IE’s involvement in EYCH began last year, in 2017, with an invitation to join the EYCH stakeholder committee followed by notable achievements like delivering an introductory interpretation workshop for the EYCH Task Force and our award-winning paper, Engaging Citizens with Europe’s Cultural Heritage, which promoted the case for using values, frames and universals to help EYCH activities across Europe really connect with people. Our 2018 annual conference in Kozseg, Hungary, was also one of the first larger EYCH events opened by European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Tibor Navracsics.  

By December 2018, no less that 11,500 events have been held reaching 6.2 million people to share and appreciate our common history and values. While much talk at the interparliamentary committee meeting (ICM), which took place in Brussels on 19 and 20 November, was given to stronger links between arts and culture in formal education and greater support from Europe, particularly in terms of funding, informal education was not forgotten. Equally encouraging was the acknowledgement by the ICM Reporter that a purely economic project is insufficient to bring people together in the current context.  

IE’s task at the meeting was to reaffirm its position as Europe’s professional organisation that nurtures the interpretive approach and its guiding role to harmonise different narratives in Europe. As the year draws to a close, new EU funding will soon provide much-needed support through the 2021-2027 Creative Europe programme (€1.85 bn). However, IE must keep lobbying for interpretation to be further recognised by European decision-makers beyond its involvement in EYCH so that attention is not lost as heads in Brussels inevitably turn to the new initiatives in the EU pipeline.

Sandy Colvine is Interpret Europe’s Outreach Coordinator and a member of IE’s Training Team. He lives near Avignon in France and can be contacted at:

To cite this article:
Colvine, Sandy (2018) ‘The European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) – Taking stock’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2018, 7.
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