In July 2015, the Turku 2011 foundation appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court against the decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture made on 3 September 2014 concerning the recovery of 2 168 912.99 euros. For the duration of the court process, the foundation deposited the total sum along with accumulated interest on an account indicated by the Ministry of Education and Culture. On the day of deposit, 6 March 2015, the total sum was 2 204 064.08 euros.
In accordance with the court’s decision made on 23 January 2018, the Turku 2011 foundation has the obligation to pay back 1 975 705.46 euros. However, the obligation to pay interest has been removed because the foundation has not used the funds for other purposes than measures concerning the European Capital of Culture project.
The Mayor of Turku Minna Arve regrets the rejection of the foundation’s appeal.
- The end result is unfortunate from the point of view of the City of Turku and from the point of view of culture. However, we are pleased that the Supreme Administrative Court removed the obligation to pay interests.
- The foundation deposited the disputed total sum of approximately 2 million along with interests accumulated by the day of deposit on the account indicated by the ministry. The accumulated interest was approximately 230 000 euros and the amount returned to the City of Turku will be used in accordance with the purpose of the foundation to support culture, Minna Arve promises.
The Turku 2011 foundation appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court against the decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture to reject the appeal concerning the recovery of government aid, as it considered the recovery unjustified. Government aid funds were supposed to be used to strengthen long-term impacts of the European Capital of Culture year for instance by organising long-term projects that support Turku’s Capital of Culture objectives.
The European Capital of Culture programme was launched already in 1985. The case of Turku 2011 was the first one where a state with a city selected as the European Capital of Culture demands back aid already granted.