European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

The European Commission suggested 2018 to be the European Year of Cultural Heritage to promote European history and identity.

How did we get here?

(Nearly) every year there is a European year of "something". 2015, for example, was the European Year for Development (check the complete list of European Years of "something"). Our all-time favorite since this initiative was first introduced in 1983? The European year for a people's Europe (easy choice). For some reason 2016 was left out (our choice would have been the "European Year of over-confident male prime ministers holding referendums"). But in 2018 the "European Year of something superspecial" is back: And it is supposed to cover the whole range of European culture, from archaeological sites to architecture, from medieval castles to folklore traditions.


Why is this important for me?

Let's be honest, the European identity feeling could definitely need a liiiiiiiiittle boost. That is what the European Year of Cultural Heritage wants to promote: A shared sense for our common history which is the basis for our identity (or so they say!). On a more practical level there will be tons of special offers to visit interesting European sites such as the Abbey of Cluny in France or the historic GdaƄsk Shipyard in Poland. Finally, more than 8 million jobs are directly or indirectly linked to the European cultural heritage sector - through tourism, transport, building works, etc.


What's the content?

According to the proposal by EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics the year is supposed to tackle the many challenges the heritage sector in Europe is facing, such as shrinking budgets, lower participation in traditional cultural activities or higher environmental pressure on heritage sites. It will promote the preservation of cultural heritage as a key element of the EU’s external policies, looking for responses to the criminal destruction of cultural heritage in conflict zones (like Syria) and the illegal trafficking of cultural artefacts.

These goals are supposed to be reached by events organised across Europe as well as information, education and awareness-raising campaigns at EU, national, regional and local level highlighting the role of the EU in promoting shared solutions. The year will stress what the EU can do for conservation, digitisation, infrastructure, research and skills development.

Each Member State has to nominate a national coordinator responsible for organising its participation in the European Year and managing relevant activities at national level. The Commission is then in charge of coordinating the implementation of the European Year at EU level. Bonus point: There is no additional EU funding needed for the European Year, since it is financed via existing programmes.


What's happening with this legislation in the future?

The European Parliament and the Council are currently working on this proposal. In the Parliament the Committee for Culture and Education has already published its report and interinstitutional negotiations are under way. The plenary vote in Parliament is scheduled for April 2017. 


Other Bills:

Eliminating roaming, securing net neutrality

Cross-border portability: Access to streaming services from abroad

Updated Rules for Audiovisual Media

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