Europa Nostra welcomes agreement on funding for European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018
A provisional agreement to establish the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH 2018) has been reached by the European Parliament and the Council on 9 February 2017, most importantly on the funding of the Year to which EUR 8 million will be dedicated. Another key outcome of the negotiations is that the European Parliament will participate as observer in meetings of national coordinators for the preparation and implementation of the Year. Both Parliament and Council had already proposed a greater involvement of civil society in the implementation of the Year, which Europa Nostra and other networks which form part of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 strongly advocated.
Europa Nostra welcomes that additional funding has been secured at European level. It wishes to express its special thanks to EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and his team at the European Commission and also the EP Rapporteur for the EYCH2018, MEP Mircea Diaconu, and the former Culture Committee Chair MEP Silvia Costa for their strong commitment and support for the Year.
“While regretting that the EU Institutions did not agree on a higher budget of EUR 15 million, as initially proposed by the European Parliament, Europa Nostra considers that the agreement reached on funding constitutes nevertheless an important signal as it goes beyond the initially proposed EUR 4 million from existing programmes, such as the EU Creative Europe programme,” stated Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra. “Given the limited funding at European level, it is now even more important that national and regional authorities embrace the Year and provide adequate resources for activities which will be undertaken at national and regional level”, added the Secretary General of Europa Nostra.
In a joint letter of December 2016, the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 – a platform of 40 networks from the wider field of cultural heritage that is coordinated by Europa Nostra – had called on EU leaders “to ensure that the European Year of Cultural Heritage is supported with adequate financial resources at all levels of governance: from European to national, regional and local” (see for example the letter to the Dutch Prime Minister). On the occasion of the informal Malta Summit of 3 February 2017, the Alliance had reiterated this appeal.
The agreement reached on 9 February on the legal basis for the European Year provides the much needed clarity for Member States, EU Institutions and a large circle of stakeholders from the field of cultural heritage which can now step up the preparations of their respective activities for the Year and make sure that the best possible coordination is ensured between those various activities. This agreement is expected to be soon formally adopted by the European Parliament and by the EU Council.
Europa Nostra, like other networks who form part of the European Heritage Alliance and numerous civil society organisations active in the field of cultural heritage at national level, have already started with their preparations for the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
For 2018, Europa Nostra will – among others – transform its annual European Heritage Congress into a true European Heritage Summit as one of the public highlights of the Year. As already previously announced, the European Heritage Summit will take place in Berlin (Germany) in June 2018 and bring together civil society, heritage stakeholders, national, regional and European Institutions and the wider public. It will be organised in partnership with DNK (German Cultural Heritage Committee).