European Portal of National Heritage Organisations


ENNHO’s first General Assembly took place in Brussels on 16 June 2000 at Scotland House. Over fifty participants representing heritage conservation organisations from twenty-three European countries were present to witness the official inauguration of the Network following two years of preparation by the Secretariat and the Core Group.

Events began with a welcome dinner on 15 June, held in Brussel’s Solvay Library, a fine nineteenth century Art Nouveau building. Keynote speeches were delivered by senior representatives of the European Commission and Parliament. Lord Williamson, Honorary European Adviser to ENNHO and former Secretary General of the European Commission, Klaus van der Pas, Director General for Education and Culture, European Commission, Roy Perry MEP, involved in the Budget for the Committee on Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport, European Parliament.

On 16 June, proceedings began with a welcome speech by Bernard Zepter, Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission, who gave an enlightening and uplifting speech on ‘The European Union as a Community Based on Shared Values’. The full text of Bernhard Zepter’s speech is available from the ENNHO Secretariat.
The General Assembly then focused on the elections of officers and the Executive Board. An ‘Exchange on the Exchange’ Fair was held over lunch. This enabled delegates who had worked on different projects within the framework of the EEP to exchange their experiences and talk about the benefits of the Programme with their ENNHