European Portal of National Heritage Organisations


The European Heritage Partnerships Workshop brought together practitioners from both governmental and non-governmental organisations which share similar objectives on heritage conservation and access throughout the European Union and the wider Europe. The Workshop, which took place in London on 21 and 22 May 1998, was co-ordinated by the National Trust in the framework of the European Exchange Programme. The European Exchange Programme promoted an exchange of experience between heritage conservation organisations. It provided an opportunity for practitioners to form partnerships and to bring their experience to task based projects covering a wide range of themes and to exchange experience and expertise with others.

The objective of the Workshop was to develop the practical work of the European Network of National Heritage Organisations (ENNHO), to allow members of ENNHO to discuss ways of taking the network forward and to determine a strategy for doing so. Set up following the “Conservation and Co-operation in Europe – Heritage Priorities and Partnerships” Conference/Workshop (Brussels, 1996), ENNHO is a loose network of national heritage organisations which aims to:

  • pool shared expertise and experience and act as an extra research resource for heritage conservation organisations;
  • make joint applications with other network partners to attract European funding;
  • make representation to the European Union Institutions and Council of Europe on issues of common concern.

The Workshop provided the participants of the European Exchange Programme with an opportunity to present the findings of the individual task-based projects they had completed during the Exchange visit to the rest of the participants. Following two Keynote Plenary Sessions which covered European Union (EU) environmental and cultural policy, delegates also discussed in Syndicate Groups some of the key EU policy issues which impact on the environment and cultural heritage, such as Agenda 2000 and the Cultural Framework Programme.
The Workshop concluded with further discussions which led member organisations to agree a strategy for the way forward for ENNHO, including the future structure of ENNHO and the establishment of new pan-European partnerships in ad-hoc working groups to work on heritage conservation projects. As a result of the meeting, the membership of ENNHO was widened through the inclusion of many new partners participating in the Workshop.

Exchange participants presented the conclusions of their task-based projects on the first day, ranging across a wide variety of heritage conservation issues, such as the management of historic estates and gardens and coastal management. On the second day, Plenary Sessions focused on current EU policy and funding issues, with presentations on EU environmental and cultural policy by a European Commission Cabinet Member and a Member of the European Parliament respectively. The delegates divided into Syndicate Groups for in-depth discussions on specific topics, including: Agenda 2000, Land-use and Spatial Planning, European Cultural Landscapes, opportunities for research and technological development and the Cultural Framework Programme.

The Workshop brought together, not only the participants of the Exchange Programme, but others from organisations including English Heritage, ICOMOS and the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
38 organisations took part in the European Exchange Programme in May 1998. Participants were practitioners, experts in their field and about mid-way in their career. They included architects, archaeologists, scientists, property managers, curators, wardens and specialists in areas such as education, training, coastal management, historic gardens, upland farm management, heritage retailing and commercial activities. They came from 26 countries throughout Western, Central and Eastern Europe to spend nine days working on specific task-orientated projects at properties around the UK, to contribute their experience and to learn from each other. Each practitioner was matched to a specific project according to their individual skills in order to maximise the benefit to all participants. A requirement of the Programme was that participants were able to disseminate the findings of the Exchange widely in their home countries and beyond.
High level speakers from the European Commission and European Parliament, from the UK Government’s Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), and from ICOMOS, Austria, gave presentations during the Plenary Sessions or led the discussions in the Syndicate Groups.

Sir David Williamson, Honorary European Adviser to the National Trust and former Secretary-General of the European Commission, chaired the session in the context of ENNHO. Laurs Norlund, Chef de Cabinet for the European Commissioner for Environment Policy (Mrs Ritt Bjerregaard) gave a presentation on European Environmental Policy and Roy Perry, MEP and Chair of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee gave a presentation on European Cultural Heritage Policy. The Plenary Session concluded with a presentation on the ENNHO Website (currently under development) and demonstrated by Rob Noble, from the Website provider, Transaxion.
From the European Commission, Ronnie Hall, DG XVI, led the discussion on Agenda 2000, Roderick Hurst, DG XII, led the discussion on opportunities for research and technological development, and the Cultural Framework Programme discussion was led by Theo Mastrominas, DG X. Christabel Meyers, DETR, led the discussion on Land-use and Spatial Planning, and the European Cultural Landscapes discussion was led by Hans Peter Jeschke, ICOMOS, Austria.

Funding Organisations
The European Heritage Partnerships Workshop was supported by the European Commission, the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the British Council and ICOMOS UK.