Council of Europe presents “Golden Collection” of good practices related to the Strategy 21

On the occasion of the launch of the “Golden Collection” of good practices related to the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century (“Strategy 21”), the French Chairmanship of the Council of Ministers hosted a roundtable debate in Strasbourg on 13 June to discuss the leading role of the Council of Europe (CoE) in heritage matters and best practices in heritage management with the participation of Europa Nostra.

The special publication contains around 30 best practices that illustrate recommendations of the Strategy 21 and was prepared by the Council of Europe in partnership with the French Ministry of Culture. The Strategy 21 identifies 3 sets of challenges – societal, development and knowledge challenges – and invites policy-makers, stakeholders and citizens to address these by following the concrete recommendations (see factsheet). For each of these recommendations, a best-practice example from among the laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards features upon the initiative of Europa Nostra in the complete list of more than 100 inspiring good practices which is available online.

After the official presentation of the publication, heritage experts from member states and civil society organisations discussed best practices in heritage management during the roundtable debate moderated by Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović. The panellists discussed in particular how to sustain the momentum of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in a changing political context e.g. through the European elections, and how to strengthen the role of civil society as a constructive partner.

The roundtable debate took place during the 8th annual plenary session of the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 12-14 June whose members also attended the launch event. Europa Nostra is one of the official observers to the CDCPP and was represented by Vice-President Piet Jaspaert who participated actively in the thematic sessions on climate change and sustainable development in the context of human rights and democracy and more specifically with regard to culture and heritage and landscape resources. Speakers on this topic stressed among others the urgency of the warning of the IPCC about climate change and how climate action is also heritage conservation, while knowledge of heritage contributes to achieving resilience to climate change.

Europa Nostra’s Vice-President particularly referred to the report ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ to illustrate how cultural heritage can be a driver of sustainable development and positively impact the wellbeing and sense of belonging of citizens. He also presented the Berlin Call to Action “Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe” to participants as well as a copy of the Declaration ‘Better Places to Live, Better Places to Visit’ to the participants, which inspires new ways of collaboration between the tourism and cultural heritage stakeholders. During his intervention, Piet Jaspaert also stressed the willingness and competence of civil society organisations working in the heritage field like the members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 to cooperate with member states’ civil servants in developing and implementing cultural heritage policies.

On 26 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe elected Marija Pejčinović Burić, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, as the new Secretary General of the Council of Europe, who will commence her five-year mandate in September 2019.

Background information

The Strategy 21 was officially launched in Limassol, Cyprus, in April 2017 during a special event where Europa Nostra was represented by Vice-President Androulla Vassiliou.

Observers to the CDCPP include also other members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 like the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the Organisation of World Heritage Cities (OHWC), European Council of Town Planners (ECTP), European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers’ Organisations (E.C.C.O.), the European Federation for architectural heritage skills (FEMP) and Civilscape.

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