Europa Nostra’s governing bodies meet in The Hague
One month before the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, members of the Council and the Board of Europa Nostra came together for their last meeting of 2017 to discuss important policy developments as well as the contribution by civil society to the European Year, amongst other issues. The meetings took place in The Hague, seat of the International Secretariat of Europa Nostra, and were organised with the support of the Dutch Senate and the City of The Hague.
On 16 November, the Council of Europa Nostra convened in the historic assembly hall of the Dutch Senate, providing a very fitting setting for the meeting, which was chaired by Executive Vice-President John Sell. The Treasurer of Europa Nostra, Huub Doek, himself a former member of the Dutch Senate, had the pleasure of introducing Jonkheer Joris Backer, Second Vice-Chairman of the Dutch Senate, who welcomed the Council on behalf of the Senate and encouraged Europa Nostra to continue pursuing with vigour its laudable goals and laudable tasks.
A key point on the agenda was the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the recently published European Commission’s contribution to the EU leaders’ meeting on culture and education scheduled to take place during the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth which took place on the following day in Gothenburg, Sweden. Europa Nostra Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović outlined the meaning of this important political development for Europe’s heritage movement. In the light of this, the Council of Europa Nostra issued a statement to applaud the inclusion of education and culture in the agenda of the EU Social Summit. Given the increased importance attached to education and culture at EU level, Europa Nostra should seize the opportunity of lobbying for a more ambitious agenda and more funding for cultural heritage in the future, concluded Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović.
She also presented the key events and activities of Europa Nostra and its partners, such as the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, for 2018 and beyond. Furthermore, Council members discussed the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018 in Berlin (presented by Board member Hermann Parzinger) and the “Foundations4Heritage” initiative (presented by Council member Emilio Rui Vilar) as well as other initiatives and projects developed for the European Year by Europa Nostra (often in partnership with other members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3.).
After a long day of meetings, Council and Board members and Europa Nostra’s key members and contacts from the Netherlands were invited to a dinner reception at the Pulchri Studio, which was co-hosted by the City of The Hague. This evening reception provided a welcoming and more informal setting for further discussion and networking among the European heritage professionals and volunteers.
The Board of Europa Nostra held its autumn meeting on 17 November at the International Secretariat to also follow up on some of the items raised during the Council meeting and discuss the state of preparations for the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018.
Both the Council and the Board meetings were organised in the framework of Europa Nostra’s network project ‘Sharing Heritage – Sharing Values’, which is supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union. Consequently, Council and Board members also discussed the different network project activities with a view to monitoring and ensuring close involvement of representatives of the governing bodies.
Next year, the Board will meet in Berlin on 13-14 March and also on 5-6 May in Normandy. The Council will meet in Paris on 7-8 May.
The assembly hall of the Dutch Senate, dating from the 17th century and featuring a richly decorated ceiling that was restored in the 1990s and is still used for Senate meetings today, whose main function is to scrutinise legislative bills and monitor the government. The Council of Europa Nostra had once before met on these premises in 2009 under the presidency of HRH the Infanta Dona Pilar de Borbón.