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Race hots up to win title of European City of Culture



Montpellier, France has entered the race to be a European City of Culture by 2025.

It is one of ten French cities that are competing for the prestige award. A delegation from Montpellier, as well as Sete, which supports the initiative, visited Brussels this week to lobby support.

A high-ranking delegation representing the two cities met with officials from the European parliament, European commission and Committee of the Regions on Tuesday 27 September. Philippe LegliseCosta, France’s EU Ambassador, was also present.

Michael Delafosse described the meeting as a productive telling of this website. He said that the feedback on our bid was very encouraging and positive.

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“The people we met were kind to us and our candidacy. The commission is working to get our bid in order.”

He believes his city will be a success if it succeeds. He also said, “It could create many jobs in the creative sector as well as tourism.” It is now up to everyone to unite behind us.

In the first half next year, a formal bid will be submitted. The initial ten cities will then be reduced to four and a final candidate selected at the end next year.


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European Capitals of Culture were already designated up to the title year 2026. The responsible authority will publish a call for applications and organize competitions at the national level.

A year-long celebration of culture and art in European cities, supported by the EU.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative (ECOC) is intended to:

* Showcase the diversity and richness of European cultures

* Recognize the cultural differences Europeans share

* To increase European citizens’ feeling of belonging in a shared cultural area.

This initiative was created in 1985 and has been awarded to over 60 cities throughout the European Union (EU).

Francois Commeinhes (the mayor of Sete who has teamed up to bid for this title with Montpellier) stated: “Being a Candidate, after being French Capital of Culture was the obvious next step for me.

“Sete is a city full of culture. It will showcase our vibrant nature, richness in festivals, and the talent of our artists.

“This common candidacy will allow both our territories to unite in all of their glory identity.”

A spokesperson for the bid highlighted the success that Mons, Belgium had enjoyed since it was designated a European city in culture.

Its purpose is to highlight and celebrate the cultural assets of cities, and more generally, to allow Europeans to share and spotlight the richness and diversity in Europe’s cultures.

The bid support for a variety of projects was funded by an estimated EUR700,000.

The spokesperson stated that the stated goal was to “share and collectively develop the narrative of Montpellier’s bid.”

The bids will also highlight the “green credentials”, which each city claims, and are consistent with the EU’s efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The bid reveals that Occitanie, which includes both cities, has its own green deal. It plans to revolutionise urban development and transport.

It claims that the region faces “major transformative challenges”, which is why it submitted a bid.

Four years are required to officially designate European Capitals of Culture. This is necessary to plan and prepare for such a complex event.

Every year, the European Commission publishes a report on the evaluation of the European Capitals of Culture of previous years.

Three European cities, Lithuania, Serbia, and Luxembourg were awarded the title of city of culture this year.

All projects are available on the montpellier2028.eu site.

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