The European Capital of Culture 2026

The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) initiative is among the most widely known actions of the European Union. The cities receive financial support from the Creative Europe programme. In 2026, a Finnish city will become a European Capital of Culture.

European Capital of Culture 2026 – documents for application:

The call for submission of applications for the European Capital of Culture 2026 competition has been published April 1st 2019. Applications must be submitted no later than May 5th 2020. Applications shall be presented in English. Additionally, applications can be presented in Finnish and/or Swedish.

Call for submission of applications for the Union action ”European Capital of Culture” for the year 2026 in Finland

Rules of Procedure: Competition for the 2026 European Capital of Culture title in Finland

More information:

The Finnish and Swedish translations of these materials have no official status, and they are intended for further support and information. Please refer to the English versions for official guidelines.:

European Capitals of Culture 2020 to 2033: A guide for cities preparing to bid


Guidelines for the cities' own evaluations of the results of their ECOC
 

Compendium of recommendations from ex-post evaluations of European Capitals of Culture 2007-2016

Timetable for the European Capital of Culture 2026 application procedure

Sylvain Pasqua: European Capitals of Culture, Info Day in Finland

 

The European Capitals of Culture (ECOC) initiative is among the most widely known actions of the European Union. The cities receive financial support from the Creative Europe programme. In 2026, a Finnish city will become a European Capital of Culture.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative draws attention to the importance of cities as centres of cultural life. The designated city can develop its cultural, social and economic life.

The European Capitals of Culture highlight the richness and diversity of European culture and the features those cultures share. The initiative strengthens the feeling of belonging to a common cultural area.

Furthermore, the initiative fosters the contribution of culture to the development of cities. Experience has shown that the event is an opportunity for the cities to regenerate, enhance their image in the eyes of their own inhabitants, breathe new life into their culture and boost tourism. 

This will be the third European Capital of Culture chosen from Finland. Helsinki held the title as one of nine cities in 2000 and Turku together with Tallinn in 2011. 

Since 2007, two cities have been designated as capitals of culture each year. From 2021 onwards, three cities will hold the title once every three years (i.e. in 2021, 2024, 2027, 2030 and 2033). One of the three cities shall be from a candidate country or a potential candidate.

In 2026, there will be two capitals of culture, one from Finland and the other from Slovakia.

The selection of the European Capitals of Culture is based on Decision No 445/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. Finland will be implementing it for the first time because the selection process for the 2000 and 2011 titles was based on earlier EU decisions.

Contact Information

Iina Berden, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Kulttuuri- ja taidepolitiikan osasto (KUPO), Taiteen ja kulttuuriperinnön vastuualue (TAKU) 0295330069