Second meeting of EYCH 2018 Stakeholders Committee held in Brussels

Europa Nostra contributed to the second meeting of the Stakeholders Committee for the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) 2018 held in Brussels on 8 September. This was preceded by a joint meeting with National Coordinators for the EYCH from EU member states, which took place in the Belgian capital the previous day. The aim of the Stakeholders Committee meeting was twofold: first, providing stakeholders with an overview of how far the implementation of the Year has progressed at different levels, while also presenting the key communication activities foreseen by the European Commission; and second, allowing for an exchange of views between EU administration and stakeholders on the actions foreseen and the course to take. On this occasion, the slogan for the Year was launched: “Our heritage: where the past meets the future”.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović speaking at the second meeting of EYCH 2018 Stakeholders Committee

The selected members of the Stakeholders Committee participated and were briefed about the implementation of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The European Commission will focus on 10 initiatives which will be presented in more detail during the official launch of the Year at the European Culture Forum in Milan, Italy, on 7-8 December 2017. On the occasion of the Forum, the website for the European Year (available in all EU languages) and the communication campaign will be launched. A temporary page now provides information and allows visitors to sign up for the European Commission’s newsletter dedicated to the EYCH 2018. However, information is already spread on two existing social media channels (@europe_creative and @EuropeanYouthEU). The official logo of the European Year and draft guidelines for ‘labelling’ events and initiatives were presented to stakeholders for feedback and more information will be published shortly on the EC website. The Commission will share the visual identity guidelines and the logo with all members of the Stakeholders Committee.

Europa Nostra was represented by its Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović who called for a change of mindset and stressed the need to talk about cultural heritage in a European context: “The European Year of Cultural Heritage should be the political priority of all”. Likewise, the heritage sector should assume its role and be “more audacious”.

Europa Nostra’s Secretary General also invited all stakeholders to attend the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018 from 18-24 June in Berlin, which is co-organised by Europa Nostra, the German Cultural Heritage Committee (also National Coordinator for the Year) and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. She particularly encouraged them to contribute with side events at the Summit, so as to allow for “cross-fertilisation”. With a view to increasing synergies even further, she also suggested to the European Commission to organise one of the upcoming meetings of the Stakeholders Committee during the Summit in Berlin.

Also speaking in Europa Nostra’s capacity as coordinator of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 – of which 18 members are among the selected stakeholders -, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović announced that the next Alliance meeting on 18 October would be entirely dedicated to preparing for the EYCH 2018.

With a view to enhancing synergies, several stakeholders also affirmed the need to connect with the national coordinators of the European Heritage Days. For instance, Adriaan Linters, Secretary General of E-FAITH, a member of Europa Nostra and member of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, stressed the need for faster communication about the European Year at all levels so as to raise awareness about existing opportunities and initiatives.

The meeting was concluded with a discussion among stakeholders and the European Commission representatives in smaller groups (so-called “world-café format”) so as to exchange views on the communication strategy, on how to best pool resources and on how to ensure an efficient cooperation at national and European level. An official report of the meeting will be produced by the European Commission about the outcomes of this discussion.

The next meetings will take place in Milan, Italy, in December 2017, in conjunction with the European Culture Forum on 7-8 December:

5 December – third meeting of the Stakeholders Committee for the EYCH 2018

6 December – meeting of the National Coordinators for the EYCH 2018

6 December – meeting of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3

Background information

The Stakeholders Committee is composed of 32 civil society organisations, selected further to an open call for applications, and 3 international organisations (Council of Europe, ICCROM and UNESCO) (see list of members). As part of a structured dialogue with the cultural sector, the Committee assists the European Commission in preparing and implementing the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The first meeting of the Stakeholders Committee took place on 28 April 2017.

As the Committee comprises 18 members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, including Europa Nostra, the Alliance held its spring meeting on the day before to allow for an exchange on the upcoming meeting among all members of the Alliance.

The European Commission convenes meetings of National Coordinators for the EYCH from EU member states – back to back with the meetings of the Stakeholders Committee so as to allow for exchanges among the two groups.

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