The process in preparation for the European Capital of Culture 2031 in Malta has been launched. This was announced at a seminar on the subject, held at Teatru Manoel, addressing local government regional presidents and organisations from different regions. This process is being led by the Valletta Cultural Agency.
Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government José Herrera stated that, “The European Capital of Culture is another important mark of excellence for the island. This is undoubtedly an opportunity for our country to bring to the forefront and exhibit local talent. Our culture is a mirror of society and we therefore are and need to ensure that at no point and at no time do we see the creative industry collapse due to the present situation but we need to continue generating growth and sustaining this industry which is so important for the island”.
Valletta Cultural Agency Chairman Jason Micallef said that, “Satisfied and proud of our experience in 2018, the Valletta Cultural Agency has all the necessary experience to lead this process and see that it reaches the European Commission successfully”.
Valletta Cultural Agency CEO Catherine Tabone said: “As evidenced by Valletta 2018, the European Capital of Culture is an excellent opportunity for regenerating cities, while boosting tourism and providing high-level opportunities for artists and creatives.”
Following Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture, a city in the Maltese islands will be named European Capital of Culture 2031, according to a schedule established by the European Commission. The first local phase of the project invites towns to prepare and submit their initial proposal by means of a local expression of interest between January and March 2021.
As per the Creative Europe’s European Capital of Culture Programme, the initiative is designed to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe; celebrate the cultural features Europeans share; increase European citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area; and foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities.
The process of initial submissions is being led by the Valletta Cultural Agency which was established as a legacy of the Valletta 2018 Foundation. Part of the agency’s remit, as set out by LN 427 of 2018 is, ‘to coordinate the bidding process for the next European Capital of Culture title for the Maltese Islands’.
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one year during which it is given a chance to showcase its cultural life and cultural development. Several European cities have used the Capital of Culture year to transform their cultural base completely, and in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally.