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First European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018

Member states ambassadors endorsed yestderday the provisional agreement reached on 9 February 2016 between Council and European Parliament representatives on a decision establishing a European Year of Cultural Heritage (2018) which will celebrate the diversity and richness of our European culture.

This initiative also aims to raise awareness of European history and values and to strengthen a sense of European identity. At the same time, it draws attention to the opportunities offered by our cultural heritage, but also to the challenges it faces, such as the impact of the digital shift, environmental and physical pressure on heritage sites, and the illicit trafficking of cultural objects.

The main objectives of this European Year are:

  • to promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion;
  • to highlight the economic contribution of cultural heritage to the cultural and creative sectors, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and to local and regional development
  • to emphasise the role of cultural heritage in EU external relations, including conflict prevention, post-conflict reconciliation and rebuilding destroyed cultural heritage

The European Year will have a dedicated financial envelope of 8 million EUR with a joint statement of the Parliament and the Council specifying the sources of financing.

"As Europeans we have a particularly rich cultural heritage born of our long shared history. I welcome the opportunity to celebrate that heritage and to take pride in all that makes up our common European identity".

Dr. Owen Bonnici, the Maltese Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government

Next steps

The Chairman of Coreper will then send a letter to the Chairperson of the European Parliament's CULT committee.

That letter will indicate that, if the Parliament adopts at its plenary session the compromise text as approved by the Coreper, the Council will adopt the text in first reading without amendments.

This should enable the new legislation to enter into force soon enough to allow the Commission and member states sufficient time for the necessary preparations.

Press contacts

Helena Gomes
Press officer
+32 22817040
+32 479955079 


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