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Cultural Heritage recognised – at last – as cross cutting priority for the EU!
The European Year of Cultural Heritage has come to its end, having generated a wide range of initiatives and activities, as well as a new enthusiasm for cultural heritage across Europe and beyond. Importantly it has led to significant policy breakthroughs at the European level. For example:-
The Berlin Call to Action presented at the first European Cultural Heritage Summit in June has been signed to date by over 2,000 organisations and individuals -including Heritage Europe. Following which cultural heritage has been recognized as a “cross-cutting priority” within the new European Agenda for Culture and the new 4-year Work-Plan for Culture recently adopted by the EU Council has identified “sustainability in cultural heritage” as its first priority.
Finally, at the Closing conference for EYCH 2018 held in Vienna in December the European Commission presented an ambitious and holistic Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage to ensure the lasting legacy of the Year.
The implementation of this Action Plan will benefit from the setting up of a future Cultural Heritage Forum which will serve as a multi-stakeholder platform for consultation, exchanging of ideas and best practices and for promoting adequate public policies. Thanks to the joint commitment of all stakeholders, public and private, we now have a forward-looking roadmap ahead of us.
The European Heritage Alliance 3.3, of which Heritage Europe is a founding member, can take satisfaction from these outcomes which closely relate to the recommendations set out in its earlier research report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ and reflects the significant role the Alliance and its members have played in raising awareness and mobilising activities and events throughout 2018. The Alliance coordinator -Europa Nostra – has an upbeat message for all of us –
‘to continue building lasting bridges and partnerships and to step up our efforts in 2019 and beyond. In this way, we can be confident that the new European Parliament and the new European Commission will sustain the momentum and build upon the significant achievements of our European Year of Cultural Heritage.’