Europa Nostra launches wide consultation on the impact of COVID-19 on the heritage world

Europa Nostra, fully aware of and deeply concerned about the massive negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural heritage world, has launched on 26 March a wide-reaching consultation on this topic among its large pan-European network of members. The objective of the consultation is to collect information and insights that will be used by Europa Nostra as a basis for its advocacy efforts towards the European Union, Member States and other relevant international, European and national bodies.

General Assembly Paris - 28/10/19
The wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 on the heritage sector both at the present time and in the long-run are still uncertain. However, the first effects of the pandemic and of the measures to contain it are already taking a considerable toll on the heritage world, as demonstrated by the immediate reactions of heritage stakeholders from all across Europe. Indeed, the past weeks have seen the multiplication of initiatives, surveys and tools initiated by heritage actors in Europe and beyond as an attempt to capture the crisis’ impact on the sector, many of which have been endorsed, supported and disseminated by Europa Nostra.

The specific impacts already identified by Europa Nostra and other heritage stakeholders include implications for heritage professionals and the security of their jobs; risks related to the security of heritage sites and their contents; financial implications due to loss of revenues as well as sudden changes in the way heritage professionals ensure proper communication with their audiences and keep their networks alive. Europa Nostra is fully committed to preparing and widely disseminating a comprehensive overview of all these implications.

Against this background, Europa Nostra has launched a consultation, first among its large membership composed by over 350 member and associate organisations and over 1000 Individual Members in 42 countries in Europe and 5 countries outside the continent. Europa Nostra is also consulting with its wide range of European and International partners, including the members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, of which Europa Nostra is a founding member and coordinator.

The objective of this wide consultation is to get a better and more complete understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural heritage world, the reactions it has triggered on the ground and on the specific needs of the heritage sector to overcome this far-reaching crisis. The information collected will be used as a basis for Europa Nostra’s advocacy action, conducted jointly with our members and partners, to ensure that cultural heritage is duly included in the EU’s immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as in the long-term recovery plans. Indeed, Europa Nostra and our members are fully convinced of the immense potential of culture and cultural heritage for Europe’s socioeconomic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Europa Nostra has already communicated important information and initial observations on the specific impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the heritage sector to the European Commision, via the Commission Expert Group on Cultural Heritage of which Europa Nostra is a member. Likewise, Europa Nostra will discuss the matter during a dedicated European Heritage Alliance 3.3. meeting on 6 April 2020, with the objective of sharing information and concerns, reinforcing each others’ actions and discussing possibilities for joint action.

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