What is it about?
The cultural heritage of the European Union is a rich and diverse mosaic of cultural and creative expressions, our inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and our legacy for those to come.
It includes natural, built and archaeological sites; museums; monuments, artworks; historic cities; literary, musical, and audiovisual works, and the knowledge, practices and traditions of European citizens.
Why is it needed?
Cultural heritage enriches the individual lives of citizens, is a driving force for the cultural and creative sectors, and plays a role in creating and enhancing Europe’s social capital.
It is also an important resource for economic growth, employment and social cohesion, offering the potential to revitalise urban and rural areas and promote sustainable tourism.
While policy in this area is primarily the responsibility of Member States, regional and local authorities, the EU is committed to safeguarding and enhancing Europe’s cultural heritage through a number of policies and programmes.
Because cultural heritage is so central to Europe’s identity and due to the grave threats it faces in conflict zones, the European Commission considers that the time is right to celebrate cultural heritage in 2018.
The year will highlight what the EU can do for conservation, digitisation, infrastructure, research and skills development. Cultural heritage is supported through Creative Europe, the funding programme for the cultural and audiovisual sectors. Events will be organised across Europe, as well as information, education and awareness-raising campaigns.