European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Part III The Association of the European Cities of Culture of the Year 2000


Chapter I

The structure behind the cooperation


When the nine ECC2000 were selected in 1995 for being the European Cities of Culture “, for the new millennium,” the fifteen European Ministers responsible fo r the culture sector formally invited Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Krakow, Helsinki, Praha, Reykjavik and Saint Jacques de Compostela, “to co-ordinate their programme, define a common theme for this event and act together in the organisation of a European cultural space for the year

2000”.(Extract from the Draft Minutes of the Council of 20.11.1995)

Since the first meeting (16-17 February 1996, ECC2000 Meeting in Krakow) it became obvious to each of the nine cities that this, “forced cooperation” was a challenge to accept and should be carried out in the best way. Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Krakow, Helsinki, Prague, Reykjavik and Saint Jacques de Compostela formally decided to join under a common logo and to establish a legal entity (08-09 July 1996, ECC 2000 Meeting in Avignon)

Three months later, in Helsinki (04-07 September, ECC 2000 Meeting in Helsinki), the nine cities approved an agreement on their common policy during the year 2000: “« According to the original concept of the Cultural City tradition, the cities will work to make the culture of every city and country known to each other and to all the people of Europe and the whole world. Thus the goal in the decision of the EU Council of Cultural Ministers will be achieved and particular symbolic significance of the year 2000 as the opening of a new millennium taken into account. The Council of Cultural Ministers invited the cities to co -ordinate their programmes and to work out a common theme for the events. They will thus be able to act together in an organisation of a European cultural space for the year 2000.

In order to implement the decision of the Council of Ministers, the cities will work to make the inhabitants of the cities and the citizens of each country more aware of the culture of the other cities. Furthermore, active measures through which the citizens can learn to know the people and the culture of the other cities by themselves and without prejudice will be made possible and gain permanent forms that continue after the Culture Capital year. This cooperation will help to make cultures known beyond Europe as well.

The Cultural Cities ambition is, both separately and jointly, to produce and realise multifaceted projects for circulation in all the Cultural Cities in the year 2000. Moreover, development projects about cultural functions will be produced in the view of achieving permanent structural changes as well as reforms that activate the citizens and support civic democracy. This is a question of processes of development that will start immediately and continue in the new millennium.

The network of Cultural Cities offers excellent opportunities for extensive interaction between artists, organisations, young people, students and institutions and those in charge of the cultural administration, giving birth to new experiences and ideas and allowing people to get to know each other.

The activities of the Cultural Cities are aimed at bringing the peoples of Europe closer to each other by means of culture.

To fulfil these aims, the representatives of the European Cultural Cities for the Year 2000, Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Cracow, Helsinki, Prague, Reykjavik, Santiago de Compostela, acts as follows:

- They join under the title of « European Cities of Culture in the Year 2000».

- They join under a common symbol.

- The Cities will establish a legal entity.»

In this same document the cities of Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Krakow, Helsinki, Prague, Reykjavik and Saint Jacques de Compostela agreed to cooperate in the following way:

1) Develop several joint projects bringing together all the nine cities; 2) Develop several common projects with the participation of two or more ECC2000; 3) Fostering, supporting and co-ordinating the co-operation between people and cultural organisations/institutions living in the nine ECC2000; 4) Fostering, supporting and co-ordinating the activities of the citizens in order to enrich their everyday life and gathering information about the other cities of culture. A special attention will be paid to children and young people, the new generation of the new millennium.


2.2. Legal status

In March 1998 the nine Cities defined and established legally a non-profit making international association called, “the Association of the nine European Cities of Culture of the year 2000” (Moniteur belge,25.02.1999. Identification number 2615/1999 ) (AECC). This Association was governed by Belgian law which grants legal status to the International Association pursuing Philanthropic, Religious, Scientific, Artistic or Pedagogical aims of the Law of 25.10.1919, modified by the Law of 06.12.1954.

The office had its headquarters in Brussels, where, premises were donated by the city. The Association operated between March 1998 until March 2001.

2.3. The object of the association

Article 3 of the Statue of the AECC states that: “the main object of the AECC is to help, promote, organise and develop common projects as well as activities that its members will realise in the capacity of European Cities of Culture of the Year 2000, as well as the best and most extended international diffusion of these projects and activities”.

The same articles adds that: “The cities will work to make the culture of every city and country known to each other and to all other peoples of Europe and the whole world. They will be able to act together in the organisation of a European cultural space for the year 2000.

