EUROPE – stronger European support for cultural heritage

EUROPE – stronger European support for cultural heritage

Commissioner Vassiliou: cultural heritage to gain from stronger European support

In a press release of 22 July, Commissionar Vassiliou announces that cultural heritage in Europe stands to gain from stronger European support. The new policy document, entitled ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’, states that the sector is at a “crossroads” with reduced public budgets, falling participation in traditional cultural activities and diversifying potential audiences due to urbanization, globalisation and technological change. But it also highlights opportunities for Member States and stakeholders to work more closely across borders to ensure that cultural heritage contributes more to sustainable growth and jobs. 

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said:

Europe needs to maximise the intrinsic, economic and societal value of cultural heritage. It should be the centre of heritage-based innovation, seizing the opportunities created by digitisation and promoting our heritage expertise worldwide. Across the EU, we need to encourage a more people-friendly approach in heritage sites and museums, using new techniques and technologies to attract visitors and reach young people in particular. In short, we need to bring history alive. I am pleased that heritage stands to gain from stronger European support over the next seven years.”

The policy document does not explicitly reference religious heritage, except by saying that “The Preamble to the Treaty on European Union states that the signatories draw ‘inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe’. Article 3.3 requires the EU to ‘ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced’.” However, the mapping report, which lists Cultural Heritage Actions in European Union policies, programmes and activities, does explicitly support projects promoting sustainable “religious-pilgrim tourism” and encourage “transnational thematic itineraries like cultural, religious or ancient trade routes”.

Read the whole press release here. Read the Mapping Report here, and the Policy Document here.


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