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

European Commission Publishes Proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

European Commission Publishes Proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

Brussels / The Hague, 30 August 2016 – In time for the political rentrée in September, the European Commission has today published its long-awaited proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. After the initial announcement by EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics in April 2016, the Commission’s detailed proposal now sets the framework in which the European Year will take place. It sends a strong signal to both citizens and policy-makers that cultural heritage matters for Europe and is at the heart of what connects peoples, cities, regions and countries in Europe.

The European Year as proposed by the European Commission will help promoting how cultural heritage contributes to cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, to the economy and society and promote it as a key element of EU’s international dimension. The Commission proposes to implement the year by using existing EU programmes under which cultural heritage is eligible for funding, ranging from Creative Europe to Horizon 2020 but also specific actions such as the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage, which is organised by Europa Nostra. Given the importance of this Year also beyond the heritage world, Europa Nostra hopes that the EU institutions will find a way of finding adequate funding for the Year. Besides mentioning Europa Nostra as one of the key stakeholders consulted in the process, the proposal also explicitly refers to one of Europa Nostra’s recent flagship projects, ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’, which was funded by the EU Culture Programme, as a source of existing expertise.

Europa Nostra’s President Plácido Domingo welcomed the proposal and called on civil society: “The European Year of Cultural Heritage should be a year of discovery for the peoples of Europe: learning about our common cultural heritage, how it connects us across the continent. It is an open invitation to dive into history, enjoy outstanding heritage sites and share one’s passion for their beauty with people from all over Europe and beyond. Let this not be just a title – let us all work together to make this year the spark that initiates a Renaissance of Europe. Europa Nostra will give cultural heritage a voice during this year – a voice to inform, to teach, to help discovering, to exchanges ideas and – above all – to enjoy our common heritage together!”

Europa Nostra as pan-European federation of heritage NGOs is actively preparing for the European Year by mobilising its wide network. In November, its Council and Board will convene to decide on an ambitious Action Plan for 2017-2019 to ensure civil society will contribute to the fullest to the year. Likewise, Europa Nostra’s leadership is working towards making its 2018 annual congress one of the highlights of the year: a European Heritage Summit in Berlin.

“Europa Nostra stands ready to actively and creatively support the preparation of the Year now. We are working with our members and members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3., our partners and supporters from across Europe together to make the European Year of Cultural Heritage a memorable one for citizens in Europe and beyond. Civil society should be at the heart of shaping this Year. It should not have an end – on the contrary, it should be the start of something more, more Europe and more passion for cultural heritage!” stressed Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary-General of Europa Nostra.

The Commission’s proposal to make 2018 the European Year of Cultural Heritage follows a series of important policy developments at European level, such as the Council conclusions of May 2014 on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe, the Commission’s 2014 communication Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe and the European Parliament’s respective resolution of September 2015. However, it is the result of joint efforts both from the European institutions, national policy-makers and civil society organisations that the European Year of Cultural Heritage will take place in 2018 – and its success will also depend on joint efforts as European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics also highlighted: “Our cultural heritage is more than the memory of our past; it is the key to our future. A European Year of Cultural Heritage will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the social and economic importance of cultural heritage and to promote European excellence in the sector. I call on the European Parliament and Council to support our proposal and invite all stakeholders to help make this Year a success.”

Europa Nostra calls on all its members, laureates and supporters to join forces for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. We are now gathering input and ideas from across our network for greater synergies and cooperation. Are you planning events or projects for 2018 or in the run-up to it? Share your plans, ideas and suggestions with us! Let us know by sending an email to our Brussels office:

The decision of the European Parliament and of the Council can be found here.
The European Commission press release can be found here.

E-FAITH Now Building a Database on Historic Harbour Cranes in Europe

E-FAITH Now Building a Database on Historic Harbour Cranes in Europe

The E-FAITH steering group on historic cranes is now building a web-database on historic harbour cranes in Europe. This database will include general information and documentation about cranes, and, most importantly, a list of cranes used at maritime as well as inland harbours, and on canals and river banks.

Information on the Cranes steering group can be found here.
The first tests of the cranes database are now online here.

Are you aware of existing cranes in one of the member states of the Council of Europe? Please send them photos and details. Guidelines and a questionnaire which you can use can be downloaded here.

Don’t hesitate to send them some photographs and information about the location of the cranes – even submissions that are not complete have their value, as they will put them on the agenda.

Many thanks for your collaboration

Photo: Chatham Dockyard Historic Crane captured by pyntofmyld

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

“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.

Just adopted: EC Communication “Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe”

Less than two months after the adoption of the far-reaching EU Council Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe, the European Commission has adopted today its Communication which paves the way for an integrated approach to cultural heritage in Europe. This important policy document aims to help Member States and stakeholders to make the most of the significant support for heritage available under EU instruments and also calls for stronger cooperation at EU level to share ideas and best practices, which can feed into national heritage policies and governance. It highlights the opportunities for Member States and stakeholders to work more closely across borders to address the many challenges facing the heritage sector, and also to ensure that cultural heritage makes an even stronger contribution to a sustainable Europe.

The European Commission has also released today an accompanying “Mapping Report”which provides a comprehensive overview of EU policies, legislation, programmes and funding opportunities relevant to cultural heritage.

“Europa Nostra congratulates, also on behalf of other members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and the DG Education and Culture, for this new major step forward in developing a comprehensive EU strategy for the protection and enhancement of Europe’s shared cultural heritage”, stated Plácido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra.

Civil society organisations, such as Europa Nostra and other members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3., were asked to contribute to the consultation process with stakeholders which was carried out by the European Commission prior to the preparation and adoption of this new Communication. “We very much hope that this open and constructive dialogue will pursue also during the implementation of this Communication which, in the next 5 years, will serve as the basis for strengthening the mainstreaming of cultural heritage concerns into all relevant EU policies and funding mechanisms”, added Plácido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra.

The EC Communication stresses that Europe’s cultural heritage is an asset and a responsibility for all. There can be no contradiction between national responsibilities and EU action since our heritage is always both local and European. The Communication also examines what the European Union can do, alongside the EU Member States and other public and private stakeholders, to enhance the intrinsic value of our cultural heritage. It also recognises that our cultural heritage is a key source of social innovation for smart, sustainable and inclusive development and a catalyst for creativity and growth. The European Commission recognises the role of heritage in many different EU policies, such as regional development or the EU external relations. It also welcomes the approach set by the EU’s Environment Impact Assessment Directive, which requires a project’s impact on cultural heritage to be considered, and the General Block Exemption Regulation which allows state aid for the sector.

IFLA Europe joins the Alliance

IFLA Europe joins the Alliance

We are very pleased to welcome IFLA Europe, the International Federation of Landscape Architects, as 32nd member of our Alliance!

The Vision of IFLA Europe is to establish the importance of all matters relating to landscape and landscape architecture as the physical, socio-economic, cultural, visual, conceptual and spatial context of our European communities.

For more information on this new member see:

IFLA Europe publishes a journal. Its second issue is titled ‘Adaptive Capacity of Cities’ and is available online:

Photo: Central Trail in the Parque Quinta de los Molioas in Madrid, Spain, which is part of the IFLA Europe network captured by Jose Manuel Mazintosh