Thematic Cultural heritage 2018-06-13T09:13:44+00:00


For over 350 years, historians and archaeologists believed that the St Wenceslas Rotunda in Prague was lost. When it was rediscovered in 2004, the structure was in a greatly damaged condition. Urgent actions were needed to save the sensational discovery.
Raising awareness on our common cultural heritage is an essential part of the continuous work to preserve our cultural history. By supporting high quality preservation projects and maintaining a strong cultural dialogue, we benefit in multiple ways. Through acknowledging European history, we strengthen our sense of belonging. This also feeds into the aim of The EU 2015 – 18 Work Plan for Culture, a result of the EU’s recognition of the importance of the culture sector in order to maintain economic and social development.
Read more about other projects in this programme area here.


In time of rising intolerance and a more polarised political climate, fostering cultural dialogue and promoting diversity is more important than ever.
Culture and art is unique in terms of bringing humans together to cooperate and be creative. Our bilateral mid-term evaluation confirms that stakeholders from both beneficiary countries and donor states experience an increase in knowledge and mutual understanding of the partner’s culture and socio-economic environment.
Reinforcing the sense of belonging to a common European space is also at the core of the celebration of 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage. This year brings forward the notion that cultural heritage is more than just preserving old buildings. It provides European countries and regions with a unique identity, a crucial factor for developing cultural tourism and attracting investment.
In terms of potential contribution to society, the culture sector has, for some time, remained underdeveloped and ignored. In the past period, we have acknowledged that cultural heritage is a key resource for sustainable development and social unity. In the European Year of Cultural Heritage, we support initiatives that encourage and recognise Europe’s cultural heritage. It is without doubt a resource that can serve many purposes, such as engaging youth, protecting heritage sites and promoting cultural tourism that spurs employment.


More than €200 million in funding to cultural programmes, led to 497 projects which have enhanced people’s lives and created job opportunities.
We are proud to have supported many high quality activities. To this date, 11 of our projects have received the prestigious European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage (Europa Nostra Award). Furthermore, one of our projects in the Slovak Republic, The Pro-Monumenta Project, focusing on monitoring immovable national cultural monuments, has been included in The European Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st Century.
The EEA and Norway Grants support bilateral cooperation projects between the donor states and the beneficiary countries. It is estimated that more than half of all projects are implemented in cooperation with partners from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Through the projects, professionals get the chance to transfer knowledge and skills, and wider audiences are invited to participate in new productions and performances. The challenge will be to follow through on this recognition and continue a more innovative, dynamic and sustainable approach to cultural heritage.
Read about what will be supported in the culture sector in the 2014-2021 funding period.