Rijeka was chosen by a commission of independent experts on Thursday as one of the two European Capitals of Culture in 2020.
The commission, including officials from EU institutions and two experts from Croatia, was chaired by Steve Green, and Rijeka was chosen after it and another three shortlisted cities -- Dubrovnik, Osijek, Pula -- presented their respective programmes in this competition.
This international panel of cultural experts is in charge of assessing the nominations for the title according to criteria specified by the European Union.
The city designated as the European Capital of Culture organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension during a given calendar year.
Apart from a Croatian city, an Irish city will be designated as the European Capital of Culture in 2020, and the Irish choice will be announced in July. Galway, Limerick and Waterford have been shortlisted.
In 2016, the culture capitals are San Sebastian in Spain and Wroclaw in Poland.
The idea of selecting capitals of culture was proposed in 1985 by former actress Melina Mercouri, who was then Greece’s Minister of Culture, and her French counterpart Jack Lang. They came up with the idea of designating an annual Capital of Culture to bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values.