Findings on the consultation on the impact of COVID-19 on the heritage world to be released in September

Deeply concerned about the massive negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural heritage world, Europa Nostra launched on 26 March a consultation on this topic among its large pan-European network of members and partners. Europa Nostra has already communicated important information and initial observations on the specific impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the heritage sector to the European Commission, via the Commission Expert Group on Cultural Heritage of which Europa Nostra is a member.

Europa Nostra is currently preparing a more extensive paper summarizing and analyzing the main findings of this important consultation. Such paper will be published after the summer and will be widely disseminated among heritage actors and policy-makers at all levels of governance. This paper will underpin Europa Nostra’s advocacy action, conducted jointly with our members and partners, to ensure that cultural heritage is duly included in the EU’s immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as in the “Next Generation EU” recovery plans. Indeed, Europa Nostra and our members and partners are fully convinced of the immense potential of culture and cultural heritage for Europe’s socioeconomic recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The consultation focused on the following topics: impacts of the pandemic and the measures to contain it both in the short and long term; measures implemented by heritage organisations to face the crisis; lessons learned and urgent needs of the heritage world to overcome the crisis; measures needed at local, national and European level to support the heritage world during and after the pandemic; and the contribution of the heritage world to the recovery of Europe’s society and economy after the crisis.

With the aim of obtaining qualitative information from a representative sample of heritage stakeholders, Europa Nostra launched a consultation among its large membership composed by over 350 Member and Associate Organisations and over 1,000 Individual Members in 42 countries in Europe and 5 countries outside the continent. Europa Nostra also consulted its wide range of European and International partners, including the members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, of which Europa Nostra is a founding member and coordinator, as well as Laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards.

In total, some 40 extensive responses from 20 countries in Europe and beyond were received, providing for a variegated and geographically diverse overview. The vast majority of respondents are organisations, many of which represent at the same time a conglomerate of organisations with a large membership. Responses by individual heritage professionals or volunteers were also collected. Through this consultation, Europa Nostra has got a better and more complete understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural heritage world, the reactions it has triggered on the ground and on the specific needs of the heritage sector to overcome this far-reaching crisis.

Other sectoral consultations have been carried out by cultural stakeholders and members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, notably:

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