The support is an outcome of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Council held from 21 to 22 November 2016 following a proposal by the European Commission to the European Parliament and the European Council.
The EYCH initiative aims to raise awareness of the richness of European cultural heritage and the opportunities it can offer and to share the European values and ideals embedded in cultural heritage. At the same time, it seeks to draw attention to the challenges that cultural heritage is facing.
Marek Maďrič, Slovak minister for Culture and President of the Council, stated:
"European cultural heritage is the crown jewel that deserves to be seen and cherished around Europe. Therefore our presidency has made efforts to pave the way as quickly as possible for the European Year of Cultural Heritage to be held in 2018. We are pleased that today in the Council we have agreed on a general approach on this important decision that will put Cultural heritage once again into the spotlight. The unanimous support of member states clearly shows how timely this initiative is. We can now start negotiations with the European Parliament."
With the general approach the European Council has indicated its position towards the European Parliament prior to their first reading of the proposal, set for February 2017. This might speed up the legislative procedure.
The proposal was presented to the European Commission in April 2015 by the European Heritage Alliance 3.3. NEMO is part of the European Heritage Alliance and attended the European Culture Forum where the proposal was announced by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.