Our Heritage: a cohesive force for the future of Europe
The Hague, 24 March 2017
Europa Nostra salutes the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and acknowledges its significance for all citizens in Europe and beyond. Today, we are living in a better Europe thanks to the vision of all those leaders whomade it possible. This milestone in the history of the European project deserves to be celebrated by all citizens in Europe.
For 55 years, Europa Nostra and its large pan-European network have worked with passion and determination to save cultural and natural heritage across Europe. Never before has there been such a large chorus of Europeans that love and cherish their cultural roots, the beauty that people have created and the natural environment in which it is placed. They want to see this inheritance understood, nurtured and promoted. At a time when we are all invited to engage in a debate on the future of Europe, our political leaders should listen to these voices and respond to them with adequate policies and actions.
Today, Europa Nostra urges the leaders of EU Institutions and Member States:
- to recognise Europe as a unique cultural and educational project which enhances the quality of life of its citizens, not only in Europe but also beyond, because it transcends borders, builds bridges and fosters dialogue between communities and cultures;
- to recognise the cohesive power of our vast and varied historic and natural heritage which unites Europe’s citizens and enriches their multiple identities;
- to invest larger resources in education and into the dissemination of the European values and ideals that are embedded in our cultural heritage in order to generate a much stronger sense of ownership for the European project among its citizens;
- to manifest both personal and collective pride in our shared cultural heritage and lead by example to reach the hearts and minds of all Europeans; and
- to make full use of the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 to further the above goals.
EU leaders have often agreed that Europe should “do big on big things and small on small thing”. Our culture and our cultural heritage are ‘big things’ for Europe and its citizens. We ask, therefore, that European Union Institutions and Member States ‘do big’ on cultural heritage. Let us finally place our culture and our heritage where they belong: at the very heart of the European project and of Europe’s future!