This report is the second in a series of updates to the original Palmer Report, which was produced for the European Commission in 2004. A brief synopsis of the contents of the report is reproduced in the introduction of the report (see below).
The European Capital of Culture 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 Union is giving the ECOC action significant attention. The bidding process, the selection of the short-list of candidate cities and the final selection of the winning city itself attracts substantial political and media attention. From 2009, the European Commission will be allocating increased funds to the ECOC programme, highlighting its importance as a major EU emblematic activity.
The European Cultural Capital Report aims to update the wealth of information contained in the original ECOC evaluation report (the Palmer Report) produced by Robert Palmer, Greg Richards and other experts for the European Commission (Palmer-Rae 2004). In doing so, it aims to provide essential information for those organising, implementing and evaluating the ECOC.
The ECOC programme has changed radically in terms of its aims, scope and scale in recent years. The expansion of the programme to the new Member States of the European Union in particular has brought a whole raft of new countries into the ECOC, and with it new visions and challenges. The 2007 ECOC in Sibiu was the first of the ECOC in the wave of new Member States admitted to the EU after 2004, even though the selection was made under the old rules. The Sibiu experience offers some interesting pointers for other new participants in the programme, and the event was recently evaluated in a report produced by Greg Richards and Ilie Rotariu (Richards and Rotariu 2008).
Given the scale and speed of change affecting the ECOC, this latest edition of the European Cultural Capital Report contains a news section, which reviews the latest developments in the bidding, selection and organisation of the ECOC. We review some of the key developments in the ECOC in present, future and candidate cities, looking at the way in which the event is being developed, organized and marketed.
Robert Palmer has been an independent cultural adviser who worked 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. He had previously been the Director of Cultural Affairs for the city of Glasgow, with responsibility for managing a process of arts-led regeneration for the city over a ten year period, of which Glasgow's designation as Cultural Capital of Europe formed a part. He was the director of Brussels 2000, which involved the development and management of a large and complex programme of cultural projects. He acted as a consultant for more than 10 candidate cities since the year 2001.
He is a member of the Boards of various arts institutions and international festivals, the Chair of European arts juries and is asked regularly to be a speaker at international cultural conferences and workshops. The main themes of his work concern creativity, cultural policy, cultural mapping and planning, cultural development in cities, festivals and events, and he has current projects in Europe, North America and South-East Asia. He has been given various awards in recognition of his work. Currently, he is the Director of Culture, Cultural and natural Heritage of the Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg, France.
Greg Richards has been involved in researching and evaluating the ECOC programme for the past ten years. He has conducted research during a number of ECOC events, including Rotterdam (2001), Porto (2001), Salamanca (2002) and Sibiu (2007), and produced the evaluations for both Luxemburg and Sibiu in 2007. He also organised an international cultural event as a project in the Sibiu ECOC, and is currently undertaking a long-term monitoring project for the city. 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. He has presented analyses of ECOC data in a wide range of international events, including congresses organised by the European Union, the World Tourism Organisation, the European Federation for Arts and Heritage and the International Festivals and Events Association.
Greg also directs the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Research Project, which has collected over 40,000 visitor interviews at cultural attractions across the world. He has written a number of texts on aspects of cultural tourism, including Cultural Tourism in Europe, Cultural Attractions and European Tourism, Cultural Tourism: Global and local perspectives and Tourism, Creativity and Development. He is currently a senior partner with Tourism Research and Marketing in Barcelona (www.tram-research.com) and a Reader in Geography at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Greg also directs the ATLAS Cultural Tourism Research Project, which has collected over 40,000 visitor interviews at cultural attractions across the world. He has written a number of texts on aspects of cultural tourism, including Cultural Tourism in Europe, Cultural Attractions and European Tourism, Cultural Tourism: Global and local perspectives and Tourism, Creativity and Development. He is currently a senior partner with Tourism Research and Marketing in Barcelona (www.tram-research.com ) and a Reader in Geography at the University of the West of England, Bristol.