1st CHARTER Policy Round Table: A stimulating open discussion on Cultural Heritage

1st CHARTER Policy Round Table: A stimulating open discussion on Cultural Heritage

Policy Round Table
The most relevant and influential institutions convened at the CHARTER Policy Round Table held in Brussels during the afternoon of Friday 4th May to explore the strategies and recommendations that the project should adopt at its final stage through a productive and engaging dialogue. The Policy Round Table was a moment to foster discussion and exchanging ideas on the project's main challenges, key findings, and preliminary conclusions.
The CHARTER Policy Round Table took place in Brussels during the afternoon of Friday 4th May. The event was an important occasion for fostering discussion and exchanging ideas on the main challenges faced by the project, which brought together experts and stakeholders in the Cultural Heritage sector to discuss the key findings and preliminary conclusions of the CHARTER project. It was hosted by the Permanent Representation of Romania, in partnership with the National Institute of Heritage Romania, ERRIN and ENCATC. 
Over the past two years, the project has been focused on addressing the state of the art in this sector and creating the first sectorial blueprint. Participants engaged in a dynamic dialogue that delved into the strategies and recommendations that the project should adopt at its final stage. The discussions were productive and centered on shaping the future of the Cultural Heritage sector. We were thrilled to see the level of engagement and collaboration among the participants.



A moment on the Cultural Heritage sector, preserving the past and building the future

CHARTER policy round table

The Brussels afternoon session started with the welcome speech from Oana Zaharia, Interim General Manager, of National Heritage Institute Romania.

Catherine Magnant, Head of Unit Cultural Policy – DG EAC, expressed her introductory remarks underlining how the occasion promoted synergy among institutional and research perspectives, fostering collaboration and integration. She continued stating that thecapillary analysis that the Charter project conducted supports the creation of a blueprint for the Cultural Heritage sector, which is also an opportunity to address the contemporary challenges and implement policies aimed at its protection and future development.

Magnant concluded her speech by mentioning how, in recent times, European programs are showing interest in the cultural sector through initiatives and projects focused on safeguarding heritage and promoting the training and re-training of the professions related to the cultural sector. The support provided through Creative Europe MEDIA and Horizon 2020, and the Cultural focus of the European Urban Agenda are some tangible examples of this interest.

Lastly, Lluís Bonet, CHARTER Coordinator from the University of Barcelona, provided an overview of the purposes of the Policy Round Table and introduced the CHARTER Alliance and its work to gain a comprehensive understanding of the social fabric that composes the Cultural Heritage sector. Before giving the floor to the researchers, he made a last remark explaining how this was a turning point for the progress of the project, as the research phase is turning to a conclusion and the ending phase to deliver the final results would start soon.



Analysizing the state of the art to unlock the value of Cultural Heritage



The Charter Alliance opened the meeting of the Policy Round Table providing an overview of the new paradigms that have emerged from these years of research. These paradigms are aimed at promoting a resilient and engaging future for the sector, recognizing its inherent significance and value through the support of education, and learning opportunities.

The understanding of the Heritage sector in Europe and the creation of a new heritage paradigm help to detect the qualification and skills needs, as well as spot emerging jobs and working opportunitiesModernizing the classification of the sector would produce a cascade of impacts, which would give it greater visibility in economic, educational and employment terms; and make the sector sustainable and more competitive.

For this reason, the different types of heritage across Europe led the Alliance to analyse cultural contexts and communities, taking into consideration so far 7 regional case studies, more than 500 heritage stakeholders and surveying more than 1000 professionals. It was also recognised that continuous professional development is necessary and often took place in the context of the local workplace.

A last salient aspect underlined in this occasion was that the Cultural Heritage is influenced by a myriad of context-related local dynamics, but is also affected by external factors, environmental trends, and global developments; and still, it provides a unique value-creation to each locality that could be supported by a systematic implementation across Europe.

The outcomes on the state of the art of the sector conducted by the Charter Alliance and discussed during the Policy Round Table can be found here in the Resources and Results section on the Charter Alliance page.


A Policy Round Table discussion that gave interdisciplinary insights into the sector

CHARTER policy round tableFollowing the introductions on the latest results and developments, the Policy Round Table discussion commenced. The attendees expressed their comments and suggestions on key aspects and characteristics of the Cultural Heritage sector; their insights touched on various topics and integrated different dimensions and domains into the heritage discourse.

The presence of institutions from different fields – such as the DGs of Education and Culture; Research and Innovation and Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion; the European Committee of Regions; as well as UNESCO and Cultural Attachées – certainly contributed to the variety of topics that emerged.

It was underlined the importance of the regional dimension, as a place where the bottom-up and top-down initiatives meet, and where the collaboration between institutions, educational entities and local communities create visible and long-lasting engagement.

It was also stressed that the local dimension, both cities and rural areas, plays a crucial role in creating educational opportunities and promoting innovation in the Cultural Heritage sector. Supporting this dimension emerged as relevant to ensure heritage recognition and relevance beyond the local border, on the national and European levels. And so, the local dimension is an essential aspect in scaling the impact and relevance of the Cultural Heritage sector.

Other highlights discussed were concerning the characteristics of Cultural Heritage, the variety of tangible and intangible assets to be protected, and the combination of educational formats, both formal and informal, needed to maintain and develop the competencies and skills of professionals able to deal with the complexities of the sector and the intersections with other areas that arise.



The Policy Round Table underlined how Cultural Heritage is present in diverse levels of society and how its renewed interest and understanding could support future European developments.  

For instance, the discussion found an intersection with urban development and cities, the construction and energy sectors and their sustainable innovation that needs to take heritage protection into account; but also, the monitor of the sector from a statistical point of view to better understand its relevance and impact on the labor market and economy at large. 





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