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2005-12-07 - BRUSSELS
EUROPA NOSTRA TO HOLD MAJOR EUROPEAN CULTURAL HERITAGE FORUM
Europa Nostra

PRESS RELEASE



7 DECEMBER,

The Hague, 24 November 2005: Europa Nostra, the pan-European federation for heritage, is organising a major European Cultural Heritage Forum on 7 December in Brussels, “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” with the cooperation of the European Economic and Social Committee.

What are the benefits of cultural heritage for the on-going process of the building of Europe? What can Europe do to encourage the safeguard and enhancement of Europe's cultural heritage? The European Cultural Heritage Forum will seek to answer these questions by launching and encouraging a regular and constructive policy dialogue between representatives of EU Institutions, representatives of Europe’s civil society committed to heritage conservation, education and enhancement, as well as representatives of other key international partners, in particular the Council of Europe.

The Forum will be attended by representatives of public and private bodies concerned with heritage from all over Europe. The European Commission will be represented by Commissioner Mr Ján Figeľ, and Mr Nikolaus van der Pas the Director-General for Education and Culture. The European Parliament will be represented by Mr Nikos Sifunakis, MEP, Chairman of the Committee on Culture and Education and Mr Vasco Graça Moura, MEP, the European Parliament Rapporteur on the “Culture 2007 Programme”. The Council of Europe will be represented by its Deputy-Secretary General, Mrs Maud de Boer-Buquicchio.

The Forum is supported by the European Economic and Social Committee, as part of its commitment to serve “as a bridge between Europe and organised civil society” and whose President, Mrs Anne-Marie Sigmund will be addressing the closing session of the Forum. This last session will also be addressed by Europa Nostra’s President, HRH the Prince Consort of Denmark.

The panel discussions will particularly focus on the issues of “Cultural Heritage and Active Citizenship” and “Cultural Heritage and Sustainable and Economic and Social Development” with key note speakers Mr Simon Murray (UK), Director of Operations, The National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Mr Donovan Rypkema (USA) of Heritage Strategies International.

“At the current uncertain phase of the building of Europe which is marked by a growing gap between Europe’s citizens and Europe’s Institutions as well as by increasing misgivings of the public about the on-going enlargement of the European Union, the renewed debate on Europe of the Culture needs to be pursued with even more intensity and with the full involvement of all stakeholders. In this context, special attention should be given to our common cultural heritage which enjoys today great popularity among millions of European citizens and which is promoted by a growing number of civil society organisations throughout Europe”, said Otto von der Gablentz, Europa Nostra’s Executive President announcing the Forum.
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The Forum is organised with the kind support of HDYRO, Banca Intesa and VOLVO.

Europa Nostra European Cultural Heritage Forum:
Date: Wednesday 7 December 2005 (9.00-18.30)
Venue: European Economic and Social Committee, 99, rue Belliard, B-1040 Brussels

For further information and press accreditation, please contact
Charlotte O'Connor, Communications Officer, Europa Nostra
+31 70 302 4055 / co@europanostra.org

For more details on the EESC, please contact:
Karel Govaert ou Christian Weger at the EESC Press Office.
Rue Belliard 99, B-1040; Bruxelles
Tel.: 02 546 9396/9586; Mobile: 0475 753 202
e-mail : press@esc.eu.int
Website: http://www.esc.eu.int/press/index_en.asp



The Forum Programme can be found at:
http://www.europanostra.org/brussels_forum.htm

<<...>>

To download Europa Nostra’s position paper “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” which will serve as a basis for discussions at the Forum, go to http://www.europanostra.org/downloads/documents/position_paper_to_eu_institutions.pdf

Europa Nostra, the pan-European Federation for Heritage, is the representative platform of over 200 heritage NGOs active throughout Europe. It is the voice of this vast movement of European civil society active in the field of heritage towards international bodies concerned, in particular the European Union Institutions, the Council of Europe and UNESCO. Europa Nostra is dedicated to putting heritage and its benefits in the mainstream of public consciousness and to making heritage a priority for public policies both at European and national levels. Its specific objectives are to promote, at a European level, high standards of quality in the fields of heritage conservation, architecture, urban and rural planning and to advocate a balanced and sustainable development of urban and rural, built and natural environment. Europa Nostra supports national and international campaigns for the preservation and rescue of Europe’s heritage at risk. It encourages exemplary initiatives in favour of the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage by recognising outstanding heritage achievements, in particular through the running of the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards. Through its various activities, Europa Nostra seeks to highlight the importance of cultural heritage as a building block of European identity and as a contribution to the strengthening of the sense of European citizenship. www.europanostra.org



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