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Oulu2026, the government supports the Finnish ecoc (max Eur 20 million)

By press release December 22, 2021
Winter Cycling, Oulu Winter Cycling, Oulu

In its meeting, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy outlined the State’s commitment to provide funding for the Oulu European Capital of Culture 2026 project. The Ministerial Committee outlined that central government will commit to a maximum of EUR 20 million in 2020-2026 for financing the Oulu2026 project.

A precondition for central government funding is that the City of Oulu contributes to the project by at least an equal amount. The project will necessitate the engagement of a large number of regional, sub-regional and local stakeholders, who are prepared to inject their own resources into the project too. Under the Oulu2026 programme, the central government funding must benefit all 33 municipalities participating in the programme.

The magnitude and distribution of the funding will be decided in connection with the decision on spending limits for 2023-2026 that will be made in spring 2022. A government resolution on central government participation in the financing of the project will be made in January 2022.

Background to the Oulu Capital of Culture project

According to the Government Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin, “provision will be made to help fund the European Capital of Culture in 2026”.

In connection with the amendment to the budget proposal for 2022, the Government recorded an entry to the meeting minutes of the Oulu Capital of Culture project on 16 November 2021, according to which the Government will prepare a resolution on the central government contribution to the Oulu City of Culture project in 2021.

The theme of the Oulu European Capital of Culture project (Oulu2026 project) is cultural climate change. The project plan includes 32 municipalities in Northern Finland partnering with the city. The project includes strong artistic and cultural content. Clusters of creative industries will be created in Oulu and partner municipalities, cultural heritage will be harnessed more extensively, and numerous projects combining arts and culture with sustainable development, technology, science and tourism will be launched. The Oulu Cultural Foundation is responsible for preparing and implementing the Oulu2026 project.

The City of Oulu was nominated as a European Capital of Culture on 2 June 2021 on the basis of a recommendation given by a European panel of experts. In 2026, the European Capital of Culture will be hosted by Finland and Slovakia. The Slovak Capital of Culture, Trenčín, was nominated earlier this month. The European Capital of Culture is one of the European Union best-known cultural activities.

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