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The value of cultural heritage in a democratic society

Doc. 14834: collection of written amendments | Doc. 14834 | 04/03/2019 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1Cultural diversity and the richness of cultural heritage are important assets for European economies and societies. The Parliamentary Assembly recalls the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”), which promotes a wider understanding of cultural heritage and its relationship to communities and society. It also emphasises the importance of cultural heritage as it relates not only to the economies of regions and local communities but also to human rights and democracy in Europe.
2In Resolution 2123 (2016) and Recommendation 2093 (2016) on culture and democracy, the Assembly broadens the definition of culture to include spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features which characterise a society. Thereby covered are not only cultural heritage, the arts and letters, but also lifestyles, ways of thinking and acting, value systems, traditions and beliefs. Seen in this context, culture then becomes a powerful tool to encourage constructive thought, to initiate public debate and to strengthen democratic practice.
3The Assembly considers that culture and heritage have a useful role to play in regions and localities – sustaining their economies; improving co-operation with their communities; and inspiring better and more creative solutions to their everyday problems – but only if decision makers in the public and private sectors are sensitive to their value. The Assembly therefore emphasises the core principles of the Faro Convention, indicating that these should be widely used and implemented locally, whether in towns, cities or rural areas.
4Accordingly, the Assembly recommends that the member States of the Council of Europe:
4.1sign and ratify the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, if they have not already done so;
4.2assist local authorities to deploy the principles laid down in the convention as well as in Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)1 which launches the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century, and also at State level encouraging policies to:
4.2.1promote a greater degree of inclusiveness within a wider range of expression in order to maximise the useful contribution which culture can make within the State;
4.2.2direct culture and heritage in more effective ways into education, employment, the economy, research and innovation, social services, health and welfare;
4.2.3combine strategies and actions for local sustainable development across different sectors, thus reflecting a new spirit of co-operation which seeks to overcome restrictions all too often present within national legislation and instead to provide necessary support and incentives which can lead to constructive outcomes;
4.2.4review and update education curricula and vocational training so that they respond correctly to changing employment needs within the cultural sector, allowing for a stronger combination of arts, economy, technology and science to be formed in order to stimulate much more convincing interaction between technologies, the creative arts and entrepreneurship.
5The Assembly thus recommends that local and regional authorities:
5.1develop sustainable development strategies using culture and heritage as core elements;
5.2promote a positive vision of culture and its ability to broaden skills and innovative approaches to the economy;
5.3are not restrained by any unnecessary and arbitrary divisions between culture and economy;
5.4bring together a wide range of associations and participants in order to agree upon shared objectives for local development;
5.5encourage partnerships between industries, cultural institutions, local schools and vocational training institutions so that young people become involved, especially in redevelopment projects in deprived areas;
5.6persuade cultural institutions to involve many more people in their programmes and to explore new forms of engagement within the community through their outreach services;
5.7facilitate additional opportunities for jobs and skills within the cultural and heritage sectors, by providing incentives for new “creative spaces”, relevant local education modules, and effective partnerships and training.
6The Assembly pays tribute to the key role played by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, to its achievements through co-operation to address the challenges facing the cultural and democratic life of cities and rural areas. For its part, the Assembly will promote such co-operation, notably in connection with the four awards which make up the Europe Prize.
7Following the success of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the Assembly invites the European Union to initiate further co-operation with the Council of Europe in the framework of the forthcoming European Action Plan for Cultural Heritage and the new European Agenda for Culture, and also with European and international city networks and associations to promote the implementation of the Faro principles within local and regional sustainable development projects.

In the draft résolution, paragraph 7, replace the words "in the framework of the forthcoming European Action Plan for Cultural Heritage" with the following words: "through the European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage".

8The Assembly also invites the European Commission to consider whether existing funding programmes that cut across several Directorates General (Regional and Urban Policy; Education; Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (and its Audiovisual and the Culture Executive Agency); and Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), might be reviewed; this is in order to co-ordinate those programmes more efficiently so that the funded projects themselves could be more coherent and better co-ordinated ito serve as best practice examples for other European cities or regional areas.

BDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2019) on the value of cultural heritage in a democratic society, considers culture and heritage to be central to democratic stability in Europe today, for culture and heritage move and inspire people. In times of economic uncertainty or recession, they are also powerful beacons of light to raise hope and to nourish identity and belonging. The Assembly therefore urges the Committee of Ministers to devote resources to pursue its long-standing work in this regard with member States.
2The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”), the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century (Strategy 21), the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme and the European Heritage Days all provide an excellent framework to promote cultural heritage, backed up by the policies of member States within which culture and cultural heritage can be placed at the core of sustainable development strategies at local and regional levels.
3The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers:
3.1re-enforce support for existing Council of Europe programmes in the culture and cultural heritage field, including for technical assistance programmes, in order to support public authorities in member States with targeted policy review, legal advice and other initiatives;
3.2build up much better co-operation with the European Union within the framework of the forthcoming European Action Plan for Cultural Heritage and the new Agenda for Culture, with a view to stimulating innovation and carrying out forward-looking initiatives in the culture and cultural heritage field which aim at community building and inclusiveness.
4The Assembly considers that the momentum gathered during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 represents an opportunity to build stronger partnerships with the European Union to raise the level of ambition in the cultural field, so that culture and heritage become the real drivers of change in the future. The Assembly therefore invites the Committee of Ministers and the European Union to intensify their exchanges in order to increase their co-operation projects to promote European cultural values through technical assistance programmes and funding available for local and regional sustainable development projects that implement the principles of the Faro Convention and the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century.