Europa Nostra welcomes the Western Balkans Ministerial Platform for Culture launched by the European Commission

Europa Nostra applauds the initiative taken by the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, to launch a new Western Balkan Ministerial Platform for Culture. The initiative, which was announced on 27 June 2022 in Tirana, Albania, in the frame of a dedicated Ministerial meeting, follows and completes two existing similar endeavours, namely the Western Balkans Steering Platform on Research and Innovation, launched in 2006, and the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training, launched in 2011. The newly launched Platform aims at strengthening cultural cooperation between the EU and the Western Balkans through exchange of best practices, knowledge and experiences.

In the current difficult climate within the region, amplified by the consequences of the war in Ukraine, Europa Nostra welcomes the creation of the Western Balkans Ministerial Platform for Culture as a vector for dialogue and cohesion within the region, particularly as regards the ongoing discussions around the accession of the Western Balkans to the European Union. In parallel with the work to be carried out by its newly created Heritage Hub for South Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean located in Athens, with a clear regional perspective, Europa Nostra considers the Platform a promising tool to support and empower civil society actors within the region and to encourage citizens’ participation in the defence of cultural heritage at all levels. Europa Nostra expresses its strong commitment to support the work of the Platform, as a means to create bridges between citizens and to enhance the promotion of our shared European values within the region.

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