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Safeguarding and enhancing intangible cultural heritage in Europe

Recommendation 2148 (2019)

Parliamentary Assembly
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 1 March 2019 (see Doc. 14832, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Andries Gryffroy).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution 2269 (2019) on safeguarding and enhancing intangible cultural heritage in Europe, recalls that culture and heritage play a fundamental role in upholding democratic values and strengthening citizenship. They reinforce cultural identity, deepen understanding of and respect for others, and nurture respect for cultural diversity.
2. The large influx of migrants in Europe has decisively altered the ethnic composition of major cities, and consequently redefines the notion of community and also of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). In order to deal with this challenge, the Assembly believes that intangible cultural heritage could offer people not only a sense of continuity, but also the resilience and positive dynamics to adapt to rapidly growing cultural diversity.
3. The Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, “Faro Convention”) and the European Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century (Strategy 21) set an excellent framework for cultural heritage preservation policies in Europe. In this context, the Assembly considers that the future development of ICH will require a policy vision based on these documents, in order to enhance ICH policies and measures to their full potential, and to provide guidance to the multiple stakeholders that are emerging across Europe who are committed to safeguarding ICH.
4. The Assembly calls for greater coherency of action between the Council of Europe, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Union in this area. Accordingly, it recommends that the Committee of Ministers instruct the relevant bodies of the Council of Europe to:
4.1 encourage integrated activities between the culture, heritage, education and youth sectors of the Council of Europe, where possible, to provide guidance to the member States on innovative ways of interlinking intangible cultural heritage with the process of strengthening democratic citizenship, including through heritage communities;
4.2 provide support for member States to exchange good practices based on the standards and principles of the Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society, and guidance to develop models and methods of participatory governance to address the challenge of setting up fair and feasible heritage community participation;
4.3 acknowledge that ICH safeguarding targets and competences are covered implicitly by the terms of reference of the Steering Committee for Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) and consider close co-operation with UNESCO and the European Union in this institutional framework;
4.4 integrate the safeguarding of ICH in existing activities, and in particular in the Cultural Routes Programme and in the European Heritage Days, seeking the active participation of local ICH stakeholders;
4.5 contribute, where possible, to monitoring efforts in Europe, in alignment with the overall results framework established for the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2018, with a view to possibly integrating this work into the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe and the European Cultural Heritage Information Network (HEREIN).