At the current uncertain phase of the building of Europe which is marked by a growing gap between Europe’s citizens and Europe’s Institutions as well as by increasing misgivings of the public about the on-going enlargement of the European Union, the renewed debate on culture of Europe needs to be pursued with even more intensity and with the full involvement of all stakeholders. In this context, special attention should be given to our common cultural heritage which enjoys today great popularity among millions of European citizens and which is promoted by a growing number of civil society organisations throughout Europe.
The European Cultural Heritage Forum will seek to contribute to this debate by launching and encouraging a regular and constructive policy dialogue between representatives of EU Institutions, representatives of Europe’s civil society committed to heritage conservation, education and enhancement, as well as representatives of other key international partners, in particular the Council of Europe and UNESCO.
What are the benefits of cultural heritage for the on-going process of the building of Europe? And what can Europe do to encourage the safeguard and enhancement of Europe's cultural heritage? Europa Nostra’s recently adopted position paper “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” has addressed these issues and will serve as a basis for discussions at the Forum.