Kraków: Europa Nostra Council adopts statements on the alarming situation in Ukraine and on the outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe
On 9 and 10 May 2022, the Europa Nostra Council met in Kraków, Poland, for its first physical meeting ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting took place at a most symbolic time and place with fruitful discussions on various aspects of Europa Nostra’s work, ranging from European policy advocacy to saving endangered heritage and the European Year of Youth.
As concrete outcomes of the two-day discussions, the Europa Nostra Council issued two important and timely statements: one condemning the ongoing deliberate destruction of cultural heritage in Ukraine and another one reacting on the proposals formulated by the Conference on the Future of Europe. We encourage you to read these statements and disseminate them through your networks and communication channels.
Europa Nostra strongly condemns ongoing deliberate destruction of cultural heritage in Ukraine
After a thorough discussion with the participation of our Ukrainian member, Natalia Moussienko, the Europa Nostra Council adopted a statement reiterating its full support and solidarity towards Ukrainian people who are facing immense suffering and hardship as the Russian invasion of their country continues. The Council deplores and condemns the ongoing deliberate destruction of cultural property of national, European and universal significance in Ukraine, and recalls that, according to international law, these acts constitute a war crime.
Cultural Heritage for the Future of Europe – Europa Nostra reaction on the proposals formulated by the Conference on the Future of Europe
In their statement, the members of the Europa Nostra Council duly acknowledge and welcome the 49 proposals formulated by the Conference on the Future of Europe, which were conveyed on Europe Day to the Presidents of the three co-chairing Institutions of the European Union, and commend the unprecedented participatory approach put forward by the Conference. They regret, however, that the important voices of culture and cultural heritage were not directly represented within the Plenary of the Conference and that culture and cultural heritage were not explicitly mentioned in many other recommendations and proposals. Europa Nostra therefore reiterates its appeal to EU leaders at all levels of governance to duly incorporate the vital and transversal contribution and role of culture and cultural heritage in the follow-up process of the Conference on the Future of Europe in order to place culture and cultural heritage where they belong: at the very heart of the European project.
Heritage in Action Magazine – special edition on South-East Europe
During the Council meeting in Kraków, Wolter Braamhost, Editor of the Magazine, presented the special edition of our Heritage in Motion Magazine on South East Europe. This Magazine is dedicated to the memory of two great champions of Europe’s shared values and cultural heritage who sadly passed away at the beginning of this year: Costa Carras, longstanding Vice-President of Europa Nostra, and David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.
Special thanks to our partners in Kraków
The Europa Nostra Council met in the stunning City of Kraków, the first historic city in Europe put on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. Kraków is located less than 300km from the Ukrainian border, in a country which, due to its geographic, historic, linguistic and cultural ties, has shown an impressive level of solidarity and support to Ukrainian people, also receiving almost 3 million of refugees. The Council was particularly grateful for and deeply moved by the presence and contribution of its Ukrainian member Natalia Moussienko, who still resides in Kyiv and who came to the meeting against all odds and in an extremely strenuous context.
All this made the meeting an unforgettable one: a moment of celebration, togetherness and joy, but also of compassion, solidarity and hope for peace. Europa Nostra organised its first large annual meeting in Kraków back in 1995 and this was the perfect occasion to come back together, almost three decades later, at a defining moment for Europa Nostra and Our Europe as a whole. The meeting was kindly hosted by the International Cultural Centre – ICC, Europa Nostra’s Associate Organisation and long-standing partner.
The Europa Nostra Council, Board and the International Secretariat are most grateful to our Vice-President, Prof. Jacek Purchla and to Agata Wąsowska-Pawlik, Director of ICC, for their invitation to come to Kraków and for the excellent organisation of our stay in Kraków including impressive cultural visits to the recently reopened Princess Czartoryski Museum and the stunning gothic St. Mary’s Basilica with the newly restored wooden mediaeval altar by Veit Stoss. We have high appreciation for the unique hospitality of our Polish members, partners and friends, namely the ICC and The Society of Friends of Kraków History and Heritage, as well as the City of Kraków, which will host the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for Central and Eastern Europe, as jointly announced on Europe Day.