Valletta, along with all the localities of Malta and Gozo, was awarded the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture 2018 on 13th October 2012.
Malta has for centuries been an important place for exchange and a playground for European ideas. Valletta itself is a city that is a symbol of Europe meeting its Mediterranean dimension. Malta’s marked history of close ties with Europe is inspirational for today’s artistic collaborations. We are encouraged to open up our horizons and develop current and new partnerships.
A city is not chosen as a European Capital of Culture solely for what it is, but mainly for what it plans to do for a year that has to be exceptional. Its programme must meet some strict criteria, which are scrutinised and assessed during the bidding process. Valletta’s European Capital of Culture year aims to be a flagship initiative to reflect on Europe’s identity and its cultural links.
The driving force of Valletta 2018 is a newly formed entity of the same name: The Valletta 2018 Foundation. Its founders are the Valletta Local Council and the Association for Local Councils. Other governing members are the University of Malta; the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts; the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry; and the Inter-Ministerial Commission for the European Capital of Culture.
Its remit is to identify the main challenges facing cultural infrastructure in Malta, generate a forward-looking attitude to address the related issues of education, creativity, science and technology and their relation to the arts and contribute in practical ways to the fulfillment of the various policies, chief of which is the National Cultural Policy. The Foundation aims at being inclusive and representative of large sections of society and addressing the most pressing social and environmental needs from a cultural perspective.