Several Municipalities signed a joint declaration as part of 1st Meeting of Mayors of Applicant Cities, which was held in Portimão following an invitation sent out by the Faro Municipal Council
Within the framework of the 1st Meeting of Mayors of Cities Bidding for European Capital of Culture 2027, the municipalities of Faro, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Guarda, Leiria and Oeiras signed a joint declaration this Friday in Portimão, within which they will work together on a process to transform Portugal beyond the scope of these applications.
According to the joint declaration produced in this unprecedented meeting between the mayors of the various candidate cities, held following an invitation sent out by the Municipality of Faro, “a nationwide competition prior to the title being awarded is the element that most clearly distinguishes the current procedure from three previous times Portugal has won the title (Lisbon, 1994; Porto, 2001 and Guimarães, in 2012)”. As such, “several Portuguese cities have already been actively working towards their bid, some for several years now”. According to a statement drawn up by the Mayors, “for the first time in Portugal, medium-sized cities are systematically thinking about their surrounding areas based on culture, a practice that has been developing for over a decade now”, which the Mayor of the Faro Municipal Council, Rogério Bacalhau, presented in Portimão, adding that “the objective of any of these cities is not to prepare a festive and showy event for 2027”, but “to consolidate the conditions necessary for these cities to be both cultural and creative”. “People see the European Capital of Culture events as a party, but we all want to try to transform our communities and the country as a whole, using new forces and culture to do so”, reinforced Rogério Bacalhau. These cities are therefore recognised as “competitors, because they participate in a process from which only one will be chosen”, but also as “co-operators”, because “they are aware of the national importance of their work”. "This work has already begun and will not end in 2027: the sustainability of a creative legacy involving citizens, artists and cultural operators will be the greatest proof of the success of this whole process", he also said in his statement. The signatory cities “therefore encourage the development of their cultural and creative fabric, as well as all the involvement of all citizens in this movement of cultural dynamism”. They “also urge the Portuguese Government, in particular, to join the movement using its Ministry of Culture, creating the synergies necessary to strengthen the country in this process, regardless of the city chosen for the title”. The statement went on to say that “The title of 2027 European Capital of Culture will be awarded to Portugal as a country, and the applicant cities understand that the Government is a fundamental partner when it comes to the planning and timely implementation of the structural support necessary for a successful application.” Final submissions of applications will take place in 2021, with the title being announced in 2022 once bids have been assessed by an international jury as part of a process conducted by the European Union.