Bucharest 2021 Lang En

Why Bucharest?

It is time Bucharest became renowned for its diversity.

We believe it is time Bucharest became renowned for its diversity, that grants it such a special status. Bucharest is a city of strong contrasts, of surprises, a place where tradition and modernity co-exist. The city wishes to seek new developmental methods for (re)creating a social and regional identity, as well as strengthening its economic force in areas that are forced to suffer. This application is, at the same time, an invitation to reflection to each of its inhibitants. Because we can empower our city with new meaning, powered by culture.







How would Bucharest benefit from becoming an European Capital of Culture?

Over the years, the initiative has made an outstanding contribution to the sustainable development of the cities and their surrounding areas, with a long-term cultural, social and economic impact — when the cities were well prepared. That’s why, European Capitals of Culture are more and more recognized as laboratories for a local and regional strategic investment in culture.

Studies of cities that have held the title of European Capital of Culture in the past have shown a medium increase of 12% in tourism in that year and subsequently, after having held the title. Besides the increase in city revenues, the relaunch of the city’s image and the restoration of the cultural infrastructure are added.

Provided Bucharest would be elected European Capital of Culture, it would benefit from cultural, social and economic revenues. First and formost, it would empower our strengths so as give a new dimension to our cultural offers. The European Capital of Culture title provides an incredible opportunity to develop the city on many levels, from cultural and creative industries to tourism and European structures and networks integration, helping to create a distinct identity among other European cities.

Involving Bucharest citizens in the realization of the Bucharest Capital of Culture project is one of the main highlights of our approach, while the application project provides the opportunity of attracting more citizens to cultural activities.

Parallel to the application process, an effort will be undertaken to establish the Cultural Strategy of Bucharest. The city’s cultural strategy for the next 10 years is deemed to be very important in the application process, because its long-term development is the result of an open collaborative process, which must include, among others, authorities, cultural institutions, independent operators and creative industries education, urban development and tourism operators, to name a few. Both projects, the Cultural Strategy and the application for the European Capital of Culture title are a great opportunity to align all the city’s creative and constructive efforts.


Parallel to the application process, an effort will be undertaken to establish the Cultural Strategy of Bucharest.


In February 2014, the General Council of Bucharest Municipality mandated ARCUB – The Centre for Cultural Projects of Bucharest to carry out the preparation of the city’s application file bid.

The workload has been outsourced to 11 expert groups covering various fields of NGO, public and private sectors that deal with harmonizing the entire spectrum of aspects of our city’s life.

The Curatorium

Unlike other candidate cities that appoint an artistic director to develop the events and projects programme prior to and during the year of entitlement, Bucharest chooses an open group formula that reunites representatives of the independent artistic, institutional and private sectors. Based on an invited-call initiative, the group’s structure is flexible and dynamic, depending on the bid’s identified needs.
At this point, the members of the Curatorium are: Mihai Balko, Nicoleta Bitu, Andrei Borțun, Svetlana Cârstean, Cătălin Crețu, Codruța Cruceanu, Teodor Frolu, Cosmin Manolescu, Mihaela Michailov, Antigona Rogozea, Noemi Salanțiu, Adrian Șchiop, Mihaela Vasile, Anamaria Vrabie.
Update: Anthropologist Vintilă Mihăilescu and media artist Dan Chirilă (Iashido) participate in our latest work meeting.

Bucharest Districts Work Group

We aim to strengthen cooperation between the local authorities in the six districts of Bucharest and to create a sustainable support for the entire project. Together with representatives of local municipalities we communicate and spread information regarding the application process to the wide public, involving the city’s residents and the civil society in its preparation. We set up periodical consultative meetings to learn what citizens think about the areas they live in and to document each district’s cultural resources and vitality. The identification of real needs helps us build cultural programs that will stimulate and channel urban cultural regeneration throughout all areas of the Capital.

The City Hall Work Group

Every European Capital of Culture candidate needs extended political support. To ensure strong, lasting support from local authorities, we organize consultative meetings and presentations to the specialized committees of the General Council of Bucharest. At the same time, members of the main City Hall departments are engaged in our work groups to help align the city’s cultural strategy to local and regional long term development plans.

The Business Work Group

This work group is dedicated to involving the business sector in supporting the bid of the city of Bucharest to the title of European Capital of Culture 2021. The group is made up of representatives of large companies but also medium and small sized ones and entrepreneurs. Together, the will identify the role of this sector in supporting the bid and potential ways to involve their stakeholders and partners in this process.

The Tourism Work Group

Bucharest’s recognition as one of Europe’s most vibrant cultural cities is one of the main ECoC objectives for the Capital of Romania. This work group consists of organizations and municipality representatives, as well as independent organizations and private sector entities. Its goal is to develop a valid strategy both for the preliminary period and for 2021, that will involve cultural tourism as an essential component, based on the analysis of tourism initiatives, programs and resources in Bucharest.

The Management & Governance Work Group

The European Capital of Culture title entails the management of an innovative vision that encompasses all aspects of the city’s life. It is thus imperative that the entire project is managed by an independent legal entity. Envisioning that the future implies work in open, transparent, efficient and trans-disciplinary networks, this structure will consist of specialists with appropriate experience and skills to plan, manage and implement the cultural program of the year for which the title is granted. The multidisciplinary character of the group will ensure a proper cooperation between local authorities and the management team, including the artistic team.

The Finance Work Group

The collective effort to implement programs and prepare the city for a decisive year involves the need for sensible allocation and management of substantial funds that lead to the city’s long-term sustainable development through culture. The most pressing items on the agenda of this work group involve identifying funding sources, as well as attracting and allocating both public and private funds. Thus, realistic financial forecasts that mirror the European Capital of Culture program’s ambitions can be made.

The Communication & Marketing Work Group

Could we summarize an artistic programme in one slogan? Specialists in communication and marketing strategists collaborate on developing a calendar of events that addresses the question. Bucharest’s citizens, along with the media and public space activities, become the voice of the European Capital of Culture project, a voice that will cross Europe in a call to exploration and transformation through culture.