During the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, said: "Cultural heritage is at the heart of the European way of life. It defines who we are and creates a sense of belonging. [...] We need to preserve and treasure our cultural heritage for the next generations. This year of celebrations will be a wonderful opportunity to encourage people, especially young people, to explore Europe's rich cultural diversity and to reflect on the place that cultural heritage occupies in all our lives. It allows us to understand the past and to build our future."
The year aims to raise awareness of the social and economic importance of cultural heritage through initiatives and project at national, regional, municipality, local and even European level.
Further information about the launch and the year's purpose is available in the European Commission's Press Release.
Additionally, a new Eurobarometer survey was released today. It found that 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.
The European Commission's press release is also accompanied by a MEMO answering to some of the main questions regarding the year. It delivers a definition of cultural heritage and its role in the EU and highlights EU actions and policy in the field of cultural heritage, as well as gives further information on the year, its purpose and funding.
NEMO is delighted to be part of the stakeholder's committee for the year and to actively participate in the activities.