The ancient Hungarian city of Veszprém, in the west of the country north of Lake Balaton, has been formally accepted as European Capital of Culture in 2023, Minister of Human Capacities Miklós Kásler announced Wednesday.
The other two shortlisted cities were Debrecen (in eastern Hungary) and Győr (in the northwest). The winner was selected by a panel of independent experts of the European Commission last December.
Each year, the European Union designates two European Capitals of Culture for a period of one calendar year to highlight the diversity of cultures in Europe and celebrate the cultural features Europeans share. Becoming a European Capital of Culture can raise a cityʼs international profile and boost tourism, as well as generate big local investments, noted state news agency MTI.
In addition to Hungary, the U.K. was selected as the other European Capital of Culture host member state for 2023, well before the country started the process of exiting the EU. However, the five bids from the U.K. for European Capital of Culture were disqualified in November 2017, leaving Hungary as the only host state in 2023.
The city of Pécs, in southwest Hungary, was the first Hungarian European Capital of Culture in 2010. Winning the title produced a cultural quarter, as well as a big concert hall and convention center in the city, MTI recalled.