European Capital of Culture and Peace

Call for Kyiv to be designated European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022


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Cultural figures from across Europe are calling for the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to be given the symbolic status of European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022 in response to russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, its killing of civilians, bombing of cities, and destruction of Ukraine’s cultural and architectural heritage. The Ukrainian Institute announced this on their website.   

«With this symbolic designation, the European Union can send a clear signal of its commitment to intensification of cultural relations with Ukraine, and recognition of Ukraine’s cultural and territorial sovereignty», — the Ukrainian Institute says.  


The call was initiated by Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General of the Ukrainian Institute, and cultural scientists Dr. Kristina Marion Jacobsen and Sonja Anne Lang.


The call to designate Kyiv as European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022 has been handed over to the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. More than 2,000 people from the culture, science and civic community in Europe have signed the call. The full list of co-signatories can be found here.  


They are also calling for the designation to be made as quickly as possible, unscheduled, and independent of the regular procedure for awarding the title of European Capital of Culture.


There is also a petition to designate Kyiv the European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022 that can be signed here.


«This instrument could now be used as a message of solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the country’s culture makers and institutions who, despite the extremely precarious and dangerous circumstances, are committed as ever to cooperate and develop links and partnerships with their incredibly supportive EU counterparts», — the Ukrainian Institute said. 


The European Capitals of Culture is one of the EU’s best known cultural policy tools. The initiative was developed in 1985 to highlight the richness and diversity of cultures in Europe. Each year the Council of Europe gives this status to 2-3 EU cities that go on to implement a year-long program of cultural events. The Cultural Capital of Europe title allows cities to raise their profile in other EU countries, attract investment, develop their cultural infrastructure, and boost tourism.   


In March, Ukraine was admitted to the European Federation of National Institutions of Language


After russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Institute called on the international and Ukrainian cultural community to suspend cooperation with the russian federation.   


Read also: 7 books to expand your worldview, by Volodymyr Sheiko