The Conference of Candidate Cities Network


Cluj Cultural Centre and the Cultural Hall of Cluj-Napoca Municipality invites you to participate to the Conference of the Candidate Cities Network held on September 22-23, 2017 in Cluj-Napoca, in the Great Hall of Matei Corvin House.

The aim of this conference is to lay the foundation of the international network of current and former candidate cities to the title of European Capital of Culture (ECOC). The network will be a platform of connection and collaboration between cities, with the purpose of encouraging and facilitating the implementation of ECOC programs independently from the competition results.

Until now the cities of Guimaraes 2012, Košice 2013, Matera 2019, Eleusis 2021, Alba Iulia 2021, Cluj-Napoca 2021, Sfântu Gheorghe 2021, Timișoara 2021, Klaipeda 2022, Plunge 2022, Debrecen 2023, Leeds 2023, Aveiro 2027, and Braga 2027 confirmed their participation to the conference.

Also, the speakers who confirmed their participation include the representatives of the European Commission, the former president of the ECOC jury, Steve Green, and the representatives of several cities holding the title of European Capital of Culture. Esteemed colleagues, we would be honored if you accepted our invitation to participate to the conference and join us in laying the foundation of the Candidate Cities Network.



  • The main objective of the network is to support every member city in implementing the program or a project under the cultural program developed in the ECOC application phase.
  • The network can ensure that the efforts put into preparing the application file continue.
  • The network intends to be a partner in the dialogue with the European institutions having competencies in the area of the European Capital of Culture project.
  • The network will create the possibility of an exchange of good cultural practices at city level, and will facilitate the access to European funds for cross-border projects.


  • Free access to the Network’s annual conference: a two day training
  • Free access to the Network’s platform, a huge database of the projects under ECOC programs, with contacts for partnerships and instruments for the communication between members
  • Free access to the programs carried out by the Network for cultural cities: an annual training program built based on the members’ needs and funded through European grants.
  • Access to European and non-European financial resources for cultural development at city level


  • Any former or current candidate cities to the ECOC title can become members
  • A member does not pay any membership fees during the first two years
  • Every city will be represented by only one organization, officially mandated by the municipality


We intend to establish a Board of 5 persons elected among the representatives of the members in the Candidate Cities Network for a mandate of 2 years The Board has the task of making decisions. Cluj Cultural Centre and the Cultural Hall of Cluj-Napoca Municipality will ensure secretariat activities and an annual Network conference, the host city being changed every two years by rotation.


Cluj-Napoca city applied for the title of European Capital of Culture 2021, reaching the final phase of the national competition. Cluj-Napoca 2021 Association, which managed this application, was later transformed into Cluj Cultural Centre (CCC), receiving from the local administration and the community the mandate of implementing the cultural program included in the application. The number of CCC members increased, while the programme budget and programme structure, as well as the team remained the same. In 2017, Cluj Cultural Centre entered the phase of preparing for the implementation, revising its cultural programming and management plan, and implementing a few pilot versions of the projects in the programme.

The event is organized by the Cultural Hall of Cluj-Napoca Municipality and Cluj Cultural Centre.

The updated detailed agenda of the conference is available here.

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