Europa Nostra Council appeals to 2nd Summit of the European Political Community in Moldova to include Culture and Cultural Heritage among future EPC priorities

Read and/or download the statement in PDF

Adopted at its Spring meeting held on 18 May 2023 in Belgrade

Having gathered in Belgrade (Serbia), for its Council Meeting and the first Belgrade Heritage Forum, respectively on 18 and 19 May, during which we stressed the importance of Europe’s shared cultural heritage for the Western Balkans’ path towards full European integration, Members of the Europa Nostra Council, together with members of the Europa Nostra Board and International Secretariat, also reflected on the 2nd Summit of the European Political Community (EPC) to be held on 1 June in Moldova.

The 2nd EPC Summit will take place on 1 June 2023 at Mimi Castle, Bulboaca, Moldova © Helgie12, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons


Europa Nostra applauds the launch of the EPC as a most welcome additional platform for wider (geo)political coordination across Europe, bringing together both EU member states and European countries which are not (yet) members of the Union, with the vital aim to widen and deepen political dialogue and cooperation, to address pressing issues of common interest, and to foster peace, security, stability, connectivity and prosperity of the entire European continent. Since the EPC seeks to further strengthen the links within the wider European community and family, we make a strong appeal to put a special emphasis on what brings Europeans from across the continent together, namely culture and cultural heritage, the two key areas that shape our common European consciousness and contribute to the wellbeing as well as to the quality of life and living environment of Europe’s citizens and their communities. They thus constitute the Heart and Soul of Our Europe.

Today, our continent is confronted by many serious challenges. Our future is uncertain in terms of sustainability and liveability in the context of the ever-growing climate emergency. The very core values of our Europe – those of peace, democracy, the rule of law and solidarity – are also under unprecedented threat, even more so after the unprovoked brutal invasion, unacceptable loss of life, and intolerable destruction of cultural heritage in Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Furthermore, is it clear that the occupying forces are systematic in their targeting and destruction of cultural heritage in Ukraine as part of a strategy to erase all tangible indicators of these core European values, along with the very cultural identity of Ukraine itself. Therefore, the choice of Moldova to host the 2nd EPC Summit could not be more poignant.

Meeting of the European Political Community on 6 October 2022 in Prague, Czechia. Courtesy of Council of the European Union


It is for these reasons that we – at Europa Nostra – call upon Heads of State or Government of all EPC countries, to include the key priority areas of culture and heritage on the future agenda of the EPC. Furthermore, Europa Nostra implores EPC Leaders and Secretariat to make the best use of the appreciation and importance all Europeans place in the rich and diverse culture and cultural heritage which we share, as well as to recognise the intrinsic added value which our cultural heritage has for sustaining peace, democracy, rule of law and solidarity across our European home.

As the European Voice of Civil Society committed to safeguarding and promoting cultural and natural heritage, Europa Nostra – with its many partners, and especially in the framework of the recently inaugurated European Heritage Hub pilot project supported by the European Union –, stands ready to work with all relevant partners and stakeholders across Europe to implementing and achieving these vital aims.

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