When should a city start its preparation so as to participate in the competition of the European Capital of Europe 2021?
The call for submission of applications is published about 6 years before the year, which has been set out for each member state of the EU and a deadline of at least 10 months for the submission of applications is given to the cities. However, experience has shown that the most successful European Capitals of Culture start their preparation 2-3 years before the publication of the call.
Which city can submit an application for the title of the European Capital of Culture?
The size of a city is not a significant factor. The cities can also include their surrounding areas, namely their neighbouring cities or regions, but only one city can be the coordinator, for reasons of accountability and responsibility. The city’s programme should have a long-term perspective and should be presented in detail in its application. It should not be the usual annual programme of the city, but a programme that has been exclusively created for the ECOC year. It should not be a programme totally oriented to the attraction of tourists but also focused on the citizens. It is a programme with a European and international dimension which is addressed to the citizens, the artists and the cultural operators.
How should a city start?
A good start is to visit other ECOCs and study their bid-books, having in mind that from 2020 until 2033 the terms of the competition will change and therefore the new requirements of the Decision 445/2014/EU should be taken into account.
Which are the selection criteria that are required in order for a city to hold the title of the European Capital of Culture?
1. The contribution to the long-term cultural strategy
2. The European dimension
3. The cultural and artistic content
4. The capacity to deliver
5. The outreach
6. The management
All these criteria have the same significance for the selection process!
What do we mean when we say that a city can also include its surrounding area in its candidacy?
There is not a definition or a legal term about the meaning of the “surrounding area”. However, the candidate city should explain why it has selected its surrounding area in its application. The cities can also include their surrounding areas (namely the neighboring cities or the regions) but only one city can be the coordinator for reasons of accountability and responsibility.
What happens if the Mayor of a bidding city can’t sign the Declaration of Honour (Annex 2) due to his/her judicial situation? Who can then sign Annex 2?
Annex 2 (Declaration of Honour) can then be signed by someone else from the city who has the authority to legally represent it. In such as case, the bidding city is invited to be very clear about this situation in its bid-book. For example, the bidding city can, in its answer to question 6 c) (Contingency planning) of the application form, include a risk analysis describing the risk for the ECOC project that results from the judicial situation of its Mayor and indicating how it intends to remedy it. The issue can additionally be addressed in its answer to the first question of point 4 (Capacity to deliver).
Due to translation reasons, if the English version follows the above rules of the page limitation (80 pages), can the Greek version exceed the 80 pages of the pre-selection stage and the 100 pages of the final stage?
The 80 page size limit applies, indeed, to the English version (including all photos, graphs etc). The Greek text can be (slightly) longer, providing that the two versions (English and Greek) are identical from a content and presentation point of view as indicated in the call. Bids not respecting the rule will be declared ineligible.
What is the permitted font and size of letters that they can use in the application, e.g. “font: arial”, “size: 12”?
There is no specification regarding the font and size of the letters. But we would strongly recommend that cities use a font and size that makes their bid books reader-friendly. As indicated in the application form, great care should be given to ensure maximum readability of the applications.
Is there any specific “spacing” between the lines or the paragraphs in the application?
No, there is no specific rule in this regard. However, here again the design of the bid book (including the spacing between the lines and paragraphs) should facilitate the reading of the bid book.
Is “sports” considered as part of the cultural strategy of a candidate city in the bid book or not?
There is a broad understanding of “culture”. Althouth sports, as such, is not included in culture, it can definitively have a cultural dimension and be covered in the cultural strategy of the candidate city. In such a case, the suggestion would be for you to rapidly explain in your bid book why sports is included in the cultural strategy of the candidate city and how it will be a part of the ECOC project of the city, thus highlighting its cultural dimension.
Is the Declaration of Honour included in the limit of 80 pages of the application form of a candidate city?
The Declaration of Honour is not included in the 80 page limit.
Should the Declaration on honour precede or succeed the application (given the fact that it is an annex)?
There is no rule. Cities can do as they want.
Should the Declaration on honour be sent alone, with the cover letter or belong to the body of the application?
No rule in this regard. Cities can send the declaration alone (with the cover letter) or include it in their bid-book. Whatever their choice, the declaration is not included in the size limit.
How many copies of the declaration on honour should be sent?
It is ok if they send only 2 originals (one for the European Commission and one for the Managing Authority – Ministry of Culture and Sports) as the declaration of honour will serve so as to check the eligibility and exclusion criteria while the experts will concentrate on the award criteria.
Please bear in mind that the Declaration of honour should also be included in the electronic version of the application.
