The “European Capital of Culture” programme was designed to support Europe's cultural richness and diversity and raise awareness of European history and common values. It was the idea Council of the European Union, at the initiative of Ms Melina Mercouri, Greek Minister of Culture at the time, and her French counterpart Jack Lang, in June 1985. The positive impact that the award of this title has received in the last three decades has placed the initiative among the most successful programmes of the European Union. The title was awarded to 70 cities in over 30 countries; the programme has become both a key platform for the international positioning of cities and a catalyst for economic and cultural regeneration.
The preparation of a European Capital of Culture represents an opportunity for the designated city to develop culturally, socially and economically, and a process that contributes to the urban development and creative industries and promotes the image of the city internationally. European Capital of Culture is a status that generates hundreds of construction and restoration works, hundreds of cultural events in the year in which the city holds the title, allocated services and, implicitly, new jobs and the city’s entry into the top of tourism destinations. In other words, the title gives the city the possibility to modernize the infrastructure and attract new investments, to revitalize the image of the city and the entire region.
You can read here. more information on the long-term effects and impact of the title of European Capital of Culture.
The city of Timisoara was initially designated the European Capital of Culture title for 2021, along with Eleusis (Greece) and Novi Sad (Serbia), but because of the pandemic context, the implementation of the programme was interrupted and the ECoC title was postponed for the year 2023.