European Investment Bank signs Berlin Call to Action “Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe”

Hague / Brussels / Luxembourg, 18 January 2019 – The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union’s bank and the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender, signed the Berlin Call to Action “Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe” at a special ceremony held yesterday evening at the Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain in Brussels, Belgium.

Emma Navarro, Vice-President of the EIB, signed the document and handed it to Europa Nostra’s Executive President Hermann Parzinger in the presence of high-level representatives from the European Investment Bank, the EIB Institute and Europa Nostra as well as the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee and members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3.

Signing Ceremony of Berlin Call by European Investment Bank

The Berlin Call to Action was opened to signatures from citizens and organisations committed to the cause of cultural heritage on the occasion of the European Cultural Heritage Summit in Berlin on 22 June 2018. Presented by three European organisations active in the field of cultural heritage, namely Europa Nostra, the German Cultural Heritage Committee (DNK) and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK), it seeks to engage the largest possible range of organisations, institutions, governments, civil society actors and individuals in recognising and tapping into the positive and cohesive power of our shared cultural heritage for the Future of Europe.

Since its launch in Berlin, this campaigning document has been signed by almost 2,200 people and organisations from all over Europe. At the closing conference of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in Vienna on 7 December 2018, Europa Nostra and the German Cultural Heritage Committee presented the symbolic number of 2,018 signatures to the European Commission. On the same day, the European Commission published a European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage which prominently refers to the Berlin Call to Action.

Emma Navarro, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, stated: “The signing of the Berlin Call to Action responds to EIB’s fundamental strategic priority – promoting economic and social cohesion in the EU. As the EU Bank, the EIB has invested in cultural heritage over many years through the refurbishment or development of cultural heritage buildings and cities, most recently in Warsaw and Nancy. Adding the Bank’s name to the long list of influential signatories is further evidence of our commitment to safeguarding Europe’s cultural heritage.”

Signing Ceremony of Berlin Call by European Investment Bank

Hermann Parzinger, Executive President of Europa Nostra, stated: “The European Investment Bank’s backing of our Berlin Call to Action gives a most welcome boost to the on-going mobilisation of public and private stakeholders to ensure a lasting legacy of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. It re-affirms the existing commitment of the European Investment Bank in favour of the safeguard and enhancement of cultural heritage and gives a good example to follow for other financial organisations operating at various levels – national, European and international. This is yet another confirmation of the fruitful cooperation between the EIB Institute and Europa Nostra, which started 7 years ago and led to the launch of the 7 Most Endangered Programme in 2013 and which we are keen to further strengthen in the years of come.”

Francisco de Paula Coelho, Dean of the European Investment Bank Institute, said: “Europeans take pride in their cultural heritage. Since 2013, the Institute has been cooperating with Europa Nostra under the 7 Most Endangered Programme to identify monuments and sites under acute danger of neglect or destruction. The European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 provided an ideal launch pad for taking our investment in cultural heritage to the next level.”

Signing Ceremony of Berlin Call by European Investment Bank

High resolution photos of the signing ceremony can be downloaded here

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