Zovko asked Commissioner Schinas how the EU will support the extension of the status of the European Capitals of Culture 2020.
Brussels, 23 September 2020
Željana Zovko intervened in an exchange of views with Commissioner Margaritas Schinas during a meeting of the Committee on Culture and Education in the European Parliament. She asked Schinas about the Commission’s position on the extension of the status of the European Capitals of Culture 2020. Zovko, who is the rapporteur for this file wanted to know if the Commission plans to assist the affected cities an by which means.
While recognising the impact of the corona pandemic on the cultural and creative sector, Zovko expressed that this was also the case for the programmes of the European Capitals of Culture 2020. The pandemic caused the need for strong adaptation to the unprecedented situation. These changes affected the logistics of the programmes and investments could not be capitalised.
With the proposed extension of their status until the end of April 2021, The EU creates another chance to showcase the cultural traditions of these regions. Zovko stated that this opportunity comes with an increased organisational responsibility. Therefore she asked how the European Commission is planning to accommodate the concerns addressed by the stakeholders and whether there will be additional financial means or other support to cover the extension.
Commissioner Schinas replied that the proposal for the extension was made in close cooperation with the cities and governments involved and that there will be no additional funding since the programmes have not been fully enacted yet.
Both European Capitals of Culture 2020, Rijeka and Galway, were awarded the Melina Mercouri Prize. With this support with a value of 1,5 million euro, the European Commision commeded the preparatory work of the two cities towards the start of their programmes.