Contribution of rural areas to 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage

Contribution of rural areas to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage

The designation of 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage was an important decision. All efforts by promoters and organisers of events and activities to increase visibility and celebrate Europe’s diverse and rich cultural heritage deserve to be recognised and highly praised.

The EESC is concerned, however, as to whether the 2018 EYCH has succeeded in adopting the widest possible definition of culture and in being inclusive of all citizens, including those living in rural areas. We would therefore like to hear about the opportunities that the 2018 EYCH envisages for rural areas and about completed, ongoing or planned projects that mark this year and thereby contribute to more viable and prosperous rural areas. The timing for a clear stocktaking is right as the 2018 EYCH is nearly midway through.

As part of its legislative work, the European Economic and Social Committee will hold a public hearing on 5 June from 2.30 p.m. to 5.30 take stock of what has been achieved and what remains yet to be done and to learn how to build upon the experience and views of relevant stakeholders and players in the cultural heritage domain. We will also discuss specific topics relating to rural cultural heritage, namely: villages and their cultural heritage; the economic and social value of cultural heritage; cultural heritage and landscapes and buildings; crafts and skills; arts and festivals; building bridges between rural and urban areas; and innovative ways of presenting and transferring cultural heritage.

The outcome and conclusions of the hearing will provide relevant input into the preparation of the EESC opinion on the contribution of rural areas to the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. The opinion focuses on the huge assets and talent that rural areas and their citizens have and how they contribute to Europe’s cultural heritage.