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Procedure : 2014/2149(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0207/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0207/2015

Debates :

PV 07/09/2015 - 29
CRE 07/09/2015 - 29

Votes :

PV 08/09/2015 - 5.13

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0293

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 8 September 2015 - Strasbourg Final edition
Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe
P8_TA(2015)0293A8-0207/2015

European Parliament resolution of 8 September 2015 towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe (2014/2149(INI))

The European Parliament,

—  having regard to the Preamble to the Treaty on European Union (TEU) which states that the signatories draw ‘inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe’ and to Article 3(3) TEU,

—  having regard to Article 167 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

—  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and in particular Article 22 thereof,

—  having regard to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted by UNESCO on 20 October 2005,

—  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Creative Europe Programme (2014 to 2020) and repealing Decisions No 1718/2006/EC, No 1855/2006/EC and No 1041/2009/EC(1) ,

—  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 laying down common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, the Cohesion Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006(2) ,

—  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on the European Regional Development Fund and on specific provisions concerning the Investment for growth and jobs goal and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006(3) ,

—  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC(4) ,

—  having regard to Directive 2014/60/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012(5) ,

—  having regard to Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 amending Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information(6) ,

—  having regard to the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (Faro Convention) of 13 October 2005(7) ,

—  having regard to the Council conclusions of 21 May 2014 on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe(8) ,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 25 November 2014 on participatory governance of cultural heritage(9) and on the Work Plan for Culture for the period 2015-2018(10) and to the European Year of Cultural Heritage mentioned in the conclusions,

—  having regard to the Commission recommendation 2011/711/EU of 27 October 2011 on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation(11) ,

—  having regard to the Commission communication of 26 November 2014 entitled ‘An Investment Plan for Europe’ (COM(2014)0903),

—  having regard to the Commission communication of 22 July 2014 entitled ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ (COM(2014)0477),

—  having regard to the Committee of the Regions’ opinion of November 2014 on the Commission communication ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europeʼ,

—  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

—  having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinions of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the Committee on Regional Development (A8-0207/2015),

A.  whereas culture and cultural heritage are shared resources and are common goods and values that cannot be subject to an exclusive use, and their full potential for sustainable human, social and economic development has yet to be fully recognised and properly exploited, both at the level of EU strategies and the UN post-2015 development goals;

B.  whereas the multiple impacts of culture in societies must be taken into account in the decision-making process;

C.  whereas cultural heritage is naturally heterogeneous, reflects cultural and linguistic diversity and pluralism, and affects regional development, social cohesion, agriculture, maritime affairs, the environment, tourism, education, the digital agenda, external relations, customs cooperation and research and innovation;

D.  whereas the promotion of culture, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue acts as a catalyst for cooperation between Member States;

E.  whereas enhancing European cultural and linguistic diversity, promoting Europe’s cultural heritage, and strengthening the competitiveness of the European cultural and creative sectors aim to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

F.  whereas heritage resources are long-term assets which have a role of creating value and contribute to skills development and economic growth, through the promotion of tourism, as well as creating jobs;

G.  whereas cultural heritage projects are often examples of innovative and sustainable economic activities which develop the business and research capabilities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);

H.  whereas cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, plays a significant role in creating, preserving and promoting European culture and values and national, regional, local and individual identity, as well as the contemporary identity of the people of Europe;

I.  whereas policies for the maintenance, restoration and conservation, accessibility and exploitation of cultural heritage are primarily national, regional or local responsibilities, but cultural heritage also has a clear European dimension and is directly addressed in several EU policies, including those concerning agriculture, the environment, and research and innovation;

J.  whereas Article 167 TFEU stipulates that Union action shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time ‘bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore’;

K.  whereas Article 167 TFEU states that Union action shall be aimed at improving the knowledge and dissemination of the culture and history of the European peoples, encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their action in the area of the conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance;

L.  whereas the Work Plan for Culture adopted by the Council on 25 November 2014 includes heritage as one of the four priorities for EU work on culture for the period 2015-2018;

M.  whereas the lack of sex-disaggregated cultural data, including in the field of cultural heritage, is a factor concealing the existing gender gaps and challenges from policy-makers and decision-makers;

