What is the current status of World Heritage in Europe and North America? How do national heritage policies contribute to the protection of World Heritage properties in the region? What are the primary factors affecting the European and North American World Heritage properties? What are the priorities and objectives for the future of World Heritage in Europe and North America?

Site managers and Focal Points for World Heritage report on these questions every six years through the Periodic Reporting exercise. The second cycle of Periodic Reporting for Europe and North America involved more than 500 participants and brought together information on over 450 World Heritage properties in more than 50 countries.

This issue of the World Heritage Papers series presents the complete data and analysis of the results of Periodic Reporting in Europe and North America. Using this data, the World Heritage Centre, national focal points and a team of experts identified priority areas and produced the Helsinki Action Plan for World Heritage in Europe. The data, analysis and Action Plans for both sub-regions are brought together for the first time in this publication, which will no doubt be an essential tool for World Heritage professionals in shaping policy in relation to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

The reports in this publication were presented to the World Heritage Committee at its 38th and 39th sessions, in Doha, Qatar (2014) and Bonn, Germany (2015).