Over the years, the initiative has contributed to the sustainable development of cities and their surrounding areas, bringing them long-term impact in cultural, social, and economic terms.
The ECoC project is a unique opportunity to promote Europe’s cultural diversity, as well as dialogue and greater mutual understanding between European citizens; to widen access to, and participation in culture; to strengthen the capacity of the cultural sector and its links with other sectors; to improve cultural infrastructure; to develop the skills, capacity, and governance of local and national assets; and to promote the city and its cultural programme.
Drawing inspiration from the rich history of the city, 2023 Eleusis forms a comprehensive artistic, research, and educational programme. Its Mysteries of Transition focus on three distinct and interconnected central programme themes – People | Society, Environment, and Labour – reflecting the unique features of the city and the contemporary challenges facing both Elefsina and Europe. Therefore, through the artistic programme, the city is led away from its prevailing public perception as a disadvantaged industrial city and into its next phase, strengthening its position on the cultural map at a regional, national, and international level. This is being realised through wider synergies within the national and international contemporary cultural field, turning the city into a thriving cultural destination, one undoubtedly remarkable for the visitor.
By becoming the European Capital of Culture, Elefsina is joining an ECoC family of over 70 European cities that have held the title so far. Elefsina is the fourth European Capital of Culture hosted in Greece, after Athens (1985), Thessaloniki (1997), and Patras (2006). In 2023, the city of Elefsina is not celebrating alone, as the title of European Capital of Culture is being hosted together with our partner cities, Timișoara in Romania and Veszprém in Hungary, forging close links, exchanges, and collaborations between the three cities.