N.  whereas information on funding opportunities through EU programmes in areas related to cultural heritage – such as local and regional development, cultural cooperation, research, education, support for SMEs and civil society, and tourism – is, while available, fragmented;

O.  whereas the cultural and touristic value of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes in promoting a common European cultural heritage and developing sustainable cultural tourism should be strengthened;

P.  whereas the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards promote excellence, inspire through the ‘power of example’, and stimulate the exchange of best practices in the heritage field across Europe;

Q.  whereas the Venice Charter for the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites, the Granada Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe, and the Valletta Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage clearly define internationally recognised standards for cultural heritage restoration and archaeological works(12) ;

Integrated approach

1.  Considers it of paramount importance to use the available resources for supporting, enhancing and promoting cultural heritage on the basis of an integrated approach, while taking into account the cultural, economic, social, historical, educational, environmental and scientific components;

2.  Believes that, with regard to the cultural heritage, an integrated approach is necessary if one wishes to achieve cultural dialogue and mutual understanding; is convinced that such an approach can lead to enhanced social, economic and territorial cohesion, while also contributing to the fulfilment of the goals set in the Europe 2020 strategy;

3.  Addresses, in the context of the development of the new integrated approach to cultural heritage, the following specific recommendations to the Commission:

   (a) to establish, in line with the current Commission working methods of working across sectors and in a flexible manner, a common approach within the Commission through improved cooperation between the different policy areas dealing with cultural heritage, and to report back to Parliament on the results of this closer cooperation;
   (b) to communicate to potential beneficiaries, in a straightforward and accessible way such as through a single information platform and exchange of best practices in the EU, concerning the existing European funding lines for cultural heritage;
   (c) to designate, preferably for 2018, a European Year of Cultural Heritage, with an adequate budget and with the aim, amongst other things, of disseminating and increasing awareness and education among future generations in respect of the values of the European cultural heritage and its protection, and to submit the draft programme for the European Year to Parliament no later than 2016;
   (d) to acknowledge, within its political and transversal approach, cultural heritage as both movable and immovable, tangible and intangible, and as a non-renewable resource whose authenticity must be preserved;

4.  Asks that a policy framework be set out for the historic environment – known as immovable heritage – in the near future, containing a regulatory framework for monuments, archaeology and historic landscapes in line with Article 4 TFEU;

5.  Promotes creative contemporary innovation in architecture and design on a basis of respect for both past and present and at the same time ensuring high quality and coherence;

European funding for cultural heritage

6.  Notes the Union’s commitment to preserving and enhancing Europe’s cultural heritage through various programmes (Creative Europe, Horizon 2020, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens), funding (the European Structural and Investment Funds), and actions such as the European Capitals of Culture, the European Heritage Days and the European Heritage Label; proposes even greater EU and Member State involvement in promoting research;

7.  Asks the Commission to:

   (a) set up a single EU portal dedicated to tangible and intangible cultural heritage, bringing together information from all the EU programmes funding cultural heritage and structured around three main aspects: a database of tangible and intangible cultural objects, including examples of best practices in preservation and promotion with all relevant references; funding opportunities for cultural heritage, as well as data on the state of European cultural heritage and data of importance with regard to conservation, such as, for instance, climate data and details of restoration projects already carried out; and news and links concerning cultural heritage-related policy developments, actions and events;
   (b) support, with dedicated funding, studies, research and pilot measures specifically designed to analyse the impacts of cultural heritage promotion processes, develop specific indicators and benchmarks in relation to the direct and indirect contribution of that heritage to economic and social development processes, and directly support cultural and social innovation integrated into local settings in which cultural heritage can drive development and help improve people’s quality of life;
   (c) strengthen the newly established principle of multifunding, which allows the complementary use of different European funds within the same large-scale project;
   (d) encourage public-private partnerships;
   (e) adapt the project management timing requirements for the Structural Funds in order to better accommodate the specific requirements of conservation, restoration  and preservation projects;
   (f) review the EUR 5 million benchmark in relation to cultural heritage projects submitted in the framework of the small-scale infrastructure action(13) , bringing it to at least the same level as UNESCO projects, i.e. EUR 10 million;

