The European Commission proposed to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
The Commission’s aim was to highlight the key role of European cultural heritage in promoting a shared sense of history and identity. The initiative has found a great deal of supporters and has been regarded a “great opportunity”. Europe’s rich diversity should serve as a unique catalyzer for the exchange and interaction between people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. In times when the world cultural resources are constantly in danger and conflict areas are continuously expanding, the European Commission has dedicated the year 2018 to the European cultural heritage.
The economic role of cultural heritage
Cultural heritage also plays an important economic role. More than 300,000 people work directly in the European cultural heritage sector. Around 7.8 million jobs in Europe are indirectly linked to cultural heritage, such as tourism and construction, as well as other transport services, translations, cleaning and security. In 2011 alone, cultural heritage in France generated € 8.1 billion through museums, historic sites, buildings and visitor attractions, libraries and archives.
“Creative Europe” is a program created by the European Union that supports the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 highlighting the potential of the EU in terms of conservation, digitalization and research and skills development. In this program, several information and awareness campaigns will be taking place Europe-wide. This campaigns open up the opportunity to find answers to current and future challenges such us public funds declining, the diminishing participation in traditional and cultural events or the environmental impact of cultural sites.
The European Year of Cultural 2018 Heritage Year promotes the preservation of cultural heritage and is a key element of the EU foreign policy. It is a response to the criminal destruction of cultural heritage and trafficking of cultural goods in many conflict regions of the world.