European Heritage Policy Agora 2022 – Closing session

The European Heritage Policy Agora “For a Value and Culture-Driven Europe”, held on 27 September at the Žofín Palace, was the closing event of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022 in Prague. This inspiring full-day event addressed some of the most pressing challenges facing the heritage ecosystem in Europe, such as the need to mobilise forces and voices in solidarity with Ukraine’s endangered cultural heritage; the role of cultural heritage in fostering peace and solidarity within our societies; and the values of beauty and sustainability for an inclusive green transformation. The Policy Agora benefited from contributions from a wide variety of public and private heritage stakeholders, policy-makers at all levels, young heritage professionals and cultural actors.

European Heritage Policy Agora

During the closing session of the Policy Agora, Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, who joined online, reiterated the Committee’s “unwavering support to Ukrainian cities and regions and their long-term reconstruction” and called “on the European Union to empower local and regional authorities to continue showing their European solidarity in Ukraine”.

Kateryna Chuyeva, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, who attended in person the entire European Cultural Heritage Summit in Prague, stressed: “Developing a cultural heritage ecosystem in Ukraine is the most appropriate way to achieve our strategic goals of post-war recovery and it must be based on our shared values and sustainability standards”.

In a video message, Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon, recalled that “it is ever more necessary to show that Europe works and delivers, and that culture is at the heart of the EU motto – United in diversity”.

Luisella Pavan-Woolfe, Director of the Council of Europe Office in Venice, reflected on the Prague Summit and underlined the key words to describe the event: values of peace and human rights, participation, youth, sustainability and inclusivity. She emphasised the need to build more bridges and join forces across Europe and beyond and between actors at all levels.

Marshall Marcus, Secretary General of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), presented the EUYO Peace in Europe Project 2022 and highlighted that “staring at our challenges in Europe, nothing of this seems to me possible unless we become real bridge builders with culture and particularly bridge builders with value-driven culture”.

In his concluding remarks, Petr Svoboda, Chair of Europa Nostra’s country representation in the Czech Republic, stated: “Cultural heritage helps us understand where we are coming from. Ukraine is part of our Europe, let’s do our best to help Ukraine not to lose its direction”.

At the end of the European Heritage Policy Agora, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, launched the Prague Manifesto “For a Value-based and Culture-driven Europe”, which contains the key policy messages formulated during the Agora and the entire Summit.

The Prague Manifesto puts forward 7 concrete and actionable proposals for culture and heritage to be fully recognised and deployed in building a value-based and culture-driven Europe. These proposals aim at unleashing the potential of culture and heritage for the implementation of the New European Bauhaus initiative, for the advancement of a value-based European Political Union, as strategic assets to foster international cooperation, to support and speed-up Europe’s transition to a green, climate-neutral continent as well as to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, among others.

The Prague Manifesto 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 and fully recognise and mobilise the immense potential of cultural heritage to build a more sustainable, more inclusive, more peaceful and more beautiful Europe.

All news items about the Policy Agora

Opening session
Panel “Mobilising forces and voices in solidarity with Ukraine’s cultural heritage”
Panel “Cultural heritage as a catalyst for peace and solidarity”
Panel “Beauty and sustainability at the core of Europe’s green transformation”
Youth Intermezzos
Closing session

More information about the Policy Agora

Watch the full videos (part I / part II)
See the photo album
Read the programme booklet

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