The European Union's selection panel has picked the western Czech city of Pilsen (Plzen) as Europe's capital of culture for 2015, its head, Sir Robert Scott, told reporters in Prague on Wednesday.

If approved formally by the EU later this year, the city with a population of 167,000, world-famous for the production of the Pilsner Urquell lager, will share the title with Belgium's Mons under the EU's rotation system.

The European Union, which the Czech Republic joined in 2004, designates a city as capital of culture for a year to give it a chance to showcase its cultural life and history.