On the 13 th of October 2012, Malta was declared as the European Capital of Culture (ECoC) for 2018. The Valletta 2018 Foundation will be responsible for the implementation process of this project which aims to include all localities across the Maltese Islands. This announcement was mas by Manfred Gaulhofer, Chairperson of the Evaluation Board. Mr. Gaulhofer recognizes the will, ambition and motivation which was necessary towards Valletta being awarded this prestigious title. This being said, Valletta will be partnered with Dutch city, Leeuwarden, as ECoC.
Valletta 2018 will enable participation of Maltese and European citizens who will form an integral and sustainable part of the long-term social, economic and cultural development of Malta. This proves to be very positive news for our cultural and creative sector as well as for our country. The Cultural Programme is built around four themes: Generations, Routes, Cities and Islands. The Government is adopting the policies necessary for the positive encouragement of culture and creativity. This will thus enhance Malta’s historical heritage and identity thus giving Malta the cultural importance and European recognition it deserves.
European Commission representative, Ann Branch, also said that the title of European Capital of Culture is a prestigious one, which was awarded to a city rich in history and with the potential to further strengthen its cultural and socio-economical sectors. In conjunction with the Cultural Programme, the Valletta 2018 Foundation is developing a programme of consistent, accessible and comparable research and evaluation directly linked to culture.