Valletta will be representing the whole of Malta when it submits its bid for European Culture Capital in 2018 as all local councils have signed a charter agreeing on a common application.

Usually, cities battle it out between themselves to come up with the best bid, however, bearing in mind the country’s size and limited resources, the government had urged the councils to unite under one common bid. This will mean events, rather than taking place in one region, can be held all over Malta.

Even though the culture capital is linked to a city – famous examples being Liverpool in 2008 and Istanbul in 2010 – these are often linked to the surrounding regions.

That said, it has still not been decided whether Valletta, as the capital city, or Malta will be the name of the 2018 capital of culture.

Speaking at the press conference announcing the charter today, Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said said the signing of this charter was a “mature step” by all local councils.

Dr Said also promised councils the government’s assistance in regenerating their localities, be it with government or EU funds, with 2018 as a target for this to happen.

Culture Parliamentary Secretary Mario de Marco welcomed the charter, saying it would serve to “unite local councils and strengthen culture on a national level”. Dr de Marco also said he hoped Malta would give the ECOC a Euro Mediterranean dimension, not just a European one.

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