Ensuring that Europeans bring together their individual cultural identities into a united whole, fostering acceptance and understanding is at the center of a set of actions announced last week by the European Commission during the closing ceremony of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 at the #EuropeForCulture conference in Vienna.
The Commission announced the first-ever European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage based on a set of five main actions to run in the coming two years aimed at safeguarding and further promoting Europe’s cultural heritage.
These include the launch of the #WeareEuropeForCulture project to focus on cultural heritage for an inclusive Europe; the launch of the European Capital of Smart Tourism – a new EU initiative rewarding innovative and smart tourism in European cities with Helsinki and Lyon the first to hold the title in 2019; working via the iRESIST+ project to restore and protect endangered historical buildings; supporting and stimulating the development of specialized skills and competences and improving knowledge management and knowledge transfer in the cultural heritage sector, such as via the Erasmus+ program; reinforcing international cooperation and stronger global partnerships through a new network for cultural heritage innovation and diplomacy aimed at aiding third countries in protecting cultural heritage through training and solutions.
According to Commission data, more than 6.2 million people participated in over 11,700 events across 37 countries on occasion of 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage.
Besides the five actions, the Commission also presented 60 additional measures for the promotion and protection of cultural heritage in the future.
“I am proud that the European Year of Cultural Heritage has successfully reached millions of people across Europe and beyond. We now need to ensure that its legacy lives on – because cultural heritage is not only about the past, it is key in building a cohesive, resilient Europe for the future,” said EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.
“With the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage, we are putting forward a range of initiatives to ensure that we make the most of cultural heritage in boosting economic growth, building strong communities and strengthen our relationship with our partners across the globe,” Navracsics added.
In the meantime, the Commission also presented its new Cultural Gems mobile application – a platform for local communities to share cultural spots that are off the beaten track, and also awarded the Monumental Europe and MATH 3.0 Amazing Trip through History projects with the special eTwinning Award for Cultural Heritage.