A European Parliament resolution of 8 September 2015 calls on the European Commission, "in the context of the development of the new integrated approach to cultural heritage, ... to designate, preferably for 2018, a European Year of Cultural Heritage, with an adequate budget and with the aim, amongst other things, of disseminating and increasing awareness and education among future generations in respect of the values of the European cultural heritage and its protection, and to submit the draft programme for the European Year to Parliament no later than 2016";
The aim of the European Cultural Heritage Year is to share our common cultural heritage and its potential for identification, participation and development with each other in the light of a hetero-geneous European social structure and against the background of current political, social and economic challenges. It is the best witness to Europe's rich history, which has been strongly influenced by values such as diversity, tolerance and intercultural dialogue. The European Cultural Heritage Year builds in particular upon the fact that our shared cultural heritage is always both local and European. The European Year highlights this dimension and uses it to respond to current challenges. It also builds on new opportunities to preserve and develop cultural heritage while underscoring the need to do so, because our cultural heritage is an essential, unique, irreplaceable part of Europe's social and economic potential which is closely tied to many other areas and is thus the foundation of our shared development in Europe.
The programmatic focus for the year is "Society in Transition", which reflects ongoing and diverse social change in Europe, not least the current challenges posed by increasing numbers of refugees seeking protection in Europe. This focus also makes clear that the discussion should concentrate on people. Three aspects in particular are to be discussed during the European Year: cultural diversity, demographic change and sustainability. This will give the European Year its political and economic relevance.
The European Year is intended to reach the entire spectrum of society. A special target group is younger generations who are the "heirs of the heritage", along with persons who have had only limited access to cultural heritage up to now. Education and the participation of society will be given special scope in order to achieve the goal of active participation and identification with cultural heritage, also using the new possibilities offered by digitization. Discovering and understanding Europe's cultural diversity and non-European links improves our shared dialogue; and cultural orientation and recognizing the value of one's own cultural heritage promotes acceptance of the cultural identities of others.
The European Year will provide the opportunity for a comprehensive exchange among European partners at all levels. The European Year will be organized by the European Union in cooperation with the Council of Europe. All European countries that are not member states of the European Union as well as all political, professional, social and regional institutions and civil society will be invited to become actively involved, especially via participatory procedures.
The European Cultural Heritage Year is to be held in 2018, which is not only the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, considered the first major catastrophe of the 20th century, but also a year in which many European countries celebrate the 100th anniversary of their modern independence. So 2018 is especially appropriate for such a European Cultural Heritage Year, because it reminds us that Europe's history and cultural heritage are marked by centuries of wars and conflicts on its way to peaceful and cooperative co-existence. In this context, it should also be noted that 2018 marks the 400th anniversary of the start of the Thirty Years' War in 1618 and the 370th anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the war in 1648. Our cultural heritage enables us to understand European history and its message.
The European Year will include all forms of cultural heritage - tangible, intangible and digital -in cooperation with the public and private institutions where they are kept, looked after and promoted: museums, memorial sites, archives, libraries, private collections, associations, etc. Archaeological and built heritage can serve as a starting point, because it is the most visible expression of our shared European cultural history, one that we see every day. Other forms of tangible and intangible cultural heritage can also be included, as the various forms of cultural heritage best illuminate each other. The European Year will also highlight the many connections between cultural heritage and other areas such as research and development, education, cultural and creative industries, tourism and nature conservation as well as regional and rural develop-
View the complete concept paper:http://www.dnk.de/_uploads/media/1860_Sharing%20Heritage_EN.pdf