8.  Notes that the spirit behind the revision of the ERDF Regulation and, in particular, the principle of integrated funding can, in specific cases, also be put into practice by supporting large-scale projects; recognises, however, the need to promote and support small-scale cultural initiatives, which are of particular importance for endogenous development and can help conserve the cultural heritage and promote local and regional development and socio-economic growth in general;

9.  Urges the Commission to include in the guidelines governing the next generation of structural funds for cultural heritage a compulsory quality control system, to apply throughout a project’s life-cycle;

10.  Emphasises the role of the Member States in ensuring both a high level of skill and professional know-how among operators and a business structure that is able to ensure that best practices are implemented in terms of safeguarding cultural heritage, also by using appropriate quality control systems as required by the international charters;

11.  Asks the Commission to ensure that innovative heritage conservation measures and low-impact energy efficiency solutions for historic buildings are treated as eligible in delegated acts, calls for expression of interest and initiatives to develop cohesion policy regulations over the period 2014-2020;

12.  Invites the Member States to look into possible fiscal incentives in relation to restoration, preservation and conservation  work, such as reductions in VAT or other taxes, given that European cultural heritage is also managed by private bodies;

13.  Urges the Commission to take stock of best practices in fiscal policies in Europe and recommend the appropriate ones to the Member States; calls on the Member States to follow those recommendations and exchange best practices between themselves in order to ensure maximum encouragement of private support for tangible and intangible cultural heritage projects and maximise economic development and social cohesion impacts in the relevant local environment;

New governance models

14.  Welcomes the Council’s initiative of drafting guidelines for the new participatory governance models for the field of cultural heritage, by promoting the ‘shared resource’ aspect and strengthening links between local, regional, national and European plans;

15.  Asks the Member States to ensure the development of legal tools that allow alternative funding and administration models, such as community involvement, the participation of civil society and public-private partnerships, with a view to implementing actions related to cultural heritage (conservation, restoration, preservation, development and promotion);

16.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to initiate a Europe-wide dialogue between policymakers across all levels of governance, together with cultural and creative industries, networks of tourism operators, partnerships between private and public actors, and NGOs;

17.  Encourages all stakeholders participating in the governance of cultural heritage to strike a balance between sustainable conservation and development of the economic and social potential of cultural heritage;

18.  Highlights the fact that ERDF cultural heritage projects are a practical example of multi-level governance and of the principle of subsidiarity and represent an important element of ERDF spending; stresses the importance of cross-border cultural projects that contribute to increasing economic and social cohesion and encourage inclusion; calls in this context for measures to be taken to strengthen and expand support for funding through public-private partnership agreements;

19.  Stresses the need for new governance models to include a system of quality control in all alternative forms of funding and administration of cultural heritage;

20.  Urges the Member States to step up controls over expenditure of culture heritage-related components and to foster cooperation in fighting fraud, corruption and any other irregular activity encountered in this area;

21.  Proposes that European legislative proposals should be complemented by an impact assessment regarding cultural heritage, and that where the assessment reveals a negative impact cultural heritage should be excluded from the scope of the legislative proposal as an exception;

The economic and strategic potential of cultural heritage

22.  Notes that cultural heritage contributes to innovative jobs, products, services and processes and can be a source of creative ideas, nurturing the new economy whilst – through appropriate management – having a relatively low impact on the environment;

23.  Recognises that cultural heritage plays a vital role in several of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives, such as the Digital Agenda, the Innovation Union, the Agenda for New Skills and Jobs and the industrial policy for the globalisation era; calls, therefore, for greater recognition of the role of European cultural heritage as a strategic resource for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth in the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy;

24.  Notes that the field of cultural heritage has the capacity to create high-skilled jobs; urges the Member States to relay initiatives on developing management and conservation training for workers and researchers in the field of cultural heritage; welcomes, in particular, long-term funding perspectives for networks of researchers, as in the case of the Marie Sklodowska Curie grants;

25.  Stresses the importance for European tourism of UNESCO-designated tangible or intangible cultural heritage and natural heritage;

26.  Underlines the possibility of focusing more strongly on cultural tourism in developing macro-regional strategies designed to make it a more integral part of the strategic framework for European cooperation;

27.  Calls on the European institutions and the Member States to promote and support ‘soft travel’ (walking, horse-riding and cycling tours) as a way of opening up new opportunities for cultural and nature-based tourism;

