Europa Nostra takes part in European Heritage Days Assembly 2018 in Strasbourg

Europa Nostra participated in the European Heritage Days Assembly 2018 in Strasbourg on 17-19 October. It was a strategically important meeting right after the successful European Heritage Days (EHD) 2018, a major event of the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). This special year saw the launch of new initiatives, namely the European Heritage Stories and the European Heritage Makers Week, as well as the publication of the brochure 101 Event Ideas for the EHD 2018.

Michel Magnier, Director for Culture and Creativity at the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, and Gloria Lorenzo-Lerones from the European Heritage Days team, elaborated on the legacy of the EYCH, based on the achievements that have been reached so far, and explained how efforts are are now being made to establish a solid framework with coherent financing that guarantees high quality.

The first edition of the European Heritage Stories was very successful, having received more than 90 applications. 10 of those who applied had the opportunity to briefly present their story during two workshops, one of which was moderated by Piet Jaspaert, Vice-President Europa Nostra. Three of the stories were submitted by winners of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. The diversity of the cases and the active participation of more than 50 national coordinators ensured the workshop was a lively and inspiring event.

A selection of national coordinators presented what they had been looking for during their last campaign. Transborder cooperation, the participation of minorities, the creation of heritage heroes, and very attractive themes such as ‘In Europe’, ‘Patrimoine qui chante et enchante’, and ‘Visiting Neighbours’ were just some of the areas focused on by the presenters. A useful manual entitled “30 ideas on the European Dimension of Cultural Heritage” was also presented.

The importance of an authentic interpretation of cultural heritage to enable outreach and connection with people was again highlighted by Thorsten Ludwig, Director of Interpret Europe, and the theme was discussed with the audience.

Piet Jaspaert took the opportunity to promote the Berlin Call to Action “Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe” and invited the coordinators to sign the Call. He also drew their attention on the brand-new declaration on cultural heritage and tourism, “Better Places to Live: Better Places to Visit”, initiated by the Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism (NECSTouR) in cooperation with Europa Nostra, the European Travel Commission and the European Cultural Tourism Network with the support of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

During the final session, Jelena Mocevic, European Coordinator of the EHDs, outlined the programme of 2019 and focused particularly on the new calls for the European Heritage Stories, the European Heritage Makers Week and cross-frontier cooperation. She also commented on the challenging theme “Arts and Entertainment”.

At the end of the meeting Piet Jaspaert, Vice-President of Europa Nostra, expressed his appreciation for the event: “It has been a most rewarding stay and a living experience for me. As a real senior in the EHD world, having myself co-organised the first OMD (EHD) in Flanders 30 years ago, it is so revitalising and encouraging to feel the creativity, the innovation and the energy of the European Heritage Days. I hope that the close cooperation between Europa Nostra and the EHDs will continue to develop and intensify through the European Heritage Stories and our Awards”.

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