Europe's rural areas contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage

On September 19, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted almost unanimously its opinion on the “Contribution of Europe’s Rural Areas to the 2018 Year of Cultural Heritage”.

The document presented at the XI European Mountain Convention on Cultural Heritage in Vatra Dornei, Romania, highlights the assets and talent that rural areas and their citizens have and how they contribute to Europe’s cultural heritage. Also the EESE opinion considers the following points:

  • supporting rural culture and rural cultural projects through existing EU funds, including the Rural Development Programmes; also the EU budget should be rural-proofed ensuring that cultural heritage is a cross-cutting priority;
  • strengthening the links between rural and urban citizens through cultural projects and events (such as farm open days and school rural visits) and promoting sustainable tourism around the rural cultural heritage;
  • encouraging measures introducing rural culture and traditions to new generations through innovative modern idioms;
  • calling 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.