Democratic governance

We believe in diversity as a force for democracy and encourage dialogue as a means of building peace.


Our vision reflects the values of a democratic, dynamic, integrated and creative European society.


We strive towards a Europe where the diversity of cultures, the arts, and cultural and natural heritage are essential to the development of a genuine openness of mind and basic rights, and where open and interactive processes and practices of culture encompass different elements that combine to help us deal with the complexities of living with ourselves and one another. (more...)


Headline news ... (04/05/2015)


The wider benefits of investment in cultural heritage: new publication in the European Heritage series

A second reference work “The wider benefits of investment in cultural heritage” has been published by the Council of Europe with the support of the European Union, as a culmination of the Joint Programme implemented from 2003 to 2014. The first book published in October 2014 launched a series of three works related to heritage for development in South-East Europe. Another one should be published in 2015 to close the project, and will highlight the impact of the Ljubljana Process in the countries of the region and what this experience has brought to the pan-European reflection on the social and economic values of heritage for society. [04/05/2015]


European Academic Network on Romani Studies final showcase event

On 22 April at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg leading Roma researchers engaged in vibrant exchanges with Roma representatives and political stakeholders to explore how academic research can contribute to policies for Roma inclusion. The event organized by the European Academic Network on Romani Studies joint programme (2011-2015) succeeded in establishing a constructive dialogue on the benefits of research/policy collaboration all the while identifying major obstacles and promising future pathways. [28/04/2015]


Meeting of the Ad Hoc Select Group on Biodiversity and Climate change

Rome, 28 April 2015 - The ecological crisis is putting at stake the maintenance of the common interest and the long-term survival of humankind. Climate change and rise in mean temperatures will bring irreversible changes threatening the livelihoods of people and causing massive extinct of species. The Bern Convention, Europe’s treaty on nature conservation, works for the preservation of most of our natural heritage and promotes participation and representation in the environmental debate, monitoring and, to some extent in the decision-making process. Convened at the request of the Convention’s Standing Committee, the Ad Hoc Select Group on Biodiversity and Climate change will meet on 28th April in Rome (Italy), with the mandate of preparing a new work-plan for the relevant Group of Experts. The Group will discuss topics such as: climate change challenges in the Arctic, management of protected areas and landscapes, impact of extreme weather events on local communities, the transition to a greener economy, among others. [27/04/2015]

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Luxembourg, 28-29 April: Bureau and Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA)

Representatives of the EPA’s Governing Board will meet at the Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg on Tuesday and Wednesday 28-29 April. Assisted by the European Institute of Cultural Route, members will take decisions on the certification of new 7 routes (Robert Louis Stevenson, the Chocolate Way, Charles V, Roman Emperors and Wine along the Danube, Le Corbusier, Napoleonic Heritage and the Columban Way). They will also hold exchanges of views with the European Union (Tourism Unit, DG-Growth) and the coordinator of the Cultural Routes Taskforce (Inger Harlevi, manager of the Hansa Route). The Institute will present its new website to member states on this occasion. [24/04/2015]


Ministers to define future heritage strategy

23-24 April, Namur (Belgium) – European ministers responsible for cultural heritage will be meeting to adopt guidelines for a European heritage strategy for the 21st century, at the 6th Conference of Ministers responsible for Cultural Heritage, entitled: Cultural heritage in the 21st century for living better together. Towards a common strategy for Europe. Held in the framework of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Conference will involve ministers from the 50 States party to the European Cultural Convention. The aims of the strategy are to: protect and foster cultural heritage, promote good governance and participation in heritage identification and management, and disseminate innovative approaches to improving the environment and quality of life of European citizens. The European Commission, UNESCO and ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) will also take part in the conference. [22/04/2015]

FOCUS: Cultural Heritage

6th Conference of Ministers of Heritage

A Conference of Ministers responsible for Cultural Heritage will be organised in Namur (Belgium) on 23 and 24 April 2015 in the context of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The conference is aimed at defining the conditions for elaborating a European strategy for cultural heritage. This strategy, while confirming the role of heritage as the touchstone of European values, should also project heritage as the means of their transmission and the ideal tool for intercultural and intergenerational dialogue. [23/02/2015]


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