What is the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage?

The 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage will promote heritage as a shared resource for our future. The Year will be managed by the European Commission, with the active participation of cultural heritage organisations and other culture sector stakeholders including trans-national cultural networks, NGOs and cultural organisations.
The European Commission is keen to promote and facilitate the participation of as many stakeholders as possible. In this context, we are launching a Special Call “Voices of Culture and Heritage”, with two objectives:

  1. to identify a group of about 30 European representatives of the cultural and cultural heritage sector to take part in a series of meetings with the European Commission to exchange about the implementation of the Year ; and
  2. to create a database of cultural and cultural heritage sector organisations who would like to be kept informed about the Year’s activities, at European and national levels.

The call is open to representatives of professional organisations, cultural institutions, non-governmental organisations, European networks and foundations which have strong expertise in the field of cultural heritage and are willing to become involved in the activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. The call is also open to organisations in the field of culture more broadly, who would like to play a role in the Year. Applicants must be based in one of the 28 EU Member States. Participants will be selected according to the following selection criteria:

  • Content and breath of work programmes your organisation has completed/is carrying out on cultural heritage
  • Your organisation’s experience of cultural heritage representation and outreach at European level
  • Your vision for the 2018 European Year and the actions your organisation plans to implement, if any. (Please note this does not imply receiving EU funding. The objective of this criterion is to find out whether your organisation has concrete activities in mind that it could carry out during EYCH, relevant to the objectives of the Year.)

About the Theme

2018 will be the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH).
The overall objective of the Year is to encourage the sharing and appreciation of Europe’s cultural heritage, to raise awareness of our common history and values, and to reinforce a sense of belonging in a common European space.

In keeping with the objectives of the European Commission (ec.europa.eu/priorities/index_en) European Agenda for Culture (ec.europa.eu/culture/policy/strategic-framework_en), the Year will also highlight the social and educational value of heritage, its contribution to jobs and growth, and its role in raising the profile of the EU in the world. As with other European Years, the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage will be implemented through information and promotion campaigns, events and initiatives at European, national, regional and local levels. Other measures will include the sharing of experience and good practice.

At national level, the Year will be implemented by national coordinators who are currently being designated by EU Member-States.

For the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH), the Commission has decided to launch a special call under its Voices of Culture programme (structured dialogue with civil society on culture), entitled “Voices of Culture and Heritage”. The aim of this call is to open a dialogue with civil society and stakeholders active in the field of cultural heritage and allow for an exchange of information on ideas and activities planned during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, both by the EU and by the involved stakeholders. In contrast to the other Voices of Culture calls, the 2018 EYCH special call will include up to 6 physical meetings of the Voices of Culture and Heritage Group, to be held in Brussels (a maximum of three in 2017 and up to three in 2018).

This call is open to organisations working in the field of cultural heritage and culture more broadly, who are willing to share their expertise and ideas in a dialogue with the European Commission. The EYCH 2018 special call will be open from 30 January 2017 to 20 February 2017. The European Commission will select around 30 organisations, who will each be invited to send one representative to participate in the dialogue meetings in Brussels.

As the number of participants at meetings must necessarily be limited (for reasons of practicality and effectiveness), we would also like to use the special call “Voices of Culture and Heritage” to create a broader database of cultural stakeholders interested in the activities of the Year. Organisations not selected to attend the dialogue meetings, or not interested/able to attend such meetings, may therefore apply to become part of a broader stakeholder network. Organisations in this network would be kept regularly informed about EYCH activities, and, if certain conditions are fulfilled, be able to use the visual identity of the EYCH for their own related activities. It will also be possible for organisations to join this network later on, as the Year gathers momentum.

Practical information

The European Year of Cultural Heritage – Special Call “Voices of Culture and Heritage” will encompass six physical meetings in Brussels (maximum three in 2017 and up to three in 2018), comprising one day each. It is expected that in 2017 the group will meet in April, September and end November (all dates to be confirmed). Travel, hotel and food expenses will be covered by the European Commission.

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