European Year of Cultural Heritage needs adequate Funding

European Year of Cultural Heritage needs adequate Funding

Brussels, 20 December 2016 – The European Heritage Alliance 3.3 is calling on 28 EU Heads of State or Government to ensure that the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 is supported with adequate financial resources at all levels of governance: from European to national, regional and local.

As part of a joint advocacy campaign, 37 heritage-related European and international networks which form part of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 (Alliance), have signed and sent today a joint letter to the leaders of EU Member States with a forceful message: “Given the huge value of cultural heritage and its proven positive impact on Europe’s economy – creating jobs and growth, as well as on Europe’s society, culture and environment, it is fully justified to allocate a significant budget to the implementation of this historic European initiative.”

Members of the Alliance added that “At a time when EU Member States and Institutions are confronted with an unprecedented political, economic, social, environmental and cultural crisis, (…) the European Year of Cultural Heritage provides us all with a unique opportunity to convey a positive and cohesive message to Europe’s citizens”.

They stressed that “Promoting the understanding and enjoyment of our shared heritage and history and sharing this heritage with other cultures of the world have significant added value. Not only can we boost the much-needed awareness and sense of belonging to a wider community within and across Europe but we can also make use of heritage as a catalyst to build bridges and foster dialogue between cultures across the globe.”

The European Heritage Alliance also referred to the events which will take place on 25 March 2017 in Rome when EU Heads of State or Government will meet to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. “We call on you all to seize the opportunity of this historic gathering to publicly recognise that the entire European project has a wider cultural meaning and significance derived from our shared cultural patrimony, both tangible and intangible” the letter advocates. It also adds that “We should preserve and celebrate our rich heritage as much as we should understand and promote the shared cultural values that are interwoven in this heritage and define who we are as a wider community of Europeans”.

Members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 confirmed their readiness to cooperate closely with EU Institutions and Member States “with the aim of giving our cultural resources and related capital a much stronger recognition and a much more central place within the future agendas of the European Union”. To start with, each member of the Alliance will mobilise their respective our members and partners across Europe to contribute to the success of the European Year of Cultural Heritage “in a creative and dynamic way”.

The EC proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage was published on 30 August 2016 and the EU Council of Ministers adopted its general approach on this proposal at the last meeting of the Council on 22 November 2016. Following the current procedure of “trialogue” between the Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, the final decision on the Year with the probable allocation of a dedicated EU budget is expected to be adopted during the Maltese Presidency of the EU, during the first trimester of the Year.

For the letters to 28 EU Heads of State or Government, see below:

PDF Icon Austria                             PDF Icon Italy

PDF Icon Belgium                            PDF Icon Latvia

PDF Icon Bulgaria                            PDF Icon Luxembourg

PDF Icon Croatia                              PDF Icon Lithuania

PDF Icon Cyprus                               PDF Icon Malta

PDF Icon Czech Republic                PDF Icon The Netherlands

PDF Icon Denmark                           PDF Icon Poland

PDF Icon Ireland                               PDF Icon Portugal

PDF Icon Estonia                              PDF Icon Romania

PDF Icon Finland                              PDF Icon Slovakia

PDF Icon France                               PDF Icon Slovenia

PDF Icon Germany                           PDF Icon Spain

PDF Icon Greece                               PDF Icon Sweden

PDF Icon Hungary                             PDF Icon United Kingdom

Plácido Domingo: destruction of Cultural Heritage is a Human Rights Issue

Plácido Domingo: destruction of Cultural Heritage is a Human Rights Issue

Maestro Plácido Domingo, as President of Europa Nostra and Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, contributed via a video message to the event Time To End Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage: A Human Rights Call to Action held on 27 October at the UN Headquarters. The discussion centred upon the report presented by the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Ms Karima Bennoune.

Plácido Domingo applauded this report that constitutes a vigorous human rights call to action to end intentional destruction of cultural heritage. He also saluted all heritage heroes and defenders taking part in the critical discussion.

In his passionate message he urged the world leaders and citizens alike to work stronger and closer together. He stressed that “It is our human right to protect and preserve cultural heritage, to access it and enjoy it; and to transmit it to our children and grandchildren. Today these rights cannot be taken for granted and require our collective, vigorous defence. This is a duty for humankind as a whole and for each and everybody of us! Referring to intentional destruction of cultural heritage, the President of Europa Nostra stressed:

“when cultural heritage is attacked, damaged or destroyed anywhere in the world, it is our heritage – yours and mine – that is attacked, damaged and destroyed.”

“These destructions undermine our human right to know our own history and the histories of our neighbours. These destructions seek to erase the record of human genius and human creation and by doing so, to erase our collective memory as human beings. These deplorable acts therefore must be firmly condemned and eventually stopped, as advocated in the Report of the UN Special envoy for Cultural Rights.”

Ms Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, expressed every appreciation for Europa Nostra’s support to her report and her appeal to the international community. She thanked especially Europa Nostra President, Plácido Domingo, for his forceful and inspiring message which will be posted on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights based in Geneva, and will be widely shared. In this way, Plácido Domingo’s message will become a most welcome tool for further campaigning for the safeguarding of cultural heritage as part of the UN action for protection of human rights with special emphasis on the relevance of cultural rights.

Watch the Video Message

Plácido Domingo delivers message on European Year of Cultural Heritage to President Juncker

Plácido Domingo, in his capacity as President of Europa Nostra, congratulated Jean-Claude Juncker on the crucial decision recently taken by the President of the European Commission to organise a European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 and reiterated that Europa Nostra and its leadership stand ready to contribute to the successful implementation of this initiative which is so fundamental for Europe and its citizens. This special message was conveyed by Plácido Domingo to Jean-Claude Juncker during their meeting held on the afternoon of 18 May 2016 at the EC headquarters in Brussels, where Maestro Domingo, in his capacity of Honorary Chairman of IFPI – International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, was received by the EC President.