Moreover the Members of the Association agreed that: “The cities will work to make the inhabitants of the cities and the citizens of each country more aware of the culture of other cities. Furthermore, active measures through which the citizens can learn about people and culture of the other cities by themselves without prejudices, will be made possible and gain permanent forms that continue after the cultural Capital year. This cooperation will activate the citizens and support civic democracy. This is a question of processes of development that will start immediately and continue in the new millennium. The activities of the cultural cities are aimed at bringing the peoples of Europe closer to each other by means culture”.

2.4. The AECC Board

The members of the board were the elected Mayors and deputy Mayors of culture of the nine cities with the exception of Bologna, Helsinki and Krakow where the cities were represented respectively by the ECC2000 Office Directors (Helsinki and Krakow) and by the Director of the Municipality Cultural office (Bologna).

The AECC Board held all powers of administration, with the exception of those belonging to the jurisdiction of the General Meeting. The Board held about 20 meetings between 1996 and 2000. The AECC Board members were the following:

- Mayor of Avignon, Mrs. Marie-José Roig

- Mayor of Bergen, Mrs Anne-Grete Strøm Eriksen

- Mayor of Praha, Mr. Jan Kasl

- Mayor of Reykjavik, Mrs. Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir

- Mayor of Santiago de Compostella, Mr. D. José Antonio Sànchez Bugallo

- Deputy Mayor for Arts, Youth and Turism, Brussels, Mrs. Marion Lemesre

- Director of Helsinki 2000, Mr. Georg Dolivo

- Director of Krakow 2000, Mr. Boguslav Sonik

- Director of Cultural Affairs Department in Bologna, Mr. Giordano Gasparini

2.4. The AECC Board of Directors

The nine Directors of the ECC2000 represented the ‘driving force’ of the Association. In-between the Board meeting, about 20 Directors meetings were organised to allow the nine cultural city offices to focus on the organisational aspects of the planned co-operation or to allow representatives of their staff to work on specific aspects.

The AECC Directors were the following:

- Terje Gloppen, Bergen 2000

- Giordano Gasparni, Comitato Bologna 2000

- Robert Palmer, Bruxelles/Brussels 2000

- Georg Dolivo, Helsinki 2000

- Boguslav Sonik, Festival krakow 2000

- Michael Prokop, Praha 2000

- Thorunn Sigurdadottir, Reykjavik 2000

- Pablo Martinez, Santiago de Compostela 2000


2.5. the AECC Presidency

The AECC had a rotating Presidency. The members took turns in presiding the AECC activities for 4 months.

Period Secretary President Treasurer

Sept-Dec 1997 Bergen Avignon Reykjavik

Jan-April 1998 Krakow Bergen Avignon

May-Aug 1998 Santiago Krakow Bergen

Sept-Dec 1998 Brussels Santiago Krakow

Jan-April 1999 rague Brussels Santiago

May-Aug 1999 Helsinki Prague Brussels

Sept-Dec 1999 Bologna Helsinki Prague

Jan-April 2000 Reykjavik Bologna Helsinki

May-Aug 2000 Avignon Reykjavik Bologna

Sept-Dec 2000 Brussels Avignon Reykjavik

AECC presidency rotation (Decision Krakow 1/7/98)



3.1. The role of the Secretariat

The role of the secretariat (consisting of a General Secretary and an office Assistant) was to stimulate and support the co-operation in the fields of international cultural projects, information-exchange and promotion. It was also responsible for the communication and dialogue with the European institutions and for writing funding applications in the framework

of the European call for proposals.

Special attention given by the AECC Secretariat went to the AECC joint projects.

In order to, “advise the network of the nine cities on appropriate strategies, approaches and contacts, as well as to ensure general coordination relating to the international association”, the Board appointed in March 1998 Mrs. Hilde Teuchies as AECC General Secretary.

In April 1999, Mrs Giannalia Cogliandro joined the Association first as AECC co-ordinator and then as General Secretary from June 1999 until March 2001.

3.2. The tasks of the Secretariat

In order to insure the achievement of its role, the main tasks of the Secretariat were defined as follows:

· office management

· organisation of the AECC meetings

· EU lobbying

· EU funding applications

· AECC joint projects

· AECC joint communication

The AECC Secretariat organised about 30 meetings (Board, Directors and Projects meetings) between 1998 and 2000.

3.3. The AECC total budget and financing

The expenses of the Secretariat were covered by the membership contributions: (Equal contribution paid by the 9 ECC2000 Office directly to the Association)


1998 12.000

1999 12.000

2000 4000


The rolling costs (Staff (2 people), Office expenses, Travels, Subsistence, Joint Communications, Publications, Projects, joint participation in special events (Fairs).) of the Secretariat were the following:


1998 (March/Dec) 72.512

1999 (Jan/Dec) 93.576

2000 (Jan/Dec) 100.000

2001 (Jan/March) 17.574

3.4. The EU support

The Association of the European Cities of Culture for the year 2000 also received a grant support from the European Commission directly. This support contributed to the development and implementation of several feasibility studies and AECC joint projects.


