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The EESC opinion on the contribution of Europe’s rural areas to the European Year of Cultural Heritage adopted !

The European Economic and Social Committee opinion on the “Contribution of Europe’s Rural Areas to the 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage” was adopted on 19 September 2018 with a huge majority (201 votes for, 2 against and 7 abstentions).

The document, whose rapporteur is Tom Jones, focuses on the huge assets and talent that rural areas and their citizens have and how they contribute to Europe’s cultural heritage.

Last week, Tom Jones was attending the XI European Mountain Convention on Cultural Heritage in Vatra Dornei, Romania, where he presented his EESC opinion. “Cultural Heritage is an economic motor and an added value to rural economies. It is  more than GDP, it is also about diversity, sustainability, well-being”, said Tom Jones.

The EESC opinion includes the following points:

  • The opinion recommends to supporting rural culture and rural cultural projects through existing EU funds, including the Rural Development Programmes. Moreover, the opinion pushes for the EU budget to be rural-proofed and to ensure that cultural heritage is a cross-cutting priority.
  • The opinion highlights the importance to strengthen the links between rural and urban citizens through cultural projects and events (such as farm open days and school rural visits) and to promote sustainable tourism around the rural cultural heritage.
  • The opinion also calls to encourage measures introducing rural culture and traditions to new generations through innovative modern idioms.
  • In addition, the opinion calls the European Union to have a clear account of how successful this European Year of Cultural Heritage year will be in reaching rural and remote areas and how any legacy of good practice such as the AlpFoodway and the Terract projects can be built upon for future prioritisation at European and regional levels.

Euromontana contributed to the opinion to better emphasize the mountain cultural heritage, by writing some comments directly to the rapporteur and by participating in the public hearing organised at the EESC on 5 June  2018 in Brussels. (To read Euromontana’s contribution, see this post).

For more information on the European Year of Cultural Heritage, click here.

4 October 2018

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