Becoming European Capital of Culture

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What does the title „European Capital of Culture“ mean?

Each year, the EU designates a city from two Member States as „European Capital of Culture“. In 2025, after West Berlin (1988), Weimar (1999) and most recently Essen (RUHR.2010), a German city will bear the title for the fourth time. In addition to Germany, Slovenia will also have a European Capital of Culture in 2025.

The most important idea behind the Capital of Culture concept is to shape the future: it is not just a question of what the city and the Hildesheim region have to offer culturally so far, but how these valuable resources can be used and expanded in the best possible way. It is about a development process with the aim of putting the city and the Hildesheim region in a good cultural position and to establish new networks.
The communication and cooperation between the creative artists and those responsible for culture should be strengthened in order to sustainably secure the variety of activities and offers. The city jubilee and the Day of Lower Saxony have only recently shown that Hildesheim can do great things and that the intensive and constructive cooperation of different players can mobilise important and positive impulses.

What are the requirements for a bid as “ European Capital of Culture“?

The application must be extensively prepared and submitted in 2019. Every German city – regardless of its size and population – can apply for the title and include its region in the planning. In addition to Hildesheim, Hanover, Magdeburg, Chemnitz, Dresden, Zittau, Nuremberg and Gera are currently applying (as of November 2018).

All applicant cities must develop a cultural development concept with a European dimension and a long-term strategy. In addition to strengthening the cultural sector, areas such as education, research, the environment and urban development should also be included in the planning. An individually coordinated concept and the involvement of the population play a decisive role in the success of the application. Hildesheim will initiate this process together with the county and the county municipalities.

What will happen before the title is awarded in 2020?


  • Preparation of content and organisation of the application by the project office Hi2025
  • Development and design of the „Bid-Book“ application document


  • September 30th, 2019: Submission of the Bid Book
  • December: Presentation of the application to the European jury in Berlin
  • „Pre-selection“: The jury announces the candidate cities that will be shortlisted for the second and decisive round.


  •  July: Concretisation and optimisation of the application, the
    bid book
  • Presentation of the application in front of a delegation of the European jury in their own city.
  • September/October: „Selection“, The jury announces the winner!


  • Selection: following a second presentation to the jury, the winner of the title will be announced.
  • Should Hildesheim win, we will pause to celebrate and then the preparations for the events in 2025 will begin.

In order to complete the bid book, the candidate cities must answer a comprehensive questionnaire drawn up by the EU. The criteria, which will be assessed in equal parts by the jury, are as follows:

>Long-term strategy
Consequences for urban development

>European dimension
Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue

>Cultural and artistic contents
Vision and Strategy

>Capacity to deliver
Infrastructure and political support

>Reaching and involving society
Involvement and cultural participation

Financing, marketing strategy and personnel structure