The European Commission congratulates Elefsina, Greece, which has been selected to become a European Capital of Culture in 2021.
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “In 2021, Greece will host its fourth European Capital of Culture after Athens in 1985, Thessaloniki in 1997 and Patras in 2006. Many cities competed for the title, with 14 initial contenders narrowed down to three finalists. This shows once again how popular this EU initiative is with cities and citizens. I congratulate Elefsina on its successful bid. I look forward to seeing Elefsina give visitors from Europe and all over the world the opportunity to discover the city and its cultural assets but also to appreciate the diversity of cultures in the European Union as well as our shared values – this is today more vital than ever. As many previous European Capitals of Culture have shown, the title can bring significant long-term cultural, as well as economic and social benefits – benefits that Elefsina now stands to reap as well.”
With today’s decision, the line-up of European Capitals of Culture for 2021 is now complete with Elefsina joining Timişoara in Romania and Novi Sad in Serbia, a candidate country for EU membership. European Capitals of Culture is one of the most recognised EU projects. European Capitals of Culture provide Europeans with an opportunity to learn more about each other’s cultures, to enter into intercultural dialogue and to enjoy their shared history and values.
“The work starts now. All together, the municipal authority and the citizens, should unite our forces for the success of this important obligation we undertook,” the mayor of Elefsina, George Tsoukalas said after the European Commission’s announcement.
Tsoukalas also stressed the need “to bring Elefsina in the European scene and to give the city what it deserves,” and sent “warm congratulations” to the other two Greek candidate cities (Kalamata, Rhodes) “for their effort throughout the preparation.”
Finally, the mayor thanked all those that contributed to this effort.