Europa Nostra releases Venice Call to Action: “For a New European Renaissance”
Europa Nostra, the European Voice of Civil Society committed to Cultural Heritage, has just released the Venice Call to Action: “For a New European Renaissance”, presented on the occasion of the European Heritage Policy Agora “From the New European Bauhaus to the New European Renaissance” held on 24 September 2021 at the Giorgio Cini Foundation, as the concluding event of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2021 in Venice. The European Cultural Heritage Summit was organised by Europa Nostra in collaboration with its Venice-based member organisation Association of International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice.
The European Heritage Policy Agora “From the New European Bauhaus to the New European Renaissance” brought together policy-makers at all levels of governance as well as key heritage stakeholders in a series of inspiring debates on the most topical issues for the cultural heritage ecosystem in Europe. It was held under the patronage of the European Parliament, the Italian Ministry of Culture and the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
On this occasion, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, presented the draft text of the “Venice Call to Action: For a New European Renaissance” to high-level policymakers and participants, including, among others, Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Dubravka Šuica, European Commission Vice-President for Democracy and Demography, Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Culture, Vasko Simoniti, Slovenian Minister of Culture and Acting Chair of the EU Council of Ministers, and Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, who welcomed and supported the document.
The Venice Call to Action makes a strong plea to European leaders at all levels of governance – European, national, regional and local -, as well as to all heritage actors – public, private and civil society -, to duly integrate the transformative power of culture and cultural heritage among the strategic priorities for the reshaping of our societies. It outlines a series of pressing challenges facing our continent – from the post-pandemic recovery to climate change – and stresses the vital positive contribution of culture and cultural heritage to successfully address them.
The Venice Call to Action puts forward 12 concrete and actionable proposals, as a direct contribution by Europa Nostra and its network to place our shared cultural heritage where it belongs – at the very heart of the entire European project. These proposals aim at unleashing the potential of cultural heritage for the European Green Deal, the New European Bauhaus, the forthcoming 2022 Year of European Youth, among other key priorities of the European Union, and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra, stated: “The time has come to move on to concrete, shared action. We must change our perspective, we must move from a sectoral approach to one in which culture and cultural heritage are seen as powerful vectors to achieve Europe’s most pressing challenges”.
Inspired by both the uniqueness of and the complex challenges facing the host city of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2021, Venice, the Call to Action also proposes to dedicate a special inter-committee hearing in the European Parliament on the future of historic cities, sites and related landscapes affected by the effects of climate change and mass tourism.
Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailovic, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, said: “We are proud of Europa Nostra’s catalytic role for the fruitful dialogue between so many different voices from Venice, Europe and beyond during our European Cultural Heritage Summit. But this is only the beginning! We are committed to lead – together with our members and partners – a mobilising force for a permanent, much-needed European action for Venice, its inhabitants and its Lagoon.”
Through the Venice Call to Action, Europa Nostra and its members and partners commit to build on the strong messages formulated at the European Cultural Heritage Summit and to establish appropriate follow-up actions and proposals to ensure a more humane, beautiful, sustainable and inclusive Europe, contributing thereby to a New European Renaissance.
Europa Nostra will convey the Venice Call to Action individually to EU leaders, starting with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, David Maria Sassoli, President of the European Parliament (who sent a powerful video message to the European Cultural Heritage Summit in Venice), Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, President of the European Committee of the Regions, Christa Schweng, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, and Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. The Venice Call to Action will also be widely disseminated among heritage stakeholders and within the large networks of Europa Nostra and its partners. Translations into Italian and French will be made available shortly.