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The European Heritage Days “Heritage and Communities”

The Council of Europe and the European Commission announced that “Heritage and Communities” is the pan-European theme for the 2016 European Heritage Days. It reflects how heritage defines our sense of community, past and present, but more importantly, how it can contribute to shaping our shared future.



The European Heritage Days is a flagship initiative creating a positive impact on the life of local communities. This annual pan-European event gives visibility to cultural and environmental assets, local skills and traditions, architecture and works of art, with the aim of enriching the lives of citizens and bringing them together. It is a concrete example of how local communities can contribute to the European dimension of heritage and celebrate heritage as a shared European value. 

The Council of Europe and the European Commission are delighted to announce that “Heritage and Communities” is the pan-European theme for the 2016 European Heritage Days. It reflects how heritage defines our sense of community, past and present, but more importantly, how it can contribute to shaping our shared future.

“Heritage communities are the manifestation of synergy between heritage and diversity with a constructive approach – valuing and celebrating on one side and actively searching for alternatives for societal challenges by all actors having a role and responsibility for the improvement of their quality of life. The Council of Europe, with an enlarged and cross-disciplinary approach to cultural heritage and diversity, encourages Heritage Communities to assert the principle of every person’s right of access to the cultural heritage of his or her choice, while respecting the rights and freedoms of others.” said Gianluca Silvestrini, Head of the Managing Diversity Division, Council of Europe.

Europe indeed has unrivalled cultural heritage and history.  In every historic building, in every stone wall, thatched roof or plasterwork ceiling lays a treasure and a specific context of place. Empowering Heritage Communities helps promote participatory governance and an imaginative future.

In an increasingly transnational, homogeneous and virtual world, it is imperative that priority is given to locally-led initiatives that contribute to community well-being and which champion inclusivity, creativity, resilience, self-knowledge, imagination and cultural acuity.  With its community-based initiatives and place-based distinctive approach, Heritage Communities create a platform to revisit and redefine relations in order to address the societal challenges faced in Europe today.

© 2015 ZVKDS, VSE PRAVICE PRIDRŽANE