On 9 May 2020, on the occasion of Europe Day which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration and the launch of the process of European integration, members of the European Heritage Alliance including the European Travel Commission have launched the Europe Day Manifesto ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the future of Europe’.
Through this Manifesto, the members of the European Heritage Alliance express their readiness to contribute to Europe’s immediate social and economic recovery, as well as to the longer-term advancement of the European project.
The Europe Day Manifesto aims to convey a strong message of solidarity, hope and unity to Europe’s leaders and citizens at a time when Europe and the entire planet are struggling to overcome an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus.
The document underlines the key ways in which culture and cultural heritage can contribute to the recovery in the aftermath of the global pandemic and one of them is through the power of tourism. The Europe Day Manifesto supports the appeal for a major “EU tourism rescue plan”, which should include special measures for the revival of cultural tourism. “Tourism needs cultural heritage and cultural heritage needs tourism. But we recover from this crisis by using it as an opportunity to promote more innovative and sustainable forms of tourism.”
This important document was officially presented and discussed at the Europe Day Webinar which the Europeana Foundation and Europa Nostra co-hosted on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance on 9 May. It will also be submitted to EU Ministers in charge of culture ahead of their video-conference of 19 May 2020.
High-level heritage decision-makers from the European Institutions, Member States and civil society reacted to this Manifesto, including Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth; Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee; Nina Obuljen-Koržinek, Croatian Minister of Culture and Acting Chair of the EU Council of Ministers; Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the European Parliament Culture and Education Committee; Anne Karjalainen, Member of the European Committee of the Regions and Chair of the SEDEC commission; Hermann Parzinger, President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and Executive President of Europa Nostra; as well as Stéphane Bern, well-known French author and TV journalist.
The Europe Day Manifesto is now open for signatures by individuals and organisations. The Manifesto will be translated into different languages and widely disseminated by all the members of the European Heritage Alliance.