“In 2022, Lithuania will have an excellent European Capital of Culture,” Sylvain Pasqua, senior expert with the European Commission, said before announcing the municipalities short-listed by a panel of experts on Tuesday night.

After the final round of selection, which is due in the spring of 2017, the panel will choose a Lithuanian city which will be awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2022.

Klaipėda, which has teamed up with Neringa and Palanga for the competition, has chosen a slogan ‘Rising to Wind’ for its project. Klaipėda plans to set aside €15 million for this project and the total budget of the bid from the three cities should be as big as €30 million.

The municipality of the city of Kaunas has submitted its bid in tandem with the district of Kaunas. The city has earmarked €12 million for the project and the district – additional €4 million. Kaunas is developing a program highlighting its transition from a temporary to a modern capital.

The title of the European Capital of Culture is granted annually to the maximum of one city in every of two member-states. In 2022, the European Capitals of Culture will be in Lithuania and Luxembourg.