28.  Encourages Member States to work together with regional and local authorities in order to maximise the value of cultural heritage in our societies and its contribution to jobs and growth in the EU;

29.  Points out that cultural tourism, which accounts for 40 % of European tourism, is a key economic sector in terms of potential for growth and employment, whose development should be further enhanced by the use of new technologies; stresses, however, the importance of preserving cultural and natural heritage by shaping sustainable, less invasive and higher value-added forms of tourism, in which the tourism sector is integrated into local development strategies;

30.  Expresses its concern regarding the state of conservation, restoration, preservation and promotion policies for cultural heritage, which is of the greatest importance for European identity; stresses that funding for the safeguarding of cultural heritage has been drastically reduced in some Member States as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis; to this end, calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that adequate funds and initiatives are directed to the valorisation of Europe’s cultural heritage;

31.  Invites the Commission to promote excellence, innovation and competitiveness in the cultural and creative sectors by supporting the work of artists, creators and cultural professionals;

32.  Affirms the urgent need to give cultural heritage its clear place in the Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe;

33.  Draws attention to the need to improve the methodological framework in order to have better statistics related to the field of cultural heritage; calls on the Commission to propose a set of indicators that could be used for monitoring and evaluation of the situation of cultural heritage and that would be uniform for all Member States; underlines the need to obtain, to a greater extent, research findings covering all aspects of cultural heritage and to link them so as to counter fragmentation in this area; points in this connection to the potential of ‘big data’ as regards deriving more knowledge from research projects; stresses that in order to assess the actual and potential economic value of the cultural heritage it is essential to collect statistics more systematically;

34.  Considers that the Commission should classify companies and entities involved in the various aspects of heritage conservation as constituting a specific sector, using traditional methods with added value that facilitate ecological and sustainable conservation;

35.  Recognises the urgent need to address youth unemployment, and stresses that cultural heritage is an area with potential for more and better employment, where the bridge between education and working life can be strengthened, for example through the development of quality apprenticeships, traineeships and start-ups in SMEs and the social economy; encourages Member States in this respect to develop new and innovative funding opportunities to support management and conservation training and education and mobility for workers and researchers in this sector;

36.  Urges the Commission to promote joint cultural heritage and tourism programmes on an integrated and scientific basis, to serve as a benchmark and an example of best practice;

37.  Invites the Member States to strategically plan cultural heritage-related projects that can lead to overall regional and local development, international and interregional cooperation programmes, the creation of new jobs, sustainable rural and urban regeneration, and the preservation and promotion of traditional skills related to cultural heritage restoration;

38.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to draw up an economic and statistical survey of businesses, management entities and specialist professional activities in the cultural heritage conservation and promotion sector and their specific contribution in terms of production and job creation;

39.  Draws attention to the need to create, develop and promote opportunities for mobility and exchange of experiences for those working in the cultural heritage sector, by ensuring that there is genuine professional reciprocity, in line with Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications, through the identification and sharing among Member States of minimum skills levels (ability and knowledge), in particular for the occupation of restorer-curator; calls on the Commission, in this context, to put forward a proposal to extend the appropriate programmes to include mobility of cultural heritage managers and employees (e.g. castle managers) with a view to exchange experiences and best practices;

40.  Calls on the Member States to emphasise the value of their heritage assets by promoting studies to determine the cultural and economic value of the cultural heritage so as to transform the ‘cost’ of its preservation into an ‘investment’ in its value;

41.   Invites the Commission to consider the possibility of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) establishing, under its next Strategic Innovation Agenda, a Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KIC) in the field of cultural heritage and creative industries, thus directly supporting a holistic vision of research and innovation;

42.  Reiterates the importance of promoting in school curricula the inclusion of art, music, theatre and film education as a key to developing knowledge of cultural heritage, artistic practice and expression, and soft skills geared to creativity and innovation;

43.  Encourages the Member States to introduce transdisciplinary themes relating to cultural heritage at various levels of education;

