Brussels: seminar on a European Year for Cultural Heritage

Brussels: seminar on a European Year for Cultural Heritage

The Permanent Representation of Italy to the EU and the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU are organizing a seminar on  “A European Year for Cultural Heritage: sharing heritage, a common challenge”.

The debate will take place on 28 October 2015 From 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Espace Banca Monte Paschi Belgio – Av. d’Auderghem 22-28 -1040 –  Auderghem.

As the Declaration adopted unanimously by the Ministers of Culture gathered in Milan on the 1 of August 2015 states: “Cultural heritage is the mirror of history, civilization and of the society which is expected to protect it; Cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, is also the essence of identity, the memory of peoples and their past and present civilizations. It expresses, at the same time, universally recognized values of tolerance, dialogue and mutual understanding”.

In its conclusions on participatory governance of cultural heritage of November 2014, the Council of the European Union called the Commission to engage with a proposal for a European Year of Cultural Heritage.

The seminar taking place on the 28 October aims at offering to all stakeholders in Brussels and capitals dealing with Cultural Affairs, and in particular to the EU Cultural Affairs Committee members, a special opportunity to meet and discuss informally on this proposal, with a focus on its goals, actors and possible tools.

An European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) may strengthen policy cooperation at all levels of governance, contributing to face the common challenges of today. This important and timely proposal, which has already gained a strong support by the EU Member States (with Germany in particular, extremely active in further advancing the project), heavily relies on the enhanced cooperation on cultural heritage policies amongst the EU Member States and between the EU Institutions and other International Organizations, such as the UNESCO and the Council of Europe.

Its potential for sustainable human, social and economic development has been already acknowledged at all levels by the European Union Institutions: the Council in its Conclusions of May 2014 on Cultural Heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe, the European Commission in its Communication of July 20141, the Committee of Regions in its Opinion of April 2015, and more recently the European Parliament, in its Resolution of 8 September 20152, which expressed – among others – “the urgent need to give cultural heritage its clear place in the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe”, assuring in this way necessary funding for cultural heritage conservation and valorization.

The seminar would like to bring a further contribution to the on-going constructive dialogue on this initiative and to draw the attention on the vital importance and relevance of a strong political commitment by all EU Institutions in sharing and maximizing the potential of cultural heritage “as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe”.


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