South East Europe: Legislative Support Task Force (CAL)

As an echo of the evolution of the reference framework and priorities of the Organisation, there has been an increasing need to marry the goals of cultural heritage protection to wider environmental issues, in order to produce sustainable and integrated strategies. In this context and in order to meet the number of requests from countries needing opinions or advice on legislation on heritage protection, the Legislative Support Task Force (or “Cellule d’appui législatif” – CAL) was created in 1997.

The activities of the CAL take place within a global objective to define a new approach to the management of the heritage and environment through spatial planning according to the need to develop regional and local sustainable development.

The CAL, composed of international experts, recognised or recommended for their high competencies, is set up as a provisional expert body and should be reported directly to the Steering Committee for the Cultural Heritage (CDPAT).

It is competent to deal with legal frameworks, procedures, administrative directives, divided laws, sub-laws, policies, strategies, and their implementation, codes of good practice on the state of the art, in reference to the European standards related to the protection of the cultural and natural heritage. The Legislative Support Task Force also considers other legal texts (environmental protection and environmental impact assessment, spatial and urban planning, construction and development, infrastructure service provision, ownership of real property, taxation and funding measures, criminal codes, etc).

It may also consider related problems of administrative organisation and associated policy procedures and, as appropriate, heritage funding where this is linked to legal and administrative protection mechanisms. Similarly this competence extends to matters concerned with the movable heritage: to ensure democratic conditions for the protection of and access to historic objects and to facilitate appropriate regulation methods concerning the circulation of such objects and their removal from national territory.

The process of providing legal and policy assistance may include the organisation of seminars, workshops, technical exchanges, co-operation missions and other awareness-raising measures, training of specialists within countries requesting assistance in new techniques for the management of the cultural and natural heritage.

The most difficult part of the process of reform is the transference of new measures and techniques on the ground, which may take some considerable time following the enactment of new laws and administrative structures. As part of the Technical Co-operation and Consultancy Programme, the CAL may take part to specific pilot activities in order to assist the implementation of new measures and procedures.

Countries seeking assistance in revising the administrative framework of their laws are asked to submit their request for assistance in a global manner in order to encourage all ministries concerned (spatial planning, urban planning, environment, heritage, tourism, development, transport, infrastructure, etc.) to act in an integrated manner. This, in turn, will require the co-ordination of legal, administrative and institutional reform in association with technical support measures for the implementation of the reform process.