Europe's two Culural Capitals for the year 2013: Marseilles in France and Kosice in Slovakia, are to receive 1.5 million euros apiece from the EU. The expert group appointed by the EU Commission to assess the quality of preparations ahead of the event, has given its go-ahead for the Melina Mercouri Prize. This provides for the assigning of 1.5 million euros to each of the two cities. As Androulla Vassiliou, the EU Culture Commissioner said, ''Both cities are preparing rich cultural programmes for 2013 and I congratulate them on their attention to detail''.
Ms Vassiliou continued: ''the initiative of the European Cultural Capital is one of those EU projects to have met with great success. For more than 25 years, for the participating cities it has been a catalyst for the creation of jobs, urban regeneration, tourism and revival of long-term development''. The cultural programmes of the cities chosen have to contain a strong European dimension, but also have to have an impact that contributes to long-term development. The expert group assessed whether the programmes of Marseilles and Kosice met the required criteria and fulfilled undertakings made by the cities.
According to the timetable, the formal prize-giving of the Prize and the money should take place at the end of the summer.