MEPs call for a durable policy to mitigate pandemic’s effects on cultural heritage

On Wednesday 20 January 2021, the Members of Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of adopting a resolution on achieving an effective policy legacy for the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The resolution will aid the cultural heritage sector through the pandemic.

To address the current crisis, MEPs urged in the resolution for the Commission and the Member States to offer “adequate and targeted” financial support to the cultural and creative sectors. The sector also received praise for its quick adaption to digital and for making cultural heritage freely available online during the lockdown. The MEPs wish to encourage the digital development by allocating sufficient funding for the digitalisation efforts. They called for a “comprehensive EU framework with funding for the protection and promotion of digitised and born-digital cultural heritage”.

NEMO welcomes this encouragement, which goes in line with the network’s latest recommendations about digital support for museums.

In the plenary debate preceding the vote, rapporteur Dace Melbārde (ECR, LV) stressed that “Almost 300 000 people work in the cultural heritage sector in Europe and almost 7,8 million jobs in Europe are indirectly linked to it.”

According to Eurobarometer, “84% of respondents in Member States consider cultural heritage to be important for them personally as well as for their local communities”, she stressed and that now was the “right time to start working on sustainable financing models for safeguarding cultural heritage and reducing its dependency on income from commercial activities”.