HEREIN was established by the Council of Europe at the request of the Member States to take stock of the changes in legislation and practices in the participating countries and provide a forum for pooling and sharing information on cultural heritage.

The project aims at fostering the implementation of heritage projects which are able to improve citizen’s quality of life and living environment.


Structured around a database of European heritage policies, a network of 46 national coordinators and a multilingual thesaurus on heritage, HEREIN serves to monitor current trends and challenges for the benefit if the various competent institutions.

HEREIN also facilitates cooperation between public administrations through the exchanges, development and dissemination of good practices.

Finally, HEREIN helps the Council of Europe to fulfil its role in the follow-up of Conventions and cooperation in the field of heritage, responding to the wishes expressed by Member States at the several Conferences of Ministers responsible for Cultural Heritage. It can in particular serve to study the implementation of the following four Council of Europe Cultural Heritage Conventions:

 HEREIN History

2017: Adoption of the European Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st century (Strategy 21) that highlights the potential contribution of HEREIN.

2015: The 6th European Conference of Ministers responsible for the cultural heritage (Namur, Belgium) appeals to the need of institutional networks (such as HEREIN) for new Cultural Heritage Strategies redefining the role of cultural heritage as a response to current societal challenges.

2014: The HEREIN website on European Heritage Policies is officially launched with the contributions of numerous countries.

2010: Creation of the International Association of European Heritage Network (HEREIN AISBL) gathering representatives from 7 Member States (Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Slovenia, Switzerland and United Kingdom).

2005: Adoption of the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention on the Value of the Cultural heritage for Society (Faro Convention) that emphasizes the potential contribution of HEREIN.

2001: The 5th European Conference of Ministers responsible for cultural heritage (Portoroz, Slovenia) establishes HEREIN as a structure in the Council of Europe providing core data and experience in the management of the cultural heritage (Res. N°2).

1996: The 4th European Conference of Ministers responsible for the cultural heritage (Helsinki, Finland) requests to create a permanent information system addressed to the national authorities and the professionals of the sector (Res. N°1 and 2).

1992: The 3rd European Conference of Ministers responsible for the cultural heritage (Valletta, Malta) supports to the idea to build and manage a periodically updated European directory of heritage policies to record trends in the various countries (Res. N°3).