To make sure the European Year of Cultural Heritage leaves a policy imprint beyond 2018, the European Commission, in collaboration with key partners, is running long-term projects around 10 themes, called the 10 European Initiatives. The 10 European Initiatives correspond to 4 principles that define what the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 stands for: Engagement, Sustainability, Protection and Innovation.


There are 2 key assumptions behind the 10 European 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.

With whom?

Within the European Commission, departments dealing with different policy areas are contributing to the initiatives through their respective policy initiatives and funding programmes. To name a few examples, the Erasmus+ programme and its eTwinning scheme, Horizon 2020, Europe for Citizens, Natura 2000, the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) and the URBACT cooperation programme are all building blocks of the European Initiatives. Other European Union’s institutions are closely involved. The European 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 Commission is also working in close partnership with a great variety of cultural heritage stakeholders for each one of the 10 Initiatives, as well as with key international organisations like UNESCO, the Council of Europe and ICOMOS.

What for?

The 10 European Initiatives are a key contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage and its legacy. The year’s legacy will be spelt out in an action plan for cultural heritage.

Concrete results of the 10 European Initiatives include:

• EI 2, Heritage at school: with UNESCO, the European Commission is developing heritage toolkits for schools and mapping of good practices in heritage education with a view to facilitating the acquisition of skills, knowledge and competences through and on cultural heritage in classrooms across Europe.
• EI 6, Cherishing heritage: an updated document on quality principles and guidelines for cultural heritage interventions in Europe, jointly produced with ICOMOS, is to ensure that decisions on any major changes in the historical environment are based on proper assessment of its values.
• EI 7, Heritage at risk: the first EU mapping of risk management efforts in Europe allows EU Member States to share experience on the most effective ways to protect cultural heritage from natural and man-made disasters, thus paving the way for improved cooperation in the future.



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