The rapporteur believes that that the role of cultural heritage is under-valued and that Europe has an opportunity to meet the challenges of the cultural sector with a strategic, global and integrated approach. From the perspective of the CoR, the opinion highlights that local and regional authorities can actively involve those concerned in the protection of and support for cultural heritage in Europe and promote its benefits for the economic recovery. The rapporteur also agrees with the European Commission promotion and protection of cultural heritage will require closer, better coordinated cooperation at all levels of governance and it is for that reason that Minister Mazas Pérez-Oleaga has penned this own initiative opinion. Looking at the recent Commission communication, the CoR opinion notes that natural heritage is an intrinsic part of cultural heritage. She also encourages the setting up and launch of a European data base to share EU-wide data concerning the contribution of cultural heritage to economic growth and social cohesion. The opinion covers links between cultural heritage and identity, cultural heritage as an economic resource – including through tourism, and the new opportunities given through the development of an information society.
Cristina Mazas Pérez-Oleaga