< /p> Illustration photo – Minister of Culture Martin Baxa.
Vimperk (Prachaticko) – Minister of Culture Martin Baxa (ODS) succeeded at the government meeting in Vimperk with a request to increase his department's budget for a subsidy for the preparation of the European Capital of Culture (ECC) 2028 project. The sum should be distributed over six years from 2024 to 2029 , up to a maximum amount of 480 million crowns. Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) informed about the government's decision at a press conference. The finals are Broumov in the Hradec Králové region and České Budějovice in the south of Bohemia. The winner will be announced on June 30.
The European Capital of Culture event is an initiative of the European Union, the aim of which is to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures, their common aspects and traditions. According to the organizers, it also wants to point out that Europe was the center of rich and diverse artistic development and European cities played a significant role in the creation and spread of culture.
The Ministry of Culture is responsible for the organization and management of the competition. An international jury consisting of 12 experts is responsible for selecting the winning city, which will recommend the city that best meets specific criteria given in advance for awarding the title. The decision assumes the participation of the state in financing the project. In the submitted projects, individual cities therefore always indicate the assumed share of the state in financing. According to the conditions of the subsidy, the winning city will have to provide the government with an evaluation of the project by the end of 2029.
In the Czech Republic, the cities of Brno, Broumov, České Budějovice and Liberec applied for the competition. The jury selected the finalists last October.
The European Commission awards the winning cities a cash prize created in honor of the initiator of the project, Melina Mercouriová, in the amount of 1.5 million euros (about 35.4 million crowns).
During the duration of the competition, two member states are selected for each year, in 2028 it will be the Czech Republic and France. In more than 35 years, two Czech cities won the title, in 2000 Prague and 15 years later Pilsen.