Engaging Citizens for Heritage

Europa Nostra works to ensure that citizens and civil society organisations are heard in Europe. To this end, Europa Nostra cooperates closely with other NGOs – both in the heritage and non-heritage fields – to ensure culture and heritage are at the heart of European decision-making.

That is why, in the runup to the 2024 European elections, Europa Nostra along with Culture Action Europe and the European Cultural Foundation are renewing the Cultural Deal for Europe campaign. In a joint open letter to MEPs and candidates for election, we are calling for culture and cultural heritage to hold a central place in electoral campaigns: in political groups’ programmes and in public conversations with Europeans about the future of our continent.

The annual European Cultural Heritage Summits, organised by Europa Nostra with the support of the European Union, are important moments for the organisation to engage with European citizens, as well as its pan-European membership. In recent years, the organisation has debated some of the most important cultural policy issues at the heart of the European project. The European Heritage Policy Agora 2022 in Prague focused on 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. It culminated with the launch of the Prague Manifesto “For a Value and Culture-Driven Europe”. The European Heritage Policy Agora 2023 in Venice explored the value and plausibility of a European Cultural Citizenship and concluded with the commencement of the campaign “Towards a European Cultural Citizenship”.

Europa Nostra is also proud to contribute to other platforms of exchange, including the Delphi Economic Forum (Greece), the Belgrade Heritage Forum (Serbia) and the ALIPH Forum (Abu Dhabi, UAE). As of 2023, Europa Nostra is on the Advisory Board of ANCHISE, an EU-funded project to enhance the protection of cultural heritage.

Europa Nostra is an official partner of many other actions at EU level, including the New European Bauhaus, and we are committed to spreading the message of the importance of cultural heritage throughout Europe, with many other NGOs and stakeholders, not just heritage organisations. Following the conclusion of the Conference on the Future of Europe and publication of the final outcomes of the conference, where the protection and promotion of cultural heritage were recalled, Europa Nostra has continued to advocate to ensure heritage is at the forefront of the political agenda.

Europa Nostra recently supported Civil Society Europe on the Civil Society State of the Union 2023 recalling the importance of heritage in enhancing civic values. We have also maintained close relations with the European Movement International, recently supporting their first policy paper advocating for heritage across Europe.