80% of EU citizens consider cultural heritage important for themselves and their communities, finds new Eurobarometer

The new Eurobarometer survey was released on 7 December 2017. It took a close look at cultural heritage and its role for and effect on European citizens, with a majority acknowledging the sense of belonging created through cultural heritage.

According to a new Eurobarometer survey released today, 8 out of 10 Europeans think cultural heritage is not only important to them personally, but also to their community, region, country and the European Union as a whole. A large majority take pride in cultural heritage, whether it is located in their own region or country, or in another European country. More than 7 in 10 Europeans also agree that cultural heritage can improve their quality of life. The survey also shows that 9 in 10 think cultural heritage should be taught in schools. Three quarters of Europeans think primarily Member States and the EU should allocate more resources to protecting Europe's cultural heritage, a point that cultural heritage institutions and particularly museums have been making for many years.

Some of the main findings of the Eurobarometer are:

  • Large majorities think cultural heritage is important to them personally, as well as to their community, region, country and the EU as a whole.
  • Most respondents think public authorities should allocate more resources to cultural heritage, and that public authorities including the EU should do the most to protect cultural heritage.
  • The majority of Europeans say they live close to historic monuments or sites, but only just over half have some personal involvement in cultural heritage.
  • Respondents say they have accessed a wide range of cultural heritage in the last 12 months, yet lack of time is cited as the most common barrier to access cultural heritage sites or activities, followed by cost and lack of interest.
  • Large majorities take pride in cultural heritage, and agree it can improve quality of life and a sense of belonging to Europe.

The Eurobarometer is published at an important point in time - in coherence with the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. It underlines the importance of cultural heritage especially in light of current developments in Europe and the world and is an important call to EU legislators to respond by supporting cultural heritage through increased resources and to acknowledge the importance of the sector for Europe's societal and economical well-being.

<link http: ec.europa.eu commfrontoffice publicopinion index.cfm survey getsurveydetail instruments special surveyky external-link-new-window external link in new>>>Full Eurobarometer results

Source: European Commission's <link file:3145 download file>Press release and <link file:3146 download file>Memo from 7 December 2017