1997 200.000

1998 250.000

1999 350.000

3.5. The working language of the Association

In order to not create any discrimination between the eight different languages of the Cities

Members of the Association in one hand, and to not waist time and money in translating in

the other, the AECC members decided, in 1998, to work in French and English.



In 1998, The Association of the nine ECC2000 proposed the setting up of an Intranet system for communication between the nine ECC offices.

The main idea was that a joint communication tool would allow the nine offices (and their staff and those working on the AECC joint projects) to co-operate intensively in an efficient, cost and time effective way. After analysing several proposals the project “WEBOFFICE” made by SUBNET was accepted. For covering the implementation and running costs of this system a total budget of 46.146 EURO was put aside by the Association. (Year 1998 and 1999 costs. The WEB Office was not operational in the year 2000.)

This intranet system allowed people working in Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Helsinki, Krakow, Prague, Reykjavik and Santiago de Compostela access to documents, directories, news, projects, calendars prepared by the nine ECC2000 Offices on the world wide web. The WEBOFFICE was accessible to everyone on the Internet. It was, however, a closed system, in which all users had to enter their user names and passwords to gain access to ’ private’ discussions and documents.


Chapter II

The joint communication and promotion


From the beginning it was apparent to all the offices that a clear distinction was needed between :

- the strategies for common communication and promotion in the field of tourism (strategies developed by the tourist boards, sometimes with or sometimes without the close collaboration of the Cultural City Office)

- the strategy for common communication and promotion developed by the Cultural City Offices themselves in the framework of the AECC.

In order to promote themselves jointly the nine cities agreed in late 1998 to develop a complex communication and promotional programme including the following elements:

- the creation of a common logo

- the publication and printing out of common promotion material (leaflets, brochure/newsletter)

- the representation of the AECC at important events (travel, Book, cultural fairs..)

- the creation of a common video-tape

- the sharing of national/local press contacts



In July 1996 (Meeting in Avignon, 7-9 July 1996), the cities of Avignon, Bergen Brussels, Bologna, Prague, Helsinki and Reykjavik asked Santiago de Compostela and Krakow to investigate, develop and prepare a common logo for the nine cities also to be used as a commercial logo for a potential joint international marketing programme for the nine cities.

Santiago de Compostela cooperated with the Spanish designer Mr. Daniel Nebot who developed a common symbol for the nine cities. To strengthen the identity of the European Cities of Culture of the Year 2000, he also developed the common symbol in a personalised version to function as the symbol for each of the nine cultural cities.

A few months later, Santiago de Compostela on behalf of the European Cities of Culture of the Year 2000, signed a contract with the Spanish designer Mr. Daniel Nebot. The “gold star “ was born: “The Star will be the first joint project between the nine cities. The star is the closest symbol to identify Europe and everything linked to Europe. The star means being a protagonist and the nine cities will be the star, the protagonists of the new millennium”, commented Daniel Nebot.(Daniel Netbot proposal, July 1996.)

The ECC was exclusively granted all the patrimonial and intellectual property rights and the copyrights world-wide of the «star», including the nine personalised versions for each city. During 1996 the symbol and trademark were registered as a trademark in 22 classes within the European Union and for certain countries outside the EU. Thereby, they obtained proper legal protection within the framework of the trademark registration system.

The AECC logo was employed to promote all the initiatives and projects carried out jointly by Avignon, Bergen, Bologna, Brussels, Krakow, Praha, Helsinki, Reykjavik and Santiago de Compostela until the end of the year 2000.

Together with this AECC common logo each city built an international and national marketing programme based upon selling the city under an individual city logo. In particular, the cities of Helsinki, Reykjavik and Santiago decided to adopt a personalised version of the common logo. The remaining cities designed their own logo.



3.1. Introduction

After the adoption of the common symbol, the nine cities decided to explore the possibility of going forward with an international sponsorship programme and an international licensing programme for the AECC. In July 1997, (ECC2000 meeting in Avignon, 25-26/07/1997) the Norwegian company, Thue & Saalvag was engaged to carry out a report on the following:

- Prepare and describe the overall structure for an international sponsorship programme and an international licensing programme for the Association of the European Cities of culture;

- List and describe the consequences the international programmes will have on national sponsorship and licensing programmes for each city;

- Secure that the AECC obtain commercial rights to the final approved logo;

- Develop a sponsorship right package that will be the product AECC will be selling to the sponsors. The study should also pointed out the regulations and limitations which are necessary to draw up and to develop a successful licensing programme;

- Investigate which product categories are available for an international sponsorship programme without interfering with already existing national sponsorship programmes initiated by each city;

- Prepare a draft sponsorship contract and a draft contract between the AECC and each city.


