A more effective policy legacy for the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Today, the Committee on Culture and Education is set to approve an effective policy legacy for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The own-initiative report led by the ECR coordinator MEP Dace Melbārde aims to improve coordination among Member States at all levels of governance in order to improve the promotion of Europe’s cultural heritage as a source of wealth, remembrance and a common sense of belonging.

Speaking ahead of the vote, MEP Dace Melbārde said:

“Cultural heritage is our common source of wealth that has been inherited from the past, is cherished and used in the present and will be passed on to future generations. Therefore, whilst the importance of cultural heritage is acknowledged both at national and EU levels, cooperation among Member States at all levels of governance can be vastly improved.”

As the EU funding for cultural heritage remains dissipated amongst many EU funds and programs, the report calls for an establishment of a single EU portal, combining information from all the EU programmes that are funding cultural heritage. It also calls for securing an adequate budget for the promotion and protection of cultural heritage, including digital culture.

Ms. Melbārde continued:

“Synergy between other sectoral policies as well as various EU programs and funding schemes could truly bring cultural heritage to the fore as its impact nowadays reaches much further than one would think, particularly with regard to education, digital culture, economic potential and sustainability. Therefore the socio-economic and labour conditions relating to the cultural heritage sector need to be addressed with the utmost respect.

“Cultural heritage is an invaluable resource, enabling us to reflect on history and help identify not only different memories, but also the common threads that bind us all together, thus promoting diversity, cohesion, solidarity and understanding – a context that seems to be more relevant than ever today.”

As indicated by the report, the cultural heritage sector’s contribution to economic development including spillover effects in other economic sectors results in over 300 000 people in Europe employed by the cultural heritage sector, while 7.8 million jobs in Europe are indirectly linked to it.

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