The European Year of Cultural Heritage - what are the outcomes?

To make sure the European Year of Cultural Heritage leaves an imprint beyond 2018, the European Commission has collaborated with key partners to implement 10 European Initiatives for the benefit of Europe's cultural heritage. Each initiative grouped several long-term actions and projects related to a specific theme. The closing of the year's activities is a good occasion to highlight the main policy outcomes produced under each initiative.
3 of the official campaign images for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018: Young women making traditional wine, flamenco performance, old man teaching granddaughter how to cook traditional food

Engagement pillar

Initiative 1 on "Sharing heritage" produced a booklet with 101 event ideas to take part in the European Heritage Days 2018. As part of the European Heritage Makers Week, young people across Europe were also invited to submit stories of Europe's shared cultural heritage around them. As part of the Access City Awards 2019, a special prize was created for two cities that made their heritage accessible to all, including those with disabilities. The Commission's Joint Research Centre also enabled sharing heritage through the development of the Story Maps.

Initiative 2 and Initiative 3 focused on "Heritage at school" and on "Youth for heritage". A report was produced in collaboration with the Erasmus+ programme, on ways in which cultural heritage can be integrated in educational curricula and exchanges. In addition, an eTwinning book was released, as well as a toolkit for teachers and an educational game on cultural heritage. The year was also represented at the European Youth Event 2018 in Strasbourg, which resulted in the report "Speak up for Europe! 100 Ideas for a better future".

Sustainability pillar

In support of Initiative 4 on "Heritage in transition", the Leeuwarden Declaration on the adaptive re-use of built heritage was adopted, whereas the Barcelona Declaration on tourism and cultural heritage was released as part of Initiative 5, "Tourism and heritage". This Initiative also yielded a set of recommendations for sustainable cultural tourism, and a report on the connections between heritage and the Natura 2000 network. This year, 18 winners from 10 European countries were announced for the Destination of Sustainable Cultural Tourism Awards 2018.

Protection pillar

As part of Initiative 6 on "Cherishing heritage", a conference was organised in Venice about quality principles for interventions on cultural heritage. A full report on these principles will become available soon. Initiative 7 on "Heritage at risk" produced a toolkit in cooperation with UNESCO for European judiciary and law enforcement officials on fighting the illicit trafficking of cultural property, a study on safeguarding cultural heritage from man-made disasters, and an overview of the European Union's research and innovation strategies for a more resilient cultural heritage.

Innovation pillar

Two Open Method of Coordination groups also produced reports. One of these discussed skills, training and knowledge transfer in cultural heritage professions, and was part of Initiative 8 on "Heritage-related skills". The second report dealt with participatory governance of cultural heritage, and contributed to Initiative 9 on "Heritage for all". Finally, a report on innovation in cultural heritage research was published as part of Initiative 10 on "Science for heritage".