Of the nine cities which submitted bids, only four remain: Daugavpils, Liepāja, Jūrmala and Valmiera. They now have the chance to work on their bids until next spring.
Meanwhile Cēsis, Jelgava, Jēkabpils, Kuldīga, and Ogre drop out of the running.
The jury consists of experts selected by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions, as well as two national experts nominated by the National Council for Culture and the Ministry of Culture.
Municipal applications are evaluated by an international panel of 11 members in the following sets of criteria: contribution to a long-term strategy, European dimension, cultural and artistic content, implementation capacity, public involvement and governance.
Zane Petre, Head of the European Commission Representation in Latvia said: “The European Capital of Culture initiative is a wonderful example of how we can make our culture better known by continuing the traditions and re-creating it, to bring Latvia's name to Europe and the world. Every city that has taken up this challenge and is fighting for the title of European Capital of Culture is already a winner in a way, thinking, planning and investing in the development of its city. ”
The European Capital of Culture title has been awarded annually since 1985. It is awarded annually to one city in each of two EU Member States. The calendar envisages that in 2027 the title of European Capital of Culture will be awarded to two Member States - Latvia and Portugal.
According to the jury, the two newly selected European Capitals of Culture will also be nominated for a € 1.5 million prize.
Back in 2008, Rīga, Cēsis, Jūrmala and Liepāja submitted applications for the selection of the European Capital of Culture 2014. Rīga, Liepāja and Cēsis were promoted to the second selection round with Rīga eventually winning out.
You can read our own early summaries of all nine bids in this series of features.