DOI: https://doi.org/10.32461/2226-3209.2.2014.137964

REFLECTIONS ON CITY’S CULTURAL POTENTIAL (BASED ON THE EU PROGRAMME "EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE")

Mariya Chernets'

Abstract


The present article considers the essence of concepts of "city", "capital", "capital of culture" on the basis of the factual scientific material. The author analyses European experience and modern lines of development of geographical zones in the conditions of globalization, identifies the place and role of culture in solving social problems, attraction of investments, support and development of a brand of a territory within the EU program "European capital of culture".

Global phenomena within world tendencies of mankind development, such as urbanization, informatization, etc. and also the recognition of the leading role of culture in the development of geographical areas, have caused new prospects of territories development, creating new challenges for the governments.

The above-mentioned processes have raised the urgency of cultural and creative potential of cities and caused the analysis, generalization and introduction of the European experience and modern lines of territories development.

In the cultural sense, in any country there is center and periphery, the capital and the province. Such centers recently have started to hold the title of the capitals of culture around the world. The term cultural capital, or capital of culture, are very common, but the definition of this concept can not be found in any domestic or foreign encyclopedias.

The author states that cultural capital is not just a territorial-administrative unit, as its peculiarity is determined by the cultural dominant. It is the center of cultural life of the state, which is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other cities and is notable for cultural content, features and value. The level of social and cultural development there is characterized by high progress of the leisure sector. The cultural capital not only has unlimited potential for leisure, inculturation of residents and guests of the city, but plays a leading role in the formation of a national brand, creating, supporting and developing of the country's image on the international arena.

The European Capital of Culture programme was initially called theEuropeanCityof Culture and was conceived in 1983 by Melina Mercouri, then serving as Greek Minister of Culture. Mercouri believed that at the time, culture was not given the same attention as politics and economics and a project for promoting European cultures within the member states should be pursued. TheEuropeanCityof Culture programme was launched in the summer of 1985 withAthensbeing the first title-holder. In 1999 theEuropeanCityof Culture programme was renamed the European Capital of Culture.

The European Capitals of Culture initiative is designed to: highlight the richness and diversity of cultures inEurope, celebrate the cultural features Europeans share, increase European citizens' sense of belonging to a common cultural area, foster the contribution of culture to the development of cities. In addition to this, experience has shown that the event is an excellent opportunity for regenerating cities, raising the international profile of cities, enhancing the image of cities in the eyes of their own inhabitants, breathing new life into a city's culture, boosting tourism.

The European Capitals of Culture are selected on the basis of historical and cultural characteristics of their past and also on the basis of specific criteria relating to their present situation in Europe, such as their multilingual and/or multicultural environment, the high quality of cultural and/or economic standards, the presence of political and/or spiritual leaders, the power of the dominating discourse of the political leaders of their country, and more recently (since 1999, when the European Parliament and Council worked out a new selection procedure for the Capitals for the 2007-2019 period), the balance of the intergovernmental decisions reached in order to give to each EU member nation the opportunity to 'host' the cultural capital in turn. Certain cities receive the title of Cultural Capital of Europe for one year.

The cultural programme shall fulfill the following criteria, subdivided into two categories, ‘the European Dimension’ and ‘City and Citizens’:

1. As regards ‘the European Dimension’, the programme shall foster cooperation between cultural operators, artists and cities from the relevant Member States and other Member States in any cultural sector, highlight the richness of cultural diversity in Europe, bring the common aspects of European cultures to the fore.

2. As regards ‘City and Citizens’ the programme shall foster the participation of the citizens living in the city and its surroundings and raise their interest as well as the interest of citizens from abroad, be sustainable and be an integral part of the long-term cultural and social development of the city.

A new framework for the initiative, post 2019, has been adopted by the European Parliament and Council. It includes the chronological list of Member States that can host the title from 2020 until 2033. This new framework makes it possible for cities in candidate countries or potential candidate countries for EU membership to hold the title every third year as of 2021.Ukrainecan take part in 2024.

According to the author the Cultural Capital of Europe which started as an idea, a vision, has developed into the most important European Cultural event and became an Institution.Ukraineis a country with great cultural potential, concentrated primarily in the city, which is the spiritual, cultural, historical, scientific-educational center. Taking into consideration the current trends in the development and branding area, the state should support the cultural sector as a priority, giving second breath to museums, galleries, exhibition halls, theatres and other cultural institutions, attracting the youth to the development of new promising projects, taking an active part regardingUkraine's entry into the European cultural space. Participation in the project will create an opportunity to strengthen the positions on the international arena, to attract foreign investments, initiating the development of a national brandUkraine, and also it will stimulate the development of the cultural sector.


Keywords


globalization; culture; geographical area; city; urban culture; capital; capital of culture