European Parliament adopts with 689 votes Zovko’s report on the extension of the European Capitals of Culture 2020

Brussels, 17 December 2020,


The European parliament adopted with 689 votes the report on the Union action for the European Capitals of Culture for the years 2020-2033. With this vote, members gave their final green light for the possibility to extend the status of Rijeka and Galway as European Capital of Culture 2020 to the end April 2021. The new cultural capitals planned for 2021 will be postponed to 2022 and 2023. Rapporteur of the report, Željana Zovko applauds the adoption in the plenary session and said the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council can enter into force before the end of the year.

Zovko emphasised that this report is of great importance for the cultural sector in the affected cities. “The European Capital of Culture action, celebrates the European cultural diversity. We promote traditions and cultural heritage and we offer a stage for local creative projects.” Zovko said. “Unfortunately, both Rijeka and Galway were severely affected by the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” She stated that many events had to be cancelled or postponed and the organizers could not capitalize their preparatory work.

In close cooperation with cities affected, the European Union took its responsibility to support the cultural sector in the pandemic and presented this proposal offering another chance to realise their objectives in a sanitary safe but culturally enriching fashion. During the preparation of the report, Zovko aimed to coordinate the best solution possible. She held an exchange of views with Commissioner Schinas and closely communicated with the Council of the European Union on the way forward. After a compromise agreement was proposed, the European Parliament adopted the text in the Committee of Culture and Education early December. The vote today confirms the European message of support the European Capitals of Culture.

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