The study (Carried out during the summer 1997 and presented in Brussels on 9th of October 1997) pointed out that one of the main goals for an international marketing programme for the European Cities of Culture of the Year 2000 was to maximise the commercial income for the nine cities by bringing in international sponsors and licensees seeking international exposure, therefore not buying into the national programmes.

Moreover, according to the same study, “to build up an international marketing concept for the European Cities of Culture of the year 2000 it is necessary to base the concept on the fact that each of the nine cities will have their own marketing programme with sponsors and licensees recruited from the national market. An international marketing programme must,

since it has not been developed and implemented so far, in our opinion, be an add on programme to the national programmes. This is also a natural consequence because the rights package which can be offered to the international commercial partners, must be delivered by each of the cities. The international body for the European Cities of Culture will not hold any rights to the events organised by the individual cities. The only right which the ECC will be able to grant, is the right to the international logo. It is necessary to build up a programme which will give the international commercial partners exposure and rights which are less than those offered to the national partners. The international sponsors must therefore be positioned as the highest level of sponsors for each city. This means that the rights package offered by each city must be more or less identical to that offered to the top category national sponsors for the same city. ” (European Cities of Culture of the year 2000, study of a joint marketing programme, September 1997

Thue & Selvaag AS.)

3. 2. The common sponsorship programme

As concerns the sponsorship programme, the Thue & Selvaag report proposes that the structure of the sponsorship programmes was as follows:

· The international sponsorship programme ( international exposure )

· The top national sponsorship programme ( national exposure )

· Official suppliers

· Project sponsors

With regard to the rights offered to the different level of sponsors, the report recommends that the same rights are offered to international sponsors in the same way that the nine cities do to top national sponsors except that the international sponsors can also use the international logo ( the ECC logo ) and they have the right to world wide exposure. The national sponsors can only use the marketing rights within its territory, (the country). ”The Project sponsors may be both a national programme and an international programme. These sponsors will get the right to be associated with a specific project. If that project is a joint project between two or more cities, the project sponsor should have the right to use the international logo. If it is a national project, the sponsor should only be allowed to use the city logo. If one city is organising a programme or event in another city, the visiting city’s sponsors should be given the right to expose it in the hosting city (country) as long as it is made clear that the sponsors are only the visiting city’s sponsors”.

3.3. Product categories for the international sponsorship programme.

After discussions with the cities, the contract between Thue & Selvaag and the AECC was signed at the end of February 1998. The Norwegian company was asked to start a sponsorship campaign towards the following categories: soft drinks, credit cards and rental cars. In particular, the following international companies were contacted during the year


Pepsico international Limited, London

Coca Cola Norway

Coca Cola Greater Europe, Brussels

Europay, Norway

Europay International, Brussels

Visa International EU region, London

Lease plan




Europecar International


Avis Europe

Norwegian salmon industries

After being contacted several times all these companies confirmed that they were not interested in sponsoring the ECC2000. The contract with the Norwegian Company ended on late 1998.

3.4. Results

Why didn’t the Association of the European Cities of Culture succeed in finding any international sponsors for a joint sponsorship in the year 2000?

According to the evaluation report (Thue & Selvaag evaluation report, February 1999) published in February 1999 by Thue & Selvaag, the main reasons for which it was impossible to find any sponsors for a joint promotion of the nine cities were:

· Number of categories available for the programme: With only three categories to approach - soft drinks, credit cards and rental cars – there was a very limited number of companies to try to sell the international sponsorship programme to.

· Time available for the sale was to short: The Thue & Selvaag Company had only a selling period of 6-7 months in altogether. Experience has shown that it is necessary to have more time to finalise sponsor -contracts at this level.

· Year 2000: The year 2000 was a special year with a lot of national and international projects taking place. Therefore the competition in the sponsor market was tremendous for this specific year. A lot of companies had already committed their sponsorship budgets in 1998 to other projects taking place in the year 2000.

· Not a Pan European sponsorship programme: The ECC2000 was not a real Pan European programme because important countries like the UK and Germany were not represented among the nine cities participating in the European Cities of Culture for the Year 2000.

