Why? • Objectives

The year aims to strengthen initiatives designed to prevent the illicit trafficking of cultural goods. This will be achieved by enhancing cooperation on risk management on the one hand, and raising awareness about the implications of illicit trade in cultural goods on the other – both within and outside of the EU.

For whom? • Target groups

National authorities competent for heritage protection, policymakers, enforcement authorities, art market, research communities.

What? • Content of the initiative

The initiative has four main components:

COMPONENT I

ADOPTION OF REGULATORY MEASURES
The adoption of a regulation on imports of cultural goods into the EU will strengthen Europe’s ability to combat the illicit trade in cultural goods.

KEY DATES:

• Adoption of the regulation on the import of cultural goods expected end of 2018

COMPONENT II

AWARENESS RAISING AND CAPACITY BUILDING ACTIVITIES

To address heritage looting, the capacity of local authorities must be strengthened and demand for heritage objects curbed. To this end, two EU-UNESCO joint projects will be implemented:

• The first will engage the European art market in the fight against the illicit trafficking by focusing on reinforcing due diligence and raising awareness of the implications of illegal trading.

• Relevant EU enforcement authorities will be trained on the legal framework as well as practical ways of investigating heritage-related crimes.

KEY DATES:

• December 2017
‘Training to enforcement authorities’ EU-UNESCO initiative launched
• 20 March 2018
EU-UNESCO workshop on Engaging the European art market in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property’, Paris, France

COMPONENT III

IMPROVING EVIDENCE AND SHARING EXPERIENCE

Managing risks affecting heritage
Natural disasters can significantly affect cultural heritage sites, and Member States must be fully prepared. In March 2018, the Commission published a study that shares best practices, identifies effective ways of protecting cultural heritage at risk and paves the way for improved cooperation.

Better understanding illicit trade in cultural goods
Two research actions will achieve a better understanding of the illicit trade in cultural goods:

• A Commission led (DG EAC) study on trafficking and the use of new technologies to combat illicit trading will achieve a deeper understanding of the routes and volumes used by traffickers to enter the EU, and how these operations can be stopped.

• A Horizon 2020 (DG RTD) social platform on cultural heritage in danger will be set up to bring together EU and international researchers, public and private actors, and policymakers on issues related to the illicit trade of cultural goods.

KEY DATES:

• 2017/2018
Start of the joint EU-UNESCO project ‘Protecting Cultural Heritage and Diversity in Complex Emergencies for Stability and Peace’
• 2-13 April 2018‘Modern Approaches to Border Security and Management in the Face of Emerging Transnational Threats and Challenges in the OSCE area’ by OSCE; Vienna, Austria

PARTNERS

• Within the European Commission, services dealing with
culture, external relations, research and innovation,
taxation and customs
• EU enforcement authorities, the art market
• UNESCO
• Third countries

Find out more

Find out more