Europa Nostra attended meeting of the reflection group ‘EU and Cultural Heritage’ in Vilnius

One year after the first meeting in Warsaw, Europa Nostra – also in representation of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 – attended the second meeting of the Reflection Group ‘EU and Cultural Heritage’, comprised of delegates from heritage departments of a number of EU Member States, in Vilnius on 23-24 September.

Representatives from the European Commission (DG EAC), the Council of Europe, the current Lithuanian Presidency of the EU (which is now chairing the Reflection Group) and the future Greek and Italian Presidencies also participated in this important meeting.

Photo: view of Vilnius. Aivaras Čiurlionis CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo: view of Vilnius. Aivaras Čiurlionis CC BY-SA 2.0

This was an excellent opportunity to strengthen the dialogue between governmental and non-governmental and civil society bodies which advocate the need for a future EU strategy concerning cultural heritage, within the scope of the EU competence.

The Reflection Group was established as a follow-up of the Bruges Conference, organised in December 2010 by the Belgian Presidency of the EU. This Reflection Group and the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. share the same goal: to contribute to the gradual development of a specific and strategic approach to cultural heritage through adequate EU policy and funding measures.

Louise van Rijckevorsel presented ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ programme, which was launched by Europa Nostra together with the European Investment Bank Institute in January 2013, as well as the cooperation project ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’, which is supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The discussion also included the programme of the Conference ‘Cultural Heritage and the EU 2020 Strategy: towards an integrated approach’, organised by the Lithuanian Presidency in Vilnius on 13-14 November. Other topics discussed were the plans and activities in the cultural heritage field of the next Presidencies of the European Union (including the Greek Conference on cultural heritage to take place in Athens on 6-8 March) and the latest cultural heritage developments in the European Commission.

Europa Nostra seized this opportunity to strengthen the connection between these various initiatives and its own European Heritage Policy Conference which will be held in Brussels, at the Bibliothèque Solvay, on 5 December.

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