(Brussels) The role of European Capitals of Culture is to “help cities create a sense of community and to bring long-lasting benefits to their citizens and economies”. Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, offered his best wishes to the cities of Wroclaw (Poland) and San Sebastian (Spain), which will be European Capitals of Culture for 2016. The Hungarian commissioner Navracsics will be in Wroclaw for the opening ceremony on 17 January that will mark the beginning of a year-long programme of events. The opening ceremony will take place over the weekend of 15-17 January with almost 100 cultural events such as concerts, exhibitions and shows. The main event on Sunday 17 January will feature four parades through the streets of Wroclaw, beginning in the four corners of the city and converging on the central Rynek marketplace for the grand final. The parades will be led by artists representing the four “Spirits of Wroclaw” (the Spirit of Faiths, of Innovation, of Rebuilding, and the Spirit of Flood). Over 2,000 artists will take part. The motto chosen for Wroclaw 2016 is “Spaces of Beauty”. As municipal authorities explain, it is a reference to the ideas of metamorphosis and diversity, drawing on the city’s history. Citizens were invited to run part of the annual programme. During the year, the city will also become UNESCO World Book Capital.