Ten European Initiatives in the European Year of Cultural Heritage

Publicated on: June 7, 2018

To make sure that the efforts of EYCH leave an imprint beyond 2018, the European Commission, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, UNESCO, and other partners, will run long-term projects around 10 themes. The objective is to help trigger real change in the way we enjoy, protect and promote heritage, making sure that the European Year benefits citizens in the longer term.

These initiatives include activities with schools, research on innovative solutions for reusing heritage buildings or the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural goods.

The 10 European initiatives correspond to four principles that define what European cultural heritage stands for: engagement; sustainability; protection and innovation. An additional dimension is also created, aiming at reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage as the international dimension of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

10 European Initiatives in the European Year of Cultural Heritage


1. Shared heritage: cultural heritage belongs to us all

2. Heritage at school: children discovering Europe’s most precious treasures and traditions

3. Youth for heritage: young people bringing new life to heritage


4. Heritage in transition: re-imagining industrial, religious, military sites and landscapes

5. Tourism and heritage: responsible and sustainable tourism around cultural heritage


6. Cherishing heritage: developing quality standards for interventions on cultural heritage

7. Heritage at risk: fighting against illicit trade in cultural goods and managing risks for cultural heritage


8. Heritage-related skills: better education and training for traditional and new professions

9. All for heritage: fostering social innovation and people’s and communities participation

10. Science for heritage: research, innovation, science and technology for the benefit of heritage

There are two key assumptions behind  Initiatives. First, that cultural heritage has a clear European dimension and therefore calls for joint action at European level. Second, that cultural heritage needs to be addressed, in addition to cultural policy, through other EU policies such as education, agriculture and rural development, regional development, social cohesion, environment, tourism, research and innovation, among others. The 10 Initiatives provide a framework for a European, cross-sectoral and integrated approach to cultural heritage.

Each European Initiative clusters a series of actions and projects, including both brand new initiatives launched specially for the Year and the boosting and valourisation of pre-existing ones. The initiatives deal with tangible, intangible and digital aspects of cultural heritage and benefit different target groups; from heritage professionals to local communities, youth and children, hard-to-reach groups and the general public.

Within the European Commission, Departments dealing with different policy areas are contributing to the Initiatives through their respective policy initiatives and funding programmes - like Erasmus + programme and its eTwinning scheme, Horizon 2020, Europe for Citizens, Natura 2000,
the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) and the URBACT cooperation programme.

Other European Union’s institutions are closely involved. Union’s advisory bodies, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee are implementing different actions in the framework of
the 10 European initiatives. The External Action Service is also on board.

The European Commission is also working in close partnership with a great variety of cultural heritage stakeholders, as well as with key international
organisations like UNESCO, the Council of Europe and ICOMOS.


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