European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 discussed at Belgrade Conference

During the first day of the Conference “Cultural Heritage Counts for (South-East) Europe”, held in Belgrade from 15-17 June, a panel discussion on the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, in the light of the European integration process and the cultural diplomacy agenda in Serbia and Western Balkans. This debate brought together officials from the European Commission and the Serbian Government and representatives from European civil society networks.

Moderator Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, welcomed Dorota Nigge, team leader for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 at the DG EAC at the European Commission, for the opening address.

Dorota Nigge, presented the Year and stressed that “candidate and potential candidate countries should be closely associated with actions under the Year (…) Such involvement can be pursued under the relevant frameworks for cooperation and dialogue, particularly in the context of the civil society dialogue between the European Union and those countries”. Dorota Nigge also emphasized the need for a bottom-up approach to the Year. See presentation

Cultural Heritage Counts for (South-East) Europe Conference

The panel was composed of Diego Marani, Culture Policy Advisor, EEAS-European External Action Service, European Commission; Asja Drača Muntean, Assistant to the Minister for International Relations and European Integrations, Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia; Rodolphe de Looz-Corswarem, President of the European Historic Houses Association, also on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3; Goranka Horjan, President of ICOM SEE; and Lejla Hadžić, Board member of SEE Heritage Network.

Diégo Marani presented the background of the proposed European Strategy for International Cultural Relations, which was recently adopted by the Council of Ministers. He reminded that Serbia is part of Europe and that cultural heritage is the symbol of how much we are tied together. Rodolphe de Looz-Corswarem called for a multi-stakeholders approach and the necessity of building bridges between the various heritage actors also in the region.

Nicolas Bizel, Head of Operations I at the European Delegation to Serbia, indicated the strong interest of the EU Delegation in Serbia to seize the opportunity of the European Year to engage many more people into a debate on the multiple value of cultural heritage. He also stressed that the EU will continue supporting heritage-led regeneration in Serbia, as confirmed by the most recent funding of 500.000 euros which the EU granted for the revitalisation of the Fortress in Pirot.

Media Coverage

N1 (national TV station)
Interview with Europa Nostra’s Secretary General broadcast on 16/06/2017

Newsweek (weekly news magazine)
Article published on 17/06/2017

Vecernje Novosti (national daily newspaper)
Article published on 21/06/2017

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