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									Palmer/Rae Associates

European Cultural Capital Report


Robert Palmer and Greg Richards
The European Cultural Capital event (ECOC) is arguably one of the most successful
EU cultural programmes, attracting increasing interest from policy makers, academics
and the media every year. As more and more cities are involved in competing for the
ECOC title, there is also a growing need for information about and evaluation of the
event and the host cities.

The European Cultural Capital Report aims to update the wealth of information
contained in the original ECOC evaluation report produced by Robert Palmer, Greg
Richards and other experts for the European Commission. In doing so, it aims to
provide essential information for those organising, implementing and evaluating the

This report seeks to cover the many different aspects of the event, including its cultural,
economic, organisational, political and social implications. It provides an independent
analysis of the ECOC, identifying trends and best practice which can help those
involved with this and other major cultural events to take better informed decisions. By
extending and enriching the data collected for the Palmer Report, this publication will
provide new insights into the workings and function of the ECOC.

Regular updates will be produced which will keep a finger on the pulse of the ECOC
and its stakeholders, providing timely and relevant information. Each edition of the
ECOC Report will concentrate on different themes related to the ECOC, as well as
featuring case studies of different cities or different aspects of management and
organisation. This first issue concentrates on profiling the host cities in general and
identifying trends in economic issues. In forthcoming issues, the spotlight will be turned
on other issues, such as organisational issues, marketing, economic impact studies
and tourism flows.

This publication should be of interest to all those involved in the planning, organisation,
analysis and assessment of the ECOC, as well as cultural events in general.
European Cultural Capital Report, number 1

     Contents                                          Page

1    Introduction                                      4

2    Methods                                           8

3    Programme trends                                  9

     Seasonal programmes
     Multi-annual programmes
     The European Dimension

4    Selection Procedures                              13

5    The Host and Candidate Cities                     15

     Regional partnerships

6    Economic Impacts                                  20

     Operating costs
     Capital costs

7    Case Study - Impact of Lille 2004                 30

     The budget
     The cultural programme
     Cultural spending
     Tourism impacts
     Business and employment impacts
     Legacy of the ECOC
     Critical success factors
     Overall assessment
     How does Lille 2004 compare with other ECOCs?

8    Building for the future: the Legacy of the ECOC   59

9    Bibliography                                      63
The authors
Robert Palmer is an independent cultural adviser who works regularly on international
projects and assignments. He has worked in the cultural sector for more than 20 years,
and has advised the European Commission, Council of Europe and 10 different
European Cultural Institutes on cultural matters. In 2004 he directed the evaluation
team which produced the Palmer Report on the European Capitals of Culture for the
European Commission. His experience as the Director of two Capitals of Culture –
Glasgow in 1990 and Brussels in 2000 – made him uniquely qualified for the job.

Greg Richards is a consultant with Tourism Research and Marketing (Barcelona) and
a Reader at the Centre for Tourism, Leisure and Society in Bristol. He has been
involved in researching and evaluating the ECOC programme for the past eight years.
He has conducted surveys during a number of ECOC events, including Rotterdam
(2001), Porto (2001), Salamanca (2002) and Sibiu (2007). He also organised an
international cultural event as a project in the Sibiu ECOC. He has also published
widely on the impacts of the ECOC and was a member of the Palmer Report team in
2004. In 2005 he was appointed to the international jury for the selection of the 2010
ECOC in Hungary and he is currently undertaking ECOC evaluation studies for Sibiu
and Luxemburg.

Publication details
The European Cultural Capital Report is published and distributed by the Association
for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS), and can be ordered from them via the
ATLAS website ( or directly from the ATLAS bookshop:

European Cultural Capital Report
Price € 60 (ATLAS member discount price € 45)

Credit card payment via Pay Pal available.

Subscribers to the first edition of the European Cultural Capital Report will be entitled to
purchase subsequent editions for € 40 each.

POBox 3042
6802 DA Arnhem
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-26-4452699
Fax: +31-26-4452932

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