The 4th meeting of Culture Next. Candidate Cities Network will take place this year on May 23 – 26, in Debrecen, Hungary.

Each year, member cities host the meetings, which have previously taken place in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Aveiro (Portugal). The meeting in Debrecen is co-organized by Cluj Cultural Centre (the Secretariat of the network) and the local host – VisitDebrecen. Participants attend working sessions, presentations, and local visits focused on the exploration of the local scene, venues and landmarks that define the cultural context in Debrecen.
[See the agenda here]

For each meeting, a public event is organized to tackle and formulate current relevant topics for cities in the network and internationally. In Debrecen, the event will bring participants around the topic of cultural tourism and will be an opportunity to discuss local examples, current challenges and future developments in terms of cultural tourism as an engine for urban development. The speakers in the panel discussion are Tim Fairhurst – Secretary General of the European Tourism Association; Balázs Kovács, owner and executive director of GD Consulting, former Director of the Hungarian National Tourism Agency in Vienna. The discussion will be moderated by Bandor Nagy, Msc. in Sociology – entrepreneur, business trainer, and coach.

Another highlight of the agenda is working session dedicated to formulating guidelines for future candidates at the European Capital of Culture title. Our ambition is to formulate essential criteria for culture as local development to adhere to as a network and submit as a policy proposal to the European Commission, national and local governments. The guidelines will reflect the vision of a culture-led local development and will serve as a planning and implementation tool to improve the European Capital of Culture programme.

The meeting in Debrecen will be attended by representatives of 9 founding member cities (Aveiro, Braga, Faro – Portugal; Cluj-Napoca – Romania; Debrecen – Hungary; Eleusis – Greece: Klaipeda, Neringa and Plunge – Lithuania) as well as of 5 new cities in the network (Gdansk – Poland; Oulu – Finland; Belfast – Northern Ireland; Dublin – Ireland; Nuremberg – Germany)

For more details, see: []

Culture Next. Candidate Cities Network was founded in 2017 by ten European cities, current and former candidates to the European Capital of Culture title. The mission of the network is to support cities to implement culture-led urban development programmes and policies, building on the experiences, participatory processes, and collaborations established during the preparation for the ECoC bid. It aims to gain wider European acknowledgment of culture as sustainable development and to extend the existing European cultural cooperation frameworks. The network also makes a contribution to the ECoC programme legacy, by facilitating the implementation of more ECoC programmes throughout Europe.