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05 Sep 2016

European Year of Cultural Heritage proposed for 2018

European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 proposal In a document published on 30 August, the European Commission proposes that 2018 be designated the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The proposal will now need to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. In the presentation of the proposal, the European Commission argues that cultural heritage is central to Europe's identity and faces grave threats in conflict zones, so the time is right to celebrate cultural heritage in 2018. In the words of European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Tibor Navracsis,
"Our cultural heritage is more than the memory of our past; it is the key to our future. A European Year of Cultural Heritage will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the social and economic importance of cultural heritage and to promote European excellence in the sector." "I call on the European Parliament and Council to support our proposal and invite all stakeholders to help make this Year a success."
In the likely case that the proposal is accepted, the European Year of Cultural Heritage will highlight what the European Union can do for conservation, digitisation, infrastructure, research and skills development. Events will be organised across Europe, as well as information, education and awareness-raising campaigns.


The 30-page document opens with a section presenting the background and rationale of the proposal. In it, the European Commission highlights that cultural heritage became an EU priority through the adoption of the European Agenda for Culture in 2007. More recently, a Communication entitled "Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe" was adopted in 2014. Following this, in November 2014 EU Culture Ministers adopted a set of Conclusions on participatory governance of cultural heritage, which also invited the Commission to propose a European Year of Cultural Heritage. This was echoed in September 2015, as the European Parliament adopted a resolution which invited the Commission 'to designate, preferably for 2018, a European Year of Cultural Heritage. For additional information about the proposal and access to the full document, please visit  
Pictured above: The Heart of Ancient Athens in Greece (Shutterstock)