First “European Year of Cultural Heritage” Will Take Place in 2018

On February 9, 2016 the European Council and the European Parliament decided to establish a European Year of Cultural Heritage, which is going to take place in 2018 and will celebrate the European Union’s unique and diverse culture(s).

As the Maltese Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Dr. Owen Bonnici, explained1:

“As Europeans we have a particularly rich cultural heritage born of our long shared history. I welcome the opportunity to celebrate that heritage and to take pride in all that makes up our common European identity”. 

The European Year of Cultural Heritage aims to honor both the individual and the shared cultural heritage of the member states of the European Union. The initiative celebrates shared European values and traditions and aims to raise awareness of a common European history and identity. The European Year of Cultural Heritage will center on questions such as: What opportunities does cultural heritage have to offer? What threats does it face? How are we able to protect, preserve, and share our material and immaterial heritage? Beyond that, the initiative wants to draw attention to issues like the role of heritage in the digital age, or the trafficking and trading of cultural objects.

You can find an official press release of the establishment of a on the European Year of Cultural Heritage as well as further information on the initiative in English and German on the website of the European Council.

If you want to delve deeper into the topic of cultural heritage, its’ challenges and opportunities, you might also be interested in attending our upcoming event entitled “Negotiating Cultural Heritage. Making, Sustaining, Breaking, Sharing. A Conversation” in Berlin on April 24, 2017.


Citation: “First ‘European Year of Cultural Heritage’ Will Take Place in 2018”, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 24.03.2017,

  1. European Council: European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018: Celebrating the Diversity and Richness of Our European Heritage, in:, 09.02.2017, []

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