European Federation of Fortified Sites releases declaration

On 8 and 9 November, military heritage professionals, local authorities and other stakeholders met in Venice for the annual congress of the European Federation of Fortified Sites (EFFORTS), entitled "From stronghold to welcoming arms". On that occasion, the participants adopted the Declaration of Venice, containing 6 proposals to secure Europe's fortified heritage beyond the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
Fort Komarom, in Hungary

The Declaration of Venice is the outcome of collaborative discussions between members of the European Federation of Fortified Sites, Europa Nostra, and members of the European Parliament (in particular the rapporteur on the next Creative Europe programme) and of the Committee of the Regions.

It contains the following 6 statements:

  • Understanding fortified heritage increases European unity.
  • Fortifications offer educational and economic opportunities.
  • Adapting fortification use is combating climate change.
  • Fortified sites provide employment and social development.
  • Fortified heritage improves access to culture and quality of life.
  • Fortifications are smart actors of urban and rural development.

The European Federation of Fortified Sites aims to put military built heritage on the European Union agenda as a key element of a common European history, similar to religious and industrial buildings, historic houses, and all other built and architectural European heritage. To this end, the organisation encourages structural cooperation and coordination at European, regional and local levels, disseminates knowledge on fortified heritage, sustains a European network of cities and fortification organisations, and enables funding access for joint actions. Its previous activities include the first edition of the European Fortress Day earlier this year.

To read more about the year's activities around military heritage, have a look at the European Initiative 4: Heritage in transition.

Photo: Fort Komarom, Hungary, © EFFORTS