· Project-events and sponsor-structure from each city: The content of the sponsor packages and structure in each city were not ready when the Norwegian company made the different presentations to the companies. It was difficult to make them understand that they really could take part as a sponsor. This created an unclear situation because the companies did not get the full picture of the sponsorship structure and what events where included in the programme and what events would be suitable to promote the sponsors. Big events in each city should have been selected much earlier in order to generate interest and understanding about the whole project.

· It was also a disadvantage for the sales process that the project had an unclear profile because each of the cities had their own logo and the common logo, the star, was totally new and unknown in the market.

· Only a one-year programme. No long term effects: The companies pointed out that the sponsorship programme for the nine European Cities of Culture for the year 2000 was a single year project, that ended in December 2000. Even though the event lasted a whole year, many of the companies were looking for long term sponsorship relations to

get more payback on their investment, “For the coming cities of culture the European Union should try to build a clear and common profile and try to co-ordinate a joint international sponsorship programme including different cultural cities for a period of at least five years. It is our recommendation on that they also create ONE common logo for all future European cities of culture. By doing so they can start building a brand which over a time may become an interesting object to be associated with for companies looking for international culture exposure”.(Thue & selvaag evaluation report, February 1999)

Finally, according to Thue & Selvaag, the change in the management of some of the cities also gave an impression of a project with some risks.



4.1. Common promotional material

In the beginning of 1998 , the nine Tourist Offices decided to co-operate in a more concrete way. The first results of this cooperation were the following:

· the publishing of a ‘common “brochure’ with one page for each city (text + photo) at the beginning 1998. The text in this brochure was about the history of the city, its cultural richness and the theme and emphasis for the year 2000. This document, financed by the ECC2000 Tourism offices directly, was published and about 5000 copies per city were

distributed. The target public was the professionals of the tourist sector and brochures were distributed during fairs, BTP, professional fairs and press. This brochure was published in French, English and German;

· the publishing of a common poster (A3 format) reproducing the first page of the brochure;

· the publishing of a common folder on the basis of the common brochure with 1 page and 4 pages of photos. About 100 copies of the brochure were distributed per city directly.

On the contrary the idea of publishing a common brochure in English, financed directly by the nine ECC didn’t succeed. The idea behind this ambitious conception was to present all the different cultural programmes and to publish the ECC2000 contact details. The target public was the following:

· cultural institutions

· embassies

· tourist Offices

· press

Nevertheless, the nine ECCs succeeded in jointly promoting their image 1) By printing out 30.000 postcards (3.000 per city + 3.000 per AECC). In these promotional postcards the information was very simple: just the AECC logo and the name of the 9 web sites of the nine cities of cultures; 2) By financing a videotape (Contact magazine and Euronews, Wildheartt production company, Brussels) in cooperation with Contact magazine aimed at presenting the nine cities of culture to air travellers and TV watchers.


4.2. Press conferences

The first common press conference was organised in November 1997 in Lancaster. All the nine International Tourist Offices attended and contributed to this conference.

A second common conference was organised in Liege (April 1996, Belgium) during the Mosaica cultural fair. This event (financed by the AECC and the nine Offices directly) offered the nine ECC’s the opportunity to hold a joint press conference attended by several European journalists and television companies.

Furthermore, several press conferences were informally organised during the year 1999 and 2000 by the hosting cities during AECC formal and informal meetings.

4.3. International fairs

In July 1998, the nine ECC decided to take part jointly in the following events:

· International Tourism’s Borse , TIB, (Berlin, March 1999)

· WTM (London Novembers 1999)

· Frankfurt Book fair (Frankfurt, October 1999)

· Cultural Workshop (Nantes, late 1999)

· Salon des vacances (Brussels, April 1999)

In spite of the strong commitment of some cities to reach a common conclusion, the nine cities and Tourist offices didn’t reach a common agreement. Consequently, all the nine Tourist offices took part in these international events but on a separate basis.

The main reason for this failure was the lack of common projects being promoted and the variety of images “to sell”. Nevertheless, in June 1999 the nine cities offices agreed to setting up a common fair stand in the first European cultural fair (June 1999, MOSAICA, Liege, Belgium). This participation was financed directly by the nine cities and the Association of the European Cities of Culture. For this event the nine cities also produced a set of common promotional material such as banners, postcards, posters, stickers and pins with the common logo.

4.4. Web-site

After several discussions about the necessity to develop a common web-site the nine cities concluded in late 1998 that the AECC didn’t need its own web-site. Nevertheless, in order to insure a mutual promotion, the nine ECC’s committed themselves to create an easy and visible link from their own web pages to the home pages of the other cities.

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