Europa Nostra calls for cultural heritage to hold a central place in 2024 electoral campaigns during a symposium at the European Parliament

With images of the cathedrals of Notre Dame de Paris and Santiago de Compostela decorating a committee chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels, the themes of the symposium “Preserving and transmitting Europe’s cultural heritage: common challenges for a threatened legacy” were clear. The event was hosted on 15 November 2023 by MEPs Francisco Millán-Mon and Fançois-Xavier Bellamy (both EEP), and had the participation of Europa Nostra’s Secretary General, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, and other stakeholders from across Europe.

Europa Nostra’s Secretary General reiterated both parliamentarians opening remarks, recalling how cultural heritage contributes to economic and social development, how it is a fundamental spiritual foundation of the common principles of Europe, and how we have a duty to future generations to protect and pass on this cultural legacy that makes Europe what it is. On this subject, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic emphasised: “For the protection and promotion of heritage in Europe, a grand coalition of stakeholders is needed, including support from the European political parties of all colours”.

In the light of this, and ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2024, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General drew attention to the open letter calling for cultural heritage to hold a central place in electoral campaigns jointly launched by Europa Nostra, Culture Action Europe and the European Cultural Foundation in October 2023. The three partner organisations have relaunched the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign in the runup to the election, and are impressing upon all leaders of the EU to integrate culture into all actions and policies during election, and in its aftermath too, in the important weeks and months that the election will shape the new European Commission.

In her closing remarks, Europa Nostra’s Secretary General seized the opportunity to invite MEP Millán-Mon and MEP Bellamy to join the campaign, expressing her hope that the new European Parliament and the new European Commission in 2024 will too organise and mobilise for culture, and ensure cultural heritage is integrated into all aspects of work and policy, and that it is visible across all programmes at national and EU level.

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