The PACE Sub-Committee on culture, diversity and heritage met on 22 February 2023 in Olympia, Greece, on the premises of the International Olympic Academy.
In her opening remarks Nina Kasimati, Chairperson of the Sub-Committee, underlined that “The Greek culture - in a wider context of its timeless character and its continuum starting from antiquity - is the foundation of the European civilisation in terms of its principles and values.”
“The Council of Europe has a long-standing experience in the field of culture and democratisation and has to stay at the forefront of positioning culture as an integral part of the democratic process, considering the right of everyone to participate in cultural life as a core human right” said Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis, the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly, underling the role that local authorities can play in promoting and implementing cultural policy and pilot initiatives.
In her introduction to the hearing on “cultural heritage and water”, Foteini Pipili, former Vice Chairperson of the PACE Committee on culture, science, education and media, referred to water as an essential element. “Mediterranean culture and heritage reveal many influences where water has been and remains a key element.”
Petros Varelidis, Secretary General of Natural Environment and Water at the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Greece, presented at the end of the hearing different water management challenges in the context of today’s environmental concerns and climate change.
In his concluding remarks, Andries Gryffroy, committee rapporteur on “cultural heritage and climate change” said that “adequate political responses at national, regional, local and European level will require a radical change in our mindset. We must change institutional behaviours, create new partnerships and business models, adapt planning processes, ensure efficient resource and energy management, invest in research, combine high tech with low tech solutions, innovate and learn from traditional sustainable solutions offered by cultural heritage.”