The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was founded in 2004 with the objective of supporting international cooperation worldwide. The Network gathers cities of various demographical, economic and cultural backgrounds from all continents.
The Network is the cooperation of cities that are dedicated to taking stock of their resources, experience and knowledge and using those for the common goals that appear in the Network’s Mission Statement. Joining the Network reinforces the local economy and employment via the cultural and creative industries, has a benevolent impact on tourism, as well as helps the holder of the title gain more visibility and renown internationally as a member of a network created by a highly prestigious organisation.
The member cities represent one of seven creative fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. So far only two Hungarian cities have become members of the network: Budapest has been a representative of design since 2015, while Veszprém has held the title of creative city of music since 2019. The applicant cities can apply for a specific creative field. Debrecen is applying for the title of City of Literature.
The City of Literature cluster currently has thirty-nine members. The applicant has to present its traditions, its current literary scene and its medium-term plans in the given creative field by taking into account any relations with state institutions, NGOs and the economy. The creative field of literature includes not only the art of writing and authoring but also book culture and the book industry. The application has to highlight the aspect of innovation as well as existing and future relationships with other creative fields and other cities internationally. The applicant has to delineate their plans to improve access to culture, to realise the broadest possible social inclusion and to include international dimensions.