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Valletta was declared European Capital of Culture (ECoC) on the 12th October 2012. The Valletta 2018 Foundation was responsible for compiling the bid for Valletta as an ECoC and is in charge of implementing the project.

Valletta will be hosting the title of European Capital of Culture in 2018 with a partner Dutch city, Leeuwarden. The ECoC includes all the Maltese Islands, with an aim to spread its impact throughout the whole Maltese territory.

The Valletta 2018 Foundation is responsible for the implementation of the Cultural Programme. As per ECoC regulations set by the EU, the Cultural Programme is to promote a European dimension and encourage citizen participation. Valletta 2018 will enable the participation of the citizens of Malta and Europe and will form an integral and sustainable part of the long-term social, economic and cultural development of Malta. The Cultural Programme is built around four themes: Generations, Routes, Cities and Islands. In conjunction with the Cultural Programme, the Foundation is developing a programme of consistent, accessible and comparable research and evaluation directly linked to culture.

Valletta 2018 is developing a brand that will be associated with cultural excellence. The brand will communicate ECoC activities to local and international target audiences.

Valletta 2018 believes that investment in cultural infrastructure requires careful planning and consideration to ensure that what is left after the ECoC is what the city and citizens really need and can make long term use of.

The approach of Valletta 2018 to culture is inclusive and encompasses artistic expression and creativity, and extends to other forms of human expression such as food, the built environment, science and sporting activities.