Special Policy Meeting of the European Heritage Alliance

On 14 April, members of the European Heritage Alliance met online to discuss key policy issues of relevance to cultural heritage. This meeting took place one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the launch of the Alliance Manifesto “Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe” and two months prior to the 10th anniversary of the Alliance, which was launched in June 2011 in Amsterdam on the occasion of the European Heritage Congress organised by Europa Nostra.

Following the Alliance’s decision to introduce an annual “rotating chair” of the meetings, Lilian Grootswagers, Advisory Board President of Future for Religious Heritage, moderated the session which gathered almost 30 Alliance members.

Andrew Potts, Coordinator of the ICOMOS Climate Change and Heritage Working Group and lead author of the European Cultural Heritage Green Paper “Putting Europe’s shared heritage at the heart of the European Green Deal” joined the meeting for a special presentation of the Paper which was officially launched on 22 March by Europa Nostra and ICOMOS. It was the occasion to thank all the Alliance members who contributed to the Green Paper elaboration and exchanged views with representatives of the wider field of cultural heritage.

The Alliance members also discussed their respective contributions to the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative. Five members of the Alliance have already been selected as official partners of the NEB, namely ACE (Architects’ Council of Europe), EUROCITIES, Europa Nostra, IFLA Europe (International Federation of Landscape Architects) and Mad’in Europe. The Alliance members discussed best ways to mobilise their respective networks for the benefit of this initiative which aims at imagining our collective future and the way of living together around the core values of sustainability, aesthetics and inclusiveness.

Jimmy Jamar, Head of Europa Nostra’s Brussels Office, introduced the discussion on the Conference on the Future of Europe and stressed the interconnection with the two other main topics of the meeting: the European Cultural Heritage Green Paper and the New European Bauhaus initiative. On 9 May, Europa Nostra will invite members of its wide network to organise debates on the Future of Europe in meaningful cultural heritage sites across Europe. Members of the Alliance are invited to contribute to this initiative. It was agreed that this will be a most suitable way to mark the 10th anniversary of the European Heritage Alliance.

At the end of the meeting, E-FAITH (European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage) stressed the importance of raising higher rail heritage on the agenda of the European Year of Rail 2021 and presented the new website on European Railway Heritage.

Future for Religious Heritage also invited members of the Alliance to contribute to their #JUMPFORHERITAGE campaign.

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