20 May 2019
European Ministers adopt Declaration on Cultural Heritage
In the wake of the tragic fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris last month, on 3 May Paris hosted an informal meeting involving the ministers responsible for Culture and for European Affairs from the member states of the European Union, as well as the European Commission and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The meeting aimed to jointly reflect on ways to better preserve European cultural heritage, including through the mobilisation of a network of experts, youth involvement and existing funding models. As a result of this reflection, ministers adopted a Declaration which expresses their solidarity with France following the fire at Notre Dame and affirms that this difficult moment is one shared by all Europeans. It also underlines ministers' deep commitment to Europe's exceptional historical and cultural heritage, and recalls the importance of protecting and transmitting it, highlighting its role in the European collective spirit and memory. Building on several principles and ideas, ministers express their determination to make progress in the following three areas:
- Making quick progress towards the formation of a European network on heritage expertise available in the EU, to provide advice and support, upon request by the Member State concerned, in relation to the identification, protection and/or restoration of endangered European heritage.
- Providing Europe's young people with opportunities to get involved in heritage conservation and restoration efforts, including through Erasmus+ and other European initiatives.
- Mobilising existing financial resources for issues related to the safeguarding of endangered heritage, including through EU programmes, other public funds, private contributions, etc.