The European Capital of Culture honours every year 2 or 3 towns designated by the European Commission. Founded in 1985 by Melina Mercouri, then the Greek Minister of Culture, the objectives of this label are to:
- Highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures;
- Celebrate the cultural links uniting Europeans;
- Favour the contribution of culture to the development of towns
Since the origins of the programme, over 60 towns have received this title, including 4 French cities: Paris in 1989, Avignon in 2000, Lille in 2004 and Marseille in 2013.
In 2028, alongside a Czech town, another French city will once again be a European Capital of culture.