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Finland Ecoc 2026, discovering the final candidate cities: Tampere

Visit_Tampere_Tohlopin_tynnyrisauna_Tohloppi_sauna_Winter_Talvi_2020 Visit_Tampere_Tohlopin_tynnyrisauna_Tohloppi_sauna_Winter_Talvi_2020 Photo by Laura Vanzo

In 2026, a Finnish city will become a European Capital of Culture. Oulu, Savonlinna and Tampere are the three finalist cities candidates for the title. On 23 April 2021 they submitted their application to be European Capital of Culture in 2026. The panel visits to the candidate cities will be organized in May 2021. The name of the European Capital of Culture will be announced on 2 June 2021 when the panel meets in Helsinki. 

The winner city will be the third European Capital of Culture chosen from Finland. Helsinki held the title as one of nine cities in 2000 and Turku together with Tallinn in 2011.

Ecocnews make a journey to discover the bid books submitted by the three candidate cities.

After Oulu and Savonlinna today we speak about Tampere’s concept: Equally European

Tampere concept Equally European reaches out beyond the borders to engage all Europeans to discuss equality.

What does equality mean for Tampere, and for all Europeans today? The Nordic countries are regarded as beacons of equality, but are they? And what is the future of equality in our continent which is facing many problems from political confrontations to the new isolation caused by Covid-19? Equality persists as the key value of Tampere ECoC endeavour, yet they’ve made a vital change in the concept – from Quality by Equality to Equally European.

Broad brush strokes of the first round have been replaced by a deeper understanding of equality – which means asking also where and how equality is under threat. What can be done, in particular, to use equality as a transformative power in culture and the arts? Tampere want to use equality to direct the attention to the cultural and artistic issues that need fixing, believing to may thus promote social change.

Tampere want to move from complacency to collaboration, from egoism to equality. The concept Equally European operates on three levels – closely interlinked with one another: CULTURAL LEVEL, equality is a transformative tool for arts and culture when used to tackle issues of accessibility and inclusion; REGIONAL LEVEL, local problems are global in their nature – and post-Covid, they’re Equally European in searching for solutions together; EUROPEAN LEVEL, equality is a unifying value between diverse Europeans – even when we disagree over its meaning and challenges. 

In Tampere Cultural Programme, they pay special attention to how translate equality into cultural projects. Tampere four programme lines address equality in different contexts: (R)EVOLUTIONS tackles questions of equality in relationship with social and political issues in current societies. The basic European values of democracy, human rights and equality are under threat, and we need arts to keep them alive; EQUALLY YOURS addresses equality in the field of culture. Equality is not about blending differences but celebrating them. Tampere diverse range of culture includes remakes of traditions and heritage, and open-ended platforms for recreation and co-creation; VILLAGE HOPPING views equality through regional lenses, promoting access to high-quality culture in the regions. It celebrates the regional aspects of European identity, studying microidentities and challenging also the personal comfort zones; WILD CARD places human culture inside nature, not above it. Grassroots activities as well as professional environmental art will help develop sustainable solutions with Europe. In sum, Equally European is Tampere ambitious attempt to reach out to Europe, using equality and culture to bind people together as Europeans.

These are the dreams, the hoping, and the goals of one of the three Finnish cities that applied to be European Capital of Culture in 2026. So good luck to every one of them. Next updates on 2 June!




Serafino Paternoster

Ecocnews Founder, Journalist, repentant jazz guitarist, music critic and film lover.

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