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The Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe
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European Affairs 

Through a wide network of contacts and regular meetings with policy-makers at the local, national and European levels, Europa Nostra contributes actively to the establishment of a real European strategy for cultural heritage and to the mainstreaming of cultural heritage in EU policies and actions.

We raise awareness about the intrinsic value of cultural heritage and the need to protect it. We emphasise its importance for our identity and our societies, for economic growth and job creation, and for the promotion of sustainable development and cultural tourism, the establishment of a digital single market.

Help us make cultural heritage a European political priority.

Europa Nostra is your connection to the European Union, the Council of Europe and UNESCO.


Cultural Heritage in EU policy


2014 was a historic year for cultural heritage in Europe. Both the EU Council of Culture Ministers and the European Commission spent a lot of energy reflecting upon the importance of cultural heritage in EU policy. The result is the adoption of three far-reaching official documents defining cultural heritage, highlighting its role in attaining various EU objectives and delineating an integrated approach at EU level:
Council Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe,
- European Commission Communication Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe,
- Council Conclusions on participatory governance including a Work Plan for Culture (2015-2018).


In other words, cultural heritage is being mainstreamed across the various EU policies through its inclusion and eligibility for funds from different EU programmes. Cultural heritage projects can indeed apply for and receive funding from the European Structural & Investment Funds, Horizon 2020, Creative Europe, Erasmus+, and Europe for Citizens. For details about the opportunities offered by these programmes and modalities of applications read the mapping report published by the European Commission in July 2014.


The new priorities set by European Commission’s President Juncker in his political guidelines and 2015 work programme, make it clear that cultural heritage can be instrumental to achieve a variety of objectives ranging from enhancing Europe's social capital and social cohesion to promoting economic growth, creating jobs, revitalising urban and rural development as well as promoting sustainable tourism.


[For a comprehensive background on Cultural Heritage in EU policy-making, going back to the 1985, click here]


Through its different activities, Europa Nostra strives to turn this possibility into a reality.


Lobbying & Networking:

Among the core activities carried out by Europa Nostra are:
- responding to the consultations launched by the European Commission on matters relating to cultural heritage,
- attending the meetings of the European Parliament Culture and Education Committee as well as other Committees when they discuss relevant issues, to follow the latest political discussion at EU level (click here for the agendas of these meetings and for press releases about what was said at these meetings),
- meeting on a regular basis key decision makers of the European Union and European institutions, including DG EAC, the Committee of the Regions, to discuss matters of strategy, policy and dissemination,
- cooperating with the Council of Europe on issues relating to cultural heritage (including attending the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape),
- following as a non State observer the meeting of the Reflection Group on EU and cultural heritage,
- liaising and cooperating with UNESCO
- organising events and activities related to cultural heritage
- contributing to the New Narrative for Europe initiative


Mainstreaming Heritage:

Following an open call for proposals in support of European Networks launched in the framework of the implementation of the Creative Europe programme, the European Commission selected Europa Nostra's project ‘Mainstreaming Heritage’ among the 23 European networks to receive a substantial EU grant. This is an ambitious and far-reaching 3 year project, which will cover a total of 11 activities during the first year (September 2014-August 2015), among which the organisation of:
- Policy debate on cultural heritage as a strategic resource, engaging civil society in the European Strategy for cultural heritage,
- European Heritage Alliance 3.3,
- Capacity Building Days,
- 7 Most Endangered Programme in partnership with the European Investment Bank Institute,
- European Heritage Congress,
- Joint Ventures Projects, such as the "Rosa Europa Nostra".


Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe (CHCFE):

In partnership with 5 other organisations, Europa Nostra received a grant under the Culture Programme (2007-2013) for its project “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe: Towards an European Index for Cultural Heritage”. This project’s main goal was to gather, analyse, consolidate and widely disseminate the existing data on the impact of cultural heritage on society and the economy. The result will be a European mapping of the evidence-based research that has already been carried out at the European, national, regional, local and/or sectoral levels. The
CHCFE Full Report and Executive Summary are available here.


The final results and recommendations of the CHCFE project were presented at a Conference on 12 June 2015 in Oslo, during the European Heritage Congress. 

Of course, cultural heritage does not need to have any other purpose than that of reminding us where we are coming from, of providing us with a sense of belonging and pride and infusing our daily lives with beauty and timeless aesthetics. However, in a world of finite resources, economic crisis and budget cuts, it is important to substantiate with indisputable figures the claim that cultural heritage counts and to make the case that investing in cultural heritage does not only have a positive impact on the cultural, but also the economic, social and environmental domains.

The CHCFE project is led by Europa Nostra and run in partnership with:
- ENCATC (European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centres, Belgium),
- Heritage Europe-EAHTR (European Association of Historic Towns and Regions, UK),
- The International Cultural Centre (Krakow, Poland),
- The Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (KU Leuven, Belgium), and
- The Heritage Alliance (associate partner, UK).

For more information about this project and to get the latest news concerning the events and activities organised around it, please visit the CHCFE blog.