Commission wants to facilitate the return of unlawfully removed national treasures.
Contributions from these groups are particularly welcome:
• Public authorities (culture, customs, police & law enforcement, etc.)
• Museums, libraries, archives
• Religious organisations
• Businesses (art dealers, auction houses, etc.)
• Private individuals
Purpose of consultation
Europe's cultural heritage is protected by national law in EU countries – and by European law, such as Directive 93/7/EEC of 15 March 1993 on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from EU member countries.
The Directive dates from 1993 and the creation of the EU single market. The aim was to enable EU member countries to reclaim cultural goods classed as "national treasures" that had been unlawfully removed. A special mechanism was created for this.
Reports evaluating the effectiveness of Directive 93/7/EEC have demonstrated that the system does not work as well as it should.
This consultation is the next stage in the process of evaluating Directive 93/7/EEC. It will enable the national authorities responsible for protecting cultural goods and other interested parties to tell us what they think is the most effective way of ensuring the return of national treasures removed from an EU member country and now located in another EU country.
After the consultation, we will present the various options for EU action and, if appropriate in the light of this consultation and the evaluation of the Directive in general, we will put forward a proposal to revise the Directive.
How to submit your contribution
We welcome contributions from citizens, businesses/organisations and public authorities.
The questionnaire is available in 22 EU languages.
All contributions will be published on our website. Please read the privacy statement for the consultation carefully to find out how we will process your personal data and your contribution (see below download).
Protection of personal data
In the interests of openness, organisations are requested to make relevant information about themselves publicly available via the EU transparency register. Joining the register also means subscribing to its code of conduct. Contributions from non-registered organisations will be published separately from those from registered organisations.
Council Directive 93/7/EEC of 15 March 1993 on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State, modified by Directive 96/100/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 February 1997 and by Directive 2011/38/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2001