was awarded the title for 2024). In the Czech Republic, Prague won the title in 2000 and fifteen years later Pilsen won, beating Hradec Králové and Ostrava in the competition.
Before Budweis, Brno, Liberec and Broumov had already announced their intention to apply for the 2028 candidacy next year. The winner will be decided by an international jury in a two-round evaluation. The results of the first round should be known by January 2023 at the latest. The announcement of the winning city should take place by November 2023. (Deadlines updated according to the Ministry of Culture 20.1.2022.)

Pilsen European Capital of Culture 2015 / Sources: Depo2015, plzen.eu, Český Rozhlas Plzeň

Cities that have received the title in the past have not only seen a high number of visitors in the year of the celebration itself, but also a steady increase in the number overall. The title has had an impact on both the growth of sales in local businesses and the total number of jobs in the region.

To give you a better idea, in Pilsen in 2015 the title brought a total of 580 organized events, around 1.2 million visitors who in total spent over 560 million CZK, encompassing 255,000 overnight stays for hotels and 388 new jobs for the entire region.

Kaunas European Capital of Culture 2022 / Source: kaunas2022.eu

Petr Meškán

Updated 20. 1. 2022

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