Should the application be submitted in a sealed envelope?
No, because the applications that will come to our Directorate will be opened in order to confirm their contents and re-packed so as to be sent to the European Commission and the panel of the experts.
In which format should the electronic form of the ECOC application be, so as for it to be sent by the candidate cities to the Managing Authority (Ministry of Culture and Sports)?
The electronic version is a pdf version sent by an e-mail by the candidate cities to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org because we will have to send it to all the panel experts and the European Commission. No CD ROM is needed. If the pdf version of the application is very heavy, you could send an e-mail to the above-mentioned address that directs us to a “We transfer” address.
Is it mandatory to attach documentation (letters from Authorities, collaborations, etc) to the Bid Book at this early stage of the competition? If so, what kind of documentation is needed and in what form? (printed, attached, etc …). Since the number of pages available on the Bid Book are limited, is the documentation absolutely indispensable or can just be shown on request during the official presentation in February?
There is no obligation to attach the above-mentioned documents. Indeed, it is up to you to decide what document to include in your bid-book, but within the 80 page size limit. As you know, attachments (with the exception of the Declaration of Honour) are all included in the size limit. Keep in mind that your bid-book must provide the panel with a precise picture of your project and its level of development.
Does the page limit of 80 pages of the application form (preselection stage) include the front and the back covers of the bid book?
Front and back covers are not included in the size limit.
Is it permitted to include additional material (eg. photos, CD) in the application?
No, because the whole application cannot exceed the size limit of 80 pages.
Could the bid-book presentations of the candidate cities be in Greek?
Cities’ delegations can, of course, decide to do it in Greek. The advice for them, though, would be to have at least some members speaking in English.
Could the presentations have a musical or theatrical aspect, power-point or DVD?
Of course, as long as this is in the time-limit of 30 minutes. However, the cities have only 15 minutes to prepare the stage and have technical tests, before the panel of experts start the hearing. So, cities must be aware of this, before they decide on the form of their presentation.
Which is the duration of the presentation of candidatures during the pre-selection meeting?
The candidate cities should prepare the stage and make technical tests within the time limit of 15 minutes.
The candidate cities should present their candidacy within the time limit of 30 minutes.
The questions and answers between the panel of experts and the representative of the candidate city will last approximately 45 minutes.
Could the delegations distribute a handout (hardcopy material of two or three pages with photos, related to their presentation) or any other object to the experts, in order to facilitate them during the hearing of the preselection meeting?
In general, any kind of offer or handout to the panel of expert is not allowed.
What are the technical features provided for the presentation of the bid-book for the nomination of the ECOC 2021 at the preselection meeting that will take place between 23-26 February 2016?
The equipment provided by the Ministry of Culture and Sport for the preselection meeting is the following:
- 1 LED Monitor 75” Samsung ME75C-on a base stand, 1.70 × 0.95M, Full High Definition
- 1 Video Display System Folsom Screen Pro II, HD
- 1 Mac server with play back pro for viewing video
- 1 Laptop with Power Point 13
Is it possible to display a poster or an image in the presentation room for ECOC 2021 at the preselection meeting that will take place between 23-26 February 2016?
Yes, if it can be placed strictly within the 15 minutes of preparation provided for each city before the beginning of the presentation of the bid-book.
Is there any possibility of using the internet or skype in the presentation room for the nomination of the ECOC 2021 at the preselection meeting that will take place between 23-26 February 2016?
Yes, there is such a possibility (by using an Ethernet cable).
Is it possible for a city to bring a technical assistant during the preselection meeting for ECOC 2021, beyond the ten members of the delegation of each city?
After communication with the European Commission, a technical assistant may attend the preselection meeting, but without the right to talk during the presentation of the candidacy.
Can there be satellite connection between the hearing room and the people in a different place?
There can be no direct satellite connection between the hearing room and the people in another place. The hearing is an interaction between the 10 (max) people of the delegation and the 12 members of the panel. The presentation can include recorded video materials but no live audio or video coverage.
Will interpretation of the audio-visual material for the presentation be provided?
No, there will be no interpretation. If the audiovisual material is in Greek, then it should be subtitled in to English, so as for the experts to understand.
Could a city that has taken part at the preselection meeting for the ECOC competition in Greece publish the e-version of their bid-book on their website?
They can indeed publish the e-version of their bid-book.
Should the candidate city for the final selection include the same declaration of honour as the one the in the bid-book for the preselection or should they include a new one, signed by the mayor, with a recent date?
They should include a new declaration of honour, recently signed.