Europa Nostra contributes to report on skills, training and knowledge transfer in the emerging and traditional heritage
Europa Nostra contributed to the structured dialogue between European Union civil society stakeholders and the European Commission on the theme ‘Skills, training and knowledge transfer in emerging and traditional heritage’. Further to an open call for applications, Europa Nostra was selected as one of the civil society stakeholders to participate in the dialogue process and was represented by Council member Graham Bell. He also contributed to the drafting process of the Brainstorming Report: Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe – prospectus on “skills, training and knowledge transfer for traditional and emerging heritage professions”, which was published last October.
The first brainstorming meeting, which took place on 15-16 June in Brussels, was an opportunity for selected civil society stakeholders to agree on the main messages to be conveyed to the European Commission in the Brainstorming Report. After a presentation from the European Commission about the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, especially on the opportunities it provides for heritage-related professions, participants discussed in detail the different aspects of skills, training and knowledge-sharing in the traditional and emerging heritage field and how to best bring their expertise and views onto paper. In small groups, participants discussed community participation, artefact expertise, heritage facilitation, policy makers and legislation, as well as meta skills for all players, along with general messages and arguments. The aim of these discussions was to identify the needs, current challenges and future strategies in the capacity-building and knowledge transfer within the profession for an integrated approach to cultural heritage.
At the subsequent meeting, which was held on 25 September in Brussels, participants presented the outcome of their discussions to the representatives of the European Commission and further discussed issues and challenges that related to skills, training and knowledge-sharing in this field.
Likewise, the topic of capacity building for heritage professions and the transmission of traditional skills and know-how in emerging professions is also being addressed by an expert group, (composed of representatives from EU Member States, in 2017-2018. The aim is to map existing schemes and identify emerging skills and training needs.
One of the 10 initiatives of the European Commission for the European Year is focusing on heritage-related skills and enhancing education and training for both traditional and new professions. It will be presented in more detail together with the other initiatives at the European Culture Forum 2017 in Milan on 7-8 December.
Selected civil society stakeholders came from various fields such as; archaeology, conservation, restoration, digitalisation as well as education, training and research. Besides Europa Nostra, several members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 contributed, including the European Network of Conservation-Restoration (Encore), the European Network on cultural management and policy education (ENCATC),the European Association of History Educators (Euroclio), the European Historic Houses Association, the International Council of Museums (ICOM), ICOMOS, the European Confederation of Conservator-Restorers’ Organisations (E.C.C.O.), NEMO and Interpret Europe. Moreover, several Member Organisations of Europa Nostra were also selected.
Cultural heritage is one of the four priorities of the EU Work Plan for Culture 2015-2018 which sets out priorities for European cooperation in cultural policy-making. On this basis, the Council establishes working groups composed of experts from ministries of culture and national cultural institutions from EU Member States (in the framework of an Open Method of Coordination OMC). The experts meet regularly over a certain period of time to share good practices and produce policy manuals for further dissemination. Closely linked to this is the structured dialogue with civil society (‘Voices of Culture’) which has so far been organised on different themes since 2014:
- Audience development via digital means (2015),
- Participatory governance of cultural heritage (2015) to which Europa Nostra also contributed,
- Developing the entrepreneurial and innovation potential of the cultural and creative sectors (2016),
- Promoting intercultural dialogue and bringing communities together through culture in shared public spaces (2016),
- The role of culture in promoting the integration of refugees and migrants (2016).
In 2017, a special call for participation in a structured dialogued was launched for the European Year of Cultural Heritage for which Europa Nostra and 17 Members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 were also selected. In 2018, a new call for participation in a structured dialogue will be opened with the theme fostering the contribution of culture to social inclusion.