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The strategic role of Cultural Heritage for Europe: CHCfE Project final reports

 

Cultural Heritage is a strategic resource for Europe’s general sustainable development. The assertion has been confirmed by the final report of the EU-funded project “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” (CHCfE).

CHCfE was launched in 2013 with an ambitious goal: to collect and analyse existing and accessible evidence-based research and case studies regarding the economic, social, cultural, and environmental impacts of cultural heritage, in order to assess the value of cultural heritage. The project also aimed to provide conclusive evidence — both qualitative and quantitative — which would demonstrate that cultural heritage makes a key contribution to the Europe 2020, A European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.
The coordinator of the project was Europa Nostra, leader of a consortium of partners which included: ENCATC (the European Network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education), Heritage Europe (the European Association of Historic Towns and Regions), the International Cultural Centre (Krakow, Poland) and the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the University of Leuven (Belgium), and The Heritage Alliance (England, UK) as associate partner.

Europa Nostra and the partners of CHCfE project revealed on 12 June 2015 main findings and strategic recommendations for tapping into heritage’s full potential by providing compelling evidence of the value of cultural heritage and its impact on Europe’s economy, culture, society and the environment. Key findings show how adopting a holistic approach is an added value when measuring the impact of cultural heritage on employment, identity, regional attractiveness, creativity and innovation, economic contribution, climate change, quality of life, education and lifelong learning, and social cohesion.

In the report’s Executive Summary and Strategic Recommendations, the CHCfE Steering Committee calls for the elaboration of specific “heritage indicators” to facilitate and improve the collection of cultural statistics which are key to support policy makers in evidence-based policy making; for the holistic impact assessment to be conducted as a requirement in all EU-funded heritage projects to better measure impact and monitor trends over a longer period of time. The Steering Committee also asks EU Institutions and its Member States at all levels of governance to integrate the care, protection and proper use of heritage in all related policies, programmes and actions and to include all stakeholders and civil society in developing strategies and policies for cultural heritage. Last but not least, it calls for the recognition of heritage’s positive contribution to regional and local sustainable development in the context of the mid-term review of the Structural Funds (in 2016-2017) and the preparation for the next generation of Structural Funds beyond 2020.
In addition to the key findings and strategic recommendations, the nearly 300-page report provides a snapshot in time of the currently available and accessible data within EU Members States on the wide-ranging impacts of cultural heritage in Europe.

The project’s findings and final report were revealed at the CHCfE concluding conference held on June 12 at the University of Oslo and organised in conjunction with the Europa Nostra’s Annual Congress 2015.

 

The executive summary and full report are available for free download on CHCfE website

“Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” (CHCfE) website

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