The independent selection panel responsible for assessing the Bulgarian cities competing to be European Capital of Culture in2019 has recommended that Plovdiv should be awarded the title. The other three cities short-listed after the initial selection round in December 2013 were Sofia, Varna and Veliko Turnovo.
The formal nomination of Plovdiv by the EU’s Council of Ministers is expected to take place in May 2015.
Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner responsible for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, stated: “I congratulate Plovdiv both on its successful bid and also on being the first ever European Capital of Culture in Bulgaria. The competition was tough, with eight initial contenders narrowed down to four finalists.
I am confident that Plovdiv will enable visitors from Europe and all over the world to discover not only the city itself but also to appreciate the cultural diversity, history and values of our continent. I am convinced that the title will bring Plovdiv and its surrounding area significant long-term cultural, economic and social benefits, as we have seen with previous European Capitals of Culture.”
Following Umeå (Sweden) and Riga (Latvia) this year, Mons (Belgium) and Plzen (Czech Republic) will be European Capitals of Culture in 2015, Wrocław (Poland) and Donastia San Sebastián (Spain) in 2016, Aarhus (Denmark) and Paphos (Cyprus) in 2017 and Valletta (Malta) and Leeuwarden (Netherlands) in 2018.