Each year since 1985 the European Union has designated one or more cities as a European Capital of Culture.

Chosen cities and their regions are expected to present an innovative year-long cultural programme that highlights the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe.

The European Capital of Culture for the year 2020 will be hosted by Croatia and Ireland.

Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Kilkenny, Wexford and Waterford in the South East are now competing to win the title.

About the initiative:

The European Capitals of Culture 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

- Foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities

In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for:

- Regenerating cities

- Raising the international profile of cities

- Enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants

- Breathing new life into a city’s culture

- Boosting tourism

For more details please visit ec.europa.eu.

What happens next:

Designation of European Capitals of Culture in EU member states

Six years before the title-year the selected host member states publish a call for applications, usually through their Ministry for Culture. Cities interested in participating in the competition must submit a proposal for consideration.

The submitted applications are reviewed against a set of established criteria during a pre-selection phase by a panel of independent experts in the field of culture. The panel agrees on a short-list of cities, which are then asked to submit more detailed applications.

The panel then reconvenes to assess the final applications and recommends one city per host country for the title. The recommended city will then be formally designated as European Capital of Culture.

The @ireland account:

Every week for the next four weeks, beginning 14 September, each region will take the @ireland account to help raise awareness of their bid for the title, to highlight the best of their region - and the opportunities to improve - and to seek your help in supporting their applications.

The @ireland account is allocated as follows:

Sept 14 to 20 - Dublin - www.dublin2020.ie

Sept 21 to 27 - Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford - www.threesisters2020.ie

Sept 28 to Oct 4 - Galway - www.galway2020.ie

Oct 5 to 11 - Limerick - www.limerick2020.ie

The custodians of @ireland believe that the Capital of Culture designation is an important one for the island of Ireland, whichever region is chosen.

We hope that the use of the @ireland account will help each region reach more supporters and instill pride and support for their campaigns. Each city will have the support of the custodians of the @ireland account and will be subject to the same rules as all @ireland custodians.

If you have further questions, please email ireland@irishcentral.com.

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