On Thursday 12 December 2019, the European Jury officially announced its shortlist of which German bidding cities in the German national competition have gained a place in the final round for the title of "European Capital of Culture 2025". The City of Dresden bid did not progress to the next candidate stage.
"Of course I’m disappointed that Dresden didn’t make it into the next round, just like we all are," explained Dresden’s Mayor Dirk Hilbert after the announcement of the decision in Berlin. "We invested a lot of work in our bid, and in my view the bid we submitted was excellent. But for that, the opportunity alone of participating in the bidding process has proven enriching and beneficial to Dresden, as indeed to all the local people who demonstrated such commitment to it. We now have to analyse the reasons why our bid failed. But parallel to that we have to decide especially which parts of the concept should still be implemented, and propose this to the City Council."
"All of the bidding cities submitted top-class concepts, and I’m completely convinced that we produced excellent approaches and ideas in the bid book, ones that were highly sustainable for the further municipal development of Dresden," said Dresden’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and Tourism Annekatrin Klepsch, who was present in Berlin during the announcement of the jury decision. "With our bid, we succeeded in developing shared aims and ambition for our city between the urban administration, the political sphere, the cultural scene and the community of people living here, as well as initiating new partnerships and cooperative arrangements. And we can use these cooperative efforts as a basis for tackling the culture policy tasks we are facing in the future. Our plan now is to provide proposals to the City Council in the New Year about which of the plans and concepts should still be pursued and implemented from the bid."
"I’m very sad about this decision. Dresden really deserved to be on the shortlist," said curator Michael Schindhelm. "But for that, the concept we developed together represented an important step for the urban development in the whole of Dresden, as indeed for the cultural scene in the complete region. And the involvement of the people of Dresden in the creation of culture will continue and prevail in the future, with or without this title. I’m sure of that."
"I feel sorry especially for everyone involved in the bidding process, as well as for all the people of Dresden who showed such commitment and worked together with us so intensively over the last few months," added Dr. David Klein, who heads the Bid Office Dresden 2025. "We’ve demonstrated together that by using our culture, we’re able to make things happen, sets them in motion. The Bid Office Dresden 2025 will now develop a submission of proposals for the City Council, where we’ll specify which projects we believe should still be pursued and developed, even without the title."
"Despite our disappointment, may I take this opportunity to congratulate our fellow bidders from Chemnitz especially," said Dresden’s Mayor Dirk Hilbert. "And not only are we keeping our fingers crossed for the remaining bidder from Saxony, but if they so wish, we’d also be delighted to act as their cooperation partner."
A gift to Dresden
Under the city’s motto "A gift to Dresden", a surprise event is being held this evening at 20.00 on Striezelmarkt Stage to express our thanks to everyone involved in the bid and celebrate our success together. At 20.25 in cooperation with the mulled wine sellers at the Striezelmarkt market, 2025 "Glühwein" (mulled wine) will be served. The members of the Bid Office Dresden 2025 team will hand out Glühwein vouchers across the complete Altmarkt square for all wishing to partake of some free mulled wine.