44.  Emphasises the significant potential existing for the development of entrepreneurial activity and of a participative approach in the tourism sector, in particular for tourism SMEs but also for start-ups, the non-profit sector and other organisations that contribute to the preservation, protection and promotion of Europe’s cultural heritage; stresses that, in addition to cultural assets, quality of service and high-level professional skills, the existence of well-trained specialists in the field and online presence are key factors for the success and competitiveness of the European tourism sector; stresses that research, innovation and new technologies, especially in telecommunications, are essential for bringing the cultural heritage closer to the people; also considers that unnecessary burdens on SMEs should be abolished for the sake of their competitiveness, and that legislation which has negative effects on SMEs in the tourism industry should be revised;

Opportunities and challenges

45.  Highlights the potential of the digitisation of cultural heritage, both as a tool for preserving our past and as a source for education research opportunities, quality job creation, better social inclusion, wider access for disabled people or people living in remote areas, and sustainable economic development; stresses that the digitisation of heritage requires a consequent financial effort for small and medium-sized or isolated cultural institutions, and that adequate funding is key to ensuring a larger audience and wider dissemination of this heritage; emphasises that the opportunities afforded by digitisation and new technologies, which would never replace access to the original heritage or the associated social benefits of traditional forms of participation in culture, should not lead to negligence in the conservation of originals or disregard for traditional forms of promoting culture, whether during or after digitisation;

46.  Supports digital innovation in the arts and heritage sector, and notes that the use of e‑infrastructures can engage new audiences and ensure better access to and exploitation of the digital cultural heritage; stresses the relevance of existing tools such as the Europeana website and encourages the improvement of that site’s search criteria with a view to greater user-friendliness;

47.  Underlines the need to improve the level of digitisation, preservation and online availability of cultural heritage, in particular the European film heritage;

48.  Stresses the importance of developing a true democratic and participative narrative for European heritage, including that of religious and ethnic minorities; draws attention to the presence of heritage sites which embed different or contested pasts, and highlights that reconciliation processes should not lead to a suppression of historical consciousness of communities; invites the Member States to reflect on the ethics and methods of presentation of the cultural heritage and to take diversity of interpretations into account;

49.  Affirms that religious heritage constitutes an intangible part of European cultural heritage; stresses that the importance of places, practices and objects linked to religious practices should not be disregarded in a discourse of European cultural heritage or be subjected to any form of discriminatory treatment;

50.  Considers that historical religious heritage, including architecture and music, must be preserved for its cultural value, regardless of its religious origins;

51.  Emphasises the importance of intercultural dialogue both within and outside Europe, and believes the Union should promote such dialogue as an appropriate tool against radicalism of whatever origin;

52.  Draws attention to the specific characteristics of national minorities in the Member States regarding cultural heritage; calls, accordingly, for the preservation of their cultural heritage and for the promotion and protection of cultural diversity;

53.  Stresses that cultural discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities should be avoided;

54.  Stresses the importance of supporting cultural activities of migrant communities;

55.  Reaffirms the important contribution of cultural heritage to the cultural and creative industries as well as to social inclusion through culture;

56.  Highlights the importance of improving accessibility to cultural heritage sites for people with disabilities;

57.  Points out the importance of preserving cultural landscapes and, in particular, intangible cultural heritage which represents a living culture and fuels traditional crafts, and calls on the Commission to include this to a larger extent in the respective programmes;

58.  Stresses the importance of the gastronomic heritage, which must be protected and supported; considers that the resources allocated to this area can be optimised through interaction with other EU policies, such as the common agricultural policy and consumer protection policy;

59.  Points out that the cultural heritage and tourism are mutually beneficial since, on the one hand, the cultural heritage generates substantial earnings for the tourism industry, while, on the other hand, tourism is good for culture, encouraging the display and conservation of cultural assets and generating revenue needed for their preservation;

60.  Stresses that cultural tourism has a major role to play in preserving and realising the value of our cultural heritage, which includes not only the physical heritage and landscape, but also the intangible heritage, such as languages and religious and culinary traditions;

61.  Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to continue to cooperate with a view to implementing, at all the respective levels, the actions aimed at the promotion of cultural heritage and cultural tourism included in the Commission communication of 30 June 2010 entitled ‘Europe, the world’s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe’ (COM(2010)0352

62.  Points to the significance – in the light of what are profound demographic and societal changes – of our common European cultural heritage and of the planned European year with regard to citizens’ identification with the European Union and to strengthening a sense of community within the Union;

