Reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage in the EU Neighborhood South

British Council London, United Kingdom

(October 22-23, 2018)

The CReW event in London is coming in perfect timing. First and foremost, 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH). Besides, on May 22, 2018, the European Commission has proposed a New European Agenda for Culture. The New Agenda “…provides the framework for the next phase of cooperation at EU level, which will start in 2019”. The Agenda has three strategic objectives, with social, economic and external dimensions (Cfr. A new European Agenda for Culture, COM(2018) 267 final, p. 2).. The core of the external dimension rests on the strengthening of  international cultural relations, whose third workstream, reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage, will be at the centre of our event. Moreover, while most actions in the New Agenda contribute primarily to one of the three objectives, protecting and valorising cultural heritage is a cross-cutting area of policy actions at EU level.

The Commission’s engagement on cultural heritage “will result in recommendations, principles and toolkits to ensure the positive legacy of the Year and contribute to the New Agenda.” (Ibidem, p. 8). In particular, at the conclusion of the EYCH, the Commission will “present an Action Plan for Cultural Heritage and ask Member States to draft similar Plans at national level” (Ibidem, p.8).

Taking advantage of such a prolific moment, our participants -both local and non-local cultural diplomats, practitioners, policymakers, and academics- together with distinguished keynote speakers will deal with the third work stream of the joint communication “Towards a EU strategy for international cultural relations” (JOIN (2016) 29 final): reinforcing cooperation on cultural heritage. In doing so, they will devote special attention to the development of the Action Plan and its implications for the implementation of the EU Strategy, keeping an eye on the EU Neighborhood South.


British Council (photo by Ed Reeve)


Day 1. October 22 

9am-9.30am: Institutional Greeting and Overview

Cultural Relations at Work: The New Agenda for Culture and the Action Plan for Cultural Heritage.

Hosts: Pierangelo Isernia, CReW Project Coordinator, University of Siena & Gitte Zschoch, Director EUNIC Global and CReW Partner
Session 1. Cases “from the field”

9.30am-11am. The aim of this session will be to provide a detailed overview of diversified experiences and their impact in reinforcing the protection and valorization of tangible and intangible cultural heritage in the EU and its third partners:

The UK’s Cultural Protection Fund (Speech)

Kate Pugh, Chair CPF Advisory Group & Alex Bishop, Grant Manager Cultural Protection Fund

UNESCO’s role and action to protect and safeguard tangible and intangible cultural heritage

Oriol Freixa-Matalonga, UNESCO Representation to the European Institutions

French government initiatives to protect tangible and intangible cultural heritage abroad (Speech)

Alexis Mocio-Mathieu, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

The Cultural Management Academy

Miki Braniste, Curator, Goethe-Institut

11am-11:30am: Coffee Break

11:30am-12:30pm: Q&A

12:30pm-2pm: Lunch

Session 2. “Pracademics” at work

2pm-3:30pm. Taking a multidisciplinary and critical approach, academics from different areas of research will discuss the issue of protecting tangible and intangible cultural heritage and will engage practitioners and policy-makers:

Cultural heritage as a resource and enabler of sustainability under international law (Speech)

Prof. Janet Blake, Shahid Beheshti University

Cultural Heritage and Cultural Policy: A Global South Perspective

Dr. Simon Dancey, CEO Creative and Cultural Skills

International relations and the populist-nationalist challenge to the protection and valorization of tangible and intangible cultural heritage 

Prof.Richard Higgott, VUB – Institute of European Studies

Archaeology and policy-making on the protection and valorization of cultural heritage. Reflections “from the field” (Speech)

Prof. David Mattingly, University of Leicester

3:30pm-4pm: Coffee Break

4pm-5pm: Q&A

Day 2: October 23

9am-10am. The New Agenda for Culture and its external dimension. The role of the Action Plan in strengthening EU international cultural relations

kick-off speakers: Stephen Stenning, Head of Arts and Society, British Council & Gitte Zschoch, Director EUNIC Global
10am-10:30am: Coffee break
10:30am-11.30am. Parallel workshops on how to enhance European cooperation in EU’s external action on cultural heritage:

WS1. Policy cooperation and geographical coverage 

WS2. Knowledge and skills transfer in partner countries 

WS3. Innovation and digital for cultural heritage in partner countries 
11:30am-12pm: Coffee break

12pm-12:45pm: Restitution session

moderators: Sabine Longin, Fondation Giacometti & Kate Arthurs, Director of Arts, British Council

12.45pm-1pm: Conclusions and Next Steps

Hosts: Gitte Zschoch, EUNIC Global & Pierangelo Isernia, University of Siena
1pm: Lunch
2pm-3pm: Research-sharing session
In addition to our programme, we are delighted to invite attendees at the CReW conference to join us and the British Council Research Policy and Insight Team for a Research-sharing session on the afternoon of October 23 (2pm-3pm).  The session will share the latest findings from the major new Goethe Institut-British Council Cultural Value Project conducted with the Open University and Hertie School of Government, looking at the value and impact of cultural relations in societies in transition

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