Jean-Claude Juncker, Placido Domingo
Jean-Claude Juncker, Placido Domingo

In his letter delivered to President Juncker, Plácido Domingo stated: “Europa Nostra has been one of the main supporters of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. We are therefore extremely pleased that all EU Institutions, including the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, agreed that such a Year has the potential to generate the much needed positive energy and cohesive force between communities and citizens in Europe. Our position is shared by all 36 European networks which form part of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. which was initiated and is coordinated by Europa Nostra.”

President Juncker was also presented with a copy of the Report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ (CHCFE) – recently produced by Europa Nostra together with 5 other European partners – which demonstrates the positive impact of cultural heritage on Europe’s economy, society, culture and environment.

“In the light of so many challenges – and also many threats Europe and the entire European project are facing today, we strongly believe that our culture and our cultural heritage constitute a strategic resource with a cohesive force for Europe. We therefore encourage you and your team to use this resource in a much more prominent way as a tool for achieving the European Commission’s policy priorities,” advocated the President of Europa Nostra.

2015 Heritage Counts International Conference Publication Offer

An international conference on the economic, social, environmental and cultural impact of built cultural heritage was organised on 3-5 February 2015 by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (KU Leuven) in Leuven, Belgium.

The Heritage Counts conference was a very successful 2nd edition of the yearly Thematic Week, thanks to the enthusiastic discussions among international and interdisciplinary participants as well as the link with the Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe project, funded by the EU Culture Programme (2007-2013) and the support of Europa Nostra, the lead partner of a consortium of 6 organisations.
Taking into account the many fruitful discussions and positive messages on the relevance of this topic, a rigorous publication that encompasses the conference’s content and quality was developed. After an extensive editing process, the “Heritage Counts” publication with Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content (GPRC) is in print at this very moment!

Koen Van Balen and Aziliz Vandesande (Eds.), “Heritage Counts”,Reflections on Cultural Heritage Theories and Practices. A series by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation, KU Leuven, vol. 2, Garant: Antwerp – Apeldoorn, 2015.

ISBN 978-90-441-3330-1 | 320 pp.
Full color, illustrated | 20×25 cm

The publishing company offers a discount pre-subscription offer until 15th December 2015!
€ 39 | VAT & shipment included
As from 15th December € 49 | VAT included, shipment € 5

Please find the complete table of content here and the pre-subscription form here

Standing up for cultural heritage

Standing up for cultural heritage

The European Parliament adopted by a large majority its Resolution ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ emphasising the importance of implementing an integrated approach towards cultural heritage and of ensuring sufficient European funding for this sector. The Resolution also refers to new governance models, the economic and strategic potential of cultural heritage as well as opportunities and challenges.

To read the text in any official EU language, click here.

Photo: Plenary Session week 38 2015 in Brussels: Resumption of session and order of business captured by © European Union 2015 – Source : EP

Fresh off the press: The Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe Report is now available online

Fresh off the press: The Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe Report is now available online

The partners of the EU-funded project ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ (CHCFE) have published on 12 June the main findings and strategic recommendations for tapping into heritage’s full potential by providing compelling evidence of the value of cultural heritage and its impact on Europe’s economy, culture, society and the environment.

The CHCFE project provides a response to the position paper Towards an EU Strategy for Cultural Heritage – The Case for Research presented by the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 to the European Commission in 2012.

The Full Report and Executive Summary are available here.

Photo: CHCfE Group Photo

Horizon 2020: ‘Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe’

Horizon 2020: ‘Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe’

The anticipated report of the Horizon 2020 expert group on cultural heritage is now available online. The report, presenting the conclusions of the Expert Group, provides the rationale for setting a renewed European Research & Innovation policy agenda on cultural heritage. It outlines the general framework about cultural heritage in Europe and the contribution it can make towards smarter, more inclusive and more sustainable development.

Under the chairmanship of Dr Philippe Busquin, former Commissioner for Research, Science and Technology and former Member of the European Parliament, the group of experts found that:

“Cultural heritage is a significant force for 21st century Europe. Not only is it at the heart of what it means to be European, it is being discovered by both governments and citizens as a means of improving economic performance, people’s lives and living environments… Evidence demonstrates that relatively modest investment in cultural heritage can pay substantial dividends. These can be taken economically but also in terms of improving environmental sustainability and social cohesion.”

The group of experts was established under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014 for the Societal Challenge ‘Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials’. It was composed of nine renowned experts from the private and public sector, including Brian Smith, Secretary General of the European Association of Historic Towns and Regions, Member of European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

“Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe” available in 23 languages

The European Commission Communication “Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe” has been translated in 23 languages and is available from the EUR-Lex website, the website that gives access to European Union law.

An overview of the European Commission’s position towards the protection of cultural heritage in Europe is available here.

The European Cultural Tourism Network joins the Alliance

The European Cultural Tourism Network joins the Alliance

We are very pleased to welcome the European Cultural Tourism Network as 31st member of our Alliance!

ECTN is the only network which brings the tourism and cultural industry professionals working in different regions of Europe together to exchange experience and information on best practices.

The decision to form the European Cultural Tourism Network arose out of a conference on Cultural Tourism held in Brussels in February 2003 which was attended by representatives of 17 countries. It was clear from the delegates that a network was required to bring together people working in tourism and the cultural industries throughout Europe.

For more information on this new member, please see: www.ectn.eu.com

Photo: The monastery of Holy Trinity, in Thessaly, the region where the ECTN president member is located captured by Thomas Depenbusch