63.  Is of the opinion that, for the coming generations in particular, an appreciation of Europe’s common cultural heritage provides direction and scope for developing a European identity, and values such as getting along and respecting each other, beyond Member State borders; therefore also recommends that, inter alia when the European Year of Cultural Heritage is being structured, particular account be taken of the younger generation;

64.  Welcomes the great success of the European Capitals of Culture; calls for these cities to be linked as part of a network so as to extend the focus on the areas concerned, to provide for an exchange of experience and good practice, including with a view to helping future candidates, and to facilitate the organisation of events and specific circuits;

65.  Encourages the use of cultural heritage as an educational tool to deal with societal issues in order to bring people living in Europe closer together;

66.  Draws attention to the environmental threats affecting an important number of heritage sites within the EU, and urges that the consequences of climate change and human pressure should be takes into account by Member States in their long-term funding strategies for heritage preservation and restoration methods; recommends, in addition, that the Member States and the EU should promote research to a greater extent in this area, inter alia in order to investigate the multiple effects of climate change on cultural heritage in greater detail and to develop counter-measures;

67.  Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to build on ‘The 7 Most Endangered’ initiative, launched by Europa Nostra in conjunction with the European Investment Bank, by identifying further examples of European heritage which are in danger, drawing up action plans and seeking possible sources of funding; points out that developing this initiative is one way to attract private investment in heritage enhancement;

68.  Calls on the Commission to better coordinate and support Member States’ efforts to fight the stealing, smuggling and illegal trafficking of cultural heritage assets inside and outside the EU; asks for the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State;

69.  Recalls the importance of protecting and conserving cultural heritage, not only from the ravages of time but also from hooliganism and despoliation; points out that many archaeological sites are still at risk of despoliation by organised relic hunters, particularly underwater sites where access and surveillance by the authorities is difficult; calls, in this connection, for more effective cooperation between Member States in the identification and recovery of cultural goods and the prevention of illegal trafficking in such items;

70.  Emphasises the role that cultural heritage plays in the Union’s external relations through policy dialogue and cooperation with third countries, and calls on the Member States, the Commission and the Council to revitalise cultural diplomacy; in addition, points to the potential afforded by interdisciplinary research projects with regard to preserving cultural heritage involving Member States and non-EU countries;

71.  Calls for a strong commitment on the part of the Member States, the EU and the international community to prevent, protect, document and restore in cases in which EU cultural heritage or that of non-member countries is intentionally threatened and damaged as an act of war and violation of cultural and religious identity, also by cooperating with international organisations such as ICCROM, ICBS (International Committee of the Blue Shield), civil and military authorities, cultural institutions and professional associations;

72.  Encourages the adoption of international agreements to prevent illicit trafficking of cultural heritage; highlights the need for the EU, together with the UN and UNESCO, to defend heritage in danger and fight looting and destruction of cultural objects in conflict areas;

73.  Points to the potential stemming from the know-how available in the EU as regards the preservation of cultural artefacts damaged or destroyed as a result of terrorism and war;

74.  Supports the creation of transnational cultural tourism products which reflect common European values and heritage; calls on the Commission to seek greater cooperation with Member States and other organisations which formulate culture and tourism policies, such as the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and UNESCO, and to continue to co-finance and promote networks, cross-border regional projects and, in close cooperation with the Council of Europe, the European Cultural Routes, which are the best example of transnational pan-European thematic tourism projects;

o
o   o

75.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 221.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 320.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 289.
(4) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104.
(5) OJ L 159, 28.5.2014, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 175, 27.6.2013, p. 1.
(7) Adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 13 October 2005; opened for signature to member states in Faro (Portugal) on 27 October of the same year; entered into force on 1 June 2011.
(8) OJ C 183, 14.6.2014, p. 36.
(9) OJ C 463, 23.12.2014, p. 1.
(10) OJ C 463, 23.12.2014, p. 4.
(11) OJ L 283, 29.10.2011, p. 39.
(12) Venice Charter adopted by ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) in 1965; Granada Convention adopted by the Council of Europe in 1985; Valletta Convention adopted by the Council of Europe in 1992.
(13) See: Article 3(1)(e) of Regulation (EU) No 1301/2013.

Last updated: 2 May 2017Legal notice