Europa Nostra works closely with all institutions of the European Union to put cultural heritage high on their agenda. We also seek to actively contribute to a global mobilisation for heritage, especially through our close relations with UNESCO and the United Nations. You can find important information and reference documents, resolutions, conclusions and conventions, organised by institution.
As the most representative network of civil society organisations in the field, Europa Nostra has been a longstanding partner of the European Commission on issues related to cultural heritage. We have collaborated closely with the Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, as well as with other Directorate Generals with cultural heritage responsibilities, from Regional and Urban Policy to Research and Innovation. Over the years, Europa Nostra has also nurtured a close and trust-based relationship with many representatives from the European Commission, including Margaritas Schinas, Vice-President of the European Commission (2019-present), Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth (2019-2023), and Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth (2023-present).
Europa Nostra is a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Cultural Heritage, a platform for consultation and exchange on cultural heritage policies and programmes. Europa Nostra contributes regularly to the Voices of Culture structured dialogue between the cultural sector in the European Union and the European Commission. Europa Nostra is among the 37 pan-European Networks of culture and creative organisations, financed by Creative Europe programme and working to strengthen the competitiveness and diversity of the European cultural and creative sectors. In 2023, Europa Nostra hosted the second Focus Meeting of this Creative Europe Networks.
Since 2002, Europa Nostra has been organising the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards in partnership with the European Commission. Europa Nostra has been a partner in varioust EU-funded cooperation projects, such as IMPACTOUR and ILUCIDARE, funded by the European Commission’s framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020, as well as MERITA, Food is Culture and Cultural Heritage in Action, co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.
- European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage (2019)
- Communication from the European Commission on the European Green Deal (2019)
- A New European Agenda for Culture (2019)
- Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council – Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations (2016)
- Communication from the European Commission – Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe (2014)
The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at EU level. Representing the interests of citizens, the European Parliament is thus the democratic arm of the European Union and a natural interlocutor for a structured dialogue with civil society and heritage.
Over the years, Europa Nostra has built a fruitful cooperation with top level representatives of the European Parliament as well as several bodies dealing with cultural and heritage policy.
Our organisation also benefits from a privileged dialogue with the Chair and Members of the European Parliament’s Culture and Education Committee, and is increasingly cooperating with other Committees whose work is relevant to the enhancement of cultural heritage, such as the Committees on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, on Transport and Tourism or on Regional Development.
Europa Nostra is also contributing and supporting culture and heritage related initiatives of the European Parliament, such as the New European Bauhaus Friendship Group and the Cultural Creators Friendship Group.
- Resolution: Implementation of the New European Agenda for Culture and the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations (2022)
- Resolution: Achieving an effective policy legacy for the European Year of Cultural Heritage (2021)
- Resolution: Establishing an EU strategy for sustainable tourism (2021)
- Resolution: Cohesion policy and regional environment strategies in the fight against climate change (2021)
Council of the EU and rotating Presidencies
Europa Nostra actively follows the work of the Council of the European Union – also known as the Council of Ministers – advocating to place cultural heritage higher in the Council Agenda. As the institutional representative of the executive governments of the EU’s member states, this second chamber of the EU legislature plays a key role in adopting EU laws and coordinating EU policies.
Every 6 months, one of the 27 member states takes the lead in the Council and chairs meetings helping to ensure the continuity of the EU’s work. Member states holding the presidency work closely together in groups of three. The current trio started in July 2023, with Spain currently holding the presidency (July-December 2023), followed by Belgium (January-June 2024) and Hungary (July-December 2024). Europa Nostra collaborates with the various Presidencies on heritage related issues and conferences.
The Cáceres Declaration was adopted by 🇪🇺 Ministers of Culture at a timely moment. At the @europe_creative meeting of the #EuropeanHeritageSummit we read the statement & welcomed the @eu2023es commitment to see culture placed at the highest policy level. https://t.co/CzE7DsDvPY
— Europa Nostra (@europanostra) September 27, 2023
- Cáceres Declaration by Ministers of Culture of the European Union (2023)
- Strengthening cultural heritage resilience for climate change: Where the European Green Deal meets culture (2022)
- Council Conclusions on EU Approach to Cultural Heritage in conflicts and crises (2022)
- Council Conclusions on the recovery, resilience and sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors (2021)
- Council Conclusions on the Work Plan for Culture 2019-2022 (2018)
- Council Conclusions on participatory governance of cultural heritage (2014)
- Council Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe (2014)
Committee of the Regions
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) is an European advisory body representing Europe’s regional and local authorities, composed of 329 members – including regional presidents, mayors or elected representatives of regions and cities – from all 27 EU countries. It is entitled to express its views on all major issues of local and regional relevance, including culture and cultural heritage.
Europa Nostra liaises on relevant dossiers with the Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC), which coordinates the work of the Committee of the Regions in Culture and Cultural Diversity. Europa Nostra has established an excellent collaboration with this body and is regularly invited to provide feedback on policy positions, most recently the Stakeholder consultation on Cultural policies in rural areas in July 2023.
- Promoting cultural policies in rural areas within the framework of development and territorial cohesion strategies and the 2030 Agenda (2023)
- European education and culture: a community of best practice (2022)
- Opinion: Culture in a Union that strives for more: the role of regions and cities (2020)
- Opinion: Towards more sustainable tourism for EU cities and regions (2020)
- Political priorities for 2020-2025: Europe closer to the people through its villages, cities and regions (2020)
European Economic and Social Committee
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) represents employers, workers as well as social, occupational, economic and cultural organisations, and acts in an advisory capacity. Europa Nostra is often called upon by the EESC to provide feedback to the EESC on several issues, recently as part of the annual Civil Society Days and the youth event ‘Your Europe, Your Say!’.
Composed of 329 members appointed for a five-year mandate, the EESC ensures that European policies and legislation tie in better with economic, social and civic circumstances on the ground to promote the development of a more participatory European Union and to promote the values on which European integration is founded and advancing. Therefore, the EESC contributes to strengthening the democratic legitimacy and effectiveness of the European Union through civil society organisations. The EESC committee responsible for cultural, heritage and education related policy issues is the Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship Committee (SOC).
- Opinion: A Renovation Wave for Europe (2021)
- Opinion: Contribution of Europe’s Rural Areas to the 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage (2018)
- Opinion: Economic, social and cultural rights in the Euro-Mediterranean region (2017)
Council of Europe
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Strasbourg, France, the Council of Europe is an international organisation at the heart of European integration and is the continent’s defender of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Ever since its own founding in 1963, Europa Nostra has closely cooperated with the Council of Europe, benefiting from an observer status in the various bodies of the Council of Europe. To date, our organisation sustains a dialogue with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and its Committee on Culture, with the Council of Ministers and its rotating Presidencies, and is a member of the Council of Europe’s Conference of INGOs as well as its Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP). This Committee is responsible for several important recent initiatives and programmes, such as the implementation of the Faro Convention, the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century and the HEREIN European Cultural Heritage Information Network, to which Europa Nostra has contributed.
⭐️The Reykjavík Declaration sets the direction for the Council of Europe for the years to come ⬇️
— Council of Europe (@coe) May 30, 2023
The Council is also known for its strong advocacy for culture and heritage: in 1954, the Council adopted the European Cultural Convention, the very first document recognising the importance of Europe’s cultural diversity, of safeguarding European culture and Europe’s common cultural heritage that respects the same fundamental values. And over the years, various other conventions have been adopted to promote access and participation to culture (2005 Faro Convention) and to protect heritage (2017 Nicosia Convention). Today, the Council continues these actions in the field of cultural heritage, promoting diversity and dialogue through improving access to heritage to foster a sense of identity, collective memory and mutual understanding within and between communities. It also implements flagship initiatives, such as the annual European Heritage Days and the Cultural Routes programme.
- Reykjavík Declaration – United around our values (2023)
- Recommendation on promoting the continuous prevention of risks in the day-to-day management of cultural heritage (2020)
- European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century (2017)
- Nicosia Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property (2017)
- Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (2005)
- Valletta Convention for the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage of Europe (1992)
- Granada Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe (1985)
- European Cultural Convention (1954)
European Political Community
The European Political Community (EPC) was proposed by the French President Emanuel Macron in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 as a forum for political dialogue between 44 European countries and the EU. The inaugural summit took place in the Czech Republic in October 2022, followed by a second summit in Moldova, June 2023. The third summit was hosted by the Spanish Government in October 2023, with the fourth summit planned for the United Kingdom in 2024.
Like other European forums for exchange and dialogue, Europa Nostra is monitoring the meetings of this new political initiative, recently calling on the EPC to include culture and cultural heritage on the agenda of the most recent – and all future – EPC summits.
On the eve of @EPCMoldova, our Council issues a strong appeal to Leaders to include #culture & #heritage among priority areas for #EPC future action, vital to strengthen the sense of togetherness & foster peace, democracy & connectivity in #Europe 🇪🇺⬇️ https://t.co/wB4hIzMDbm
— Europa Nostra (@europanostra) May 31, 2023
Europa Nostra is an officially recognised NGO partner of UNESCO and both organisations team up regularly on policy matters and campaigns. Examples include Europa Nostra’s participation in the International Coordination Meeting for Emergency Response for Culture in Ukraine convened by UNESCO, and UNESCO’s Call for Action to raise awareness of the Historic Urban Landscape Recommendation to accelerate its adoption.
Europa Nostra is regularly invited to UNESCO meetings and conferences, such as the sessions of the World Heritage Committee.
In view of @UNESCO‘s proposal to list #Venice as #WorldHeritage in Danger, EN recommends postponing the decision to the 2024 #WHCommittee. While #climate & #overtourism threats are persistent, progress should be acknowledged & further efforts encouraged👇 https://t.co/SgsPPnld52
— Europa Nostra (@europanostra) September 14, 2023
- Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape (2011)
- Vancouver Declaration: The Memory of the World in the Digital Age (2013)
- The Hangzhou Declaration: Placing Culture at the Heart of Sustainable Development Policies (2013)
- Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (2005)
- Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)
- Declaration concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage (2004)
- Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2002)
- Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2002)
- Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1973)
Europa Nostra also cooperates with the United Nations, the intergovernmental organisation comprising 193 Member States which promotes international cooperation.
In particular, Europa Nostra is fully committed to the successful implementation of and the mainstreaming of cultural heritage in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development global framework.
Recently, Europa Nostra has been heavily engaged in ensuring that culture is fully integrated into the future work of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Paris Agreement. Further to this, Europa Nostra is taking part in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28) in Dubai.
🆕 The world is far off track to meet 2050 climate targets. #Culture has the potential to help us realise low-carbon, just, climate resilient futures. Today we call on @UNFCCC to recognise the power of #CultureAtCOP28 🌍
— Europa Nostra (@europanostra) November 9, 2023
- Resolution on Human rights and cultural diversity (2021)
- Resolution on Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace (2021)
- Resolution on the Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin (2021)
The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation. In a historic move, the G20 put culture on its agenda for the very first time when Ministers of Culture came together in a joint meeting on “The rise of the cultural economy: a new paradigm”, on 4 November 2020. This marked the first time that G20 policy discussions recognised the growing contribution of culture to the global economy.
Europa Nostra has collaborated with the G20 under its Italian Presidency, notably by contributing to heritage and climate change related events. The 2022 G20 Summit took place in Bali, Indonesia. The 2023 Summit met in New Delhi, India.