What are European Heritage Days?
European Heritage Days (EHDs) are a joint action involving the European Council and the European Commission. They are held between August and November every year in the 49 Countries that are signatories of the European cultural agreement. For over 15 years, these Days have provided the opportunity of celebrating the unity and diversity of the common cultural heritage that is Europe's image.
Objectives of the EHD:
In addition to the initial aim, which was to open monuments to the public, the EHDs have multiple objectives:
- They not only enable European citizens to get closer to their cultural heritage, but also to achieve greater mutual comprehension and greater awareness of the diversity of cultures and cultural expression.
- They safeguard heritage that is permanently under threat. This involves public authorities (central government, regional and municipal), and also private institutions and individuals. The increasing success of this awareness raising action reinforces the credibility of the public and private institutions charged with the protection and promotion of our heritage.
- It encourages not just opening up to others, thus helping in the fight against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, but also plays a key role in the search for identity and the affirmation of our collective memory.
- Looking towards the future by reinterpreting and valuing the political, social and economic implications of the cultural testimony of the past.
European Heritage Days therefore play a key role in promoting awareness of European identity, at cultural, social, political and economic levels. The discovery of a common heritage, enriched by its diversity, contributes to making Europe a meeting place for mutual knowledge, reciprocal understanding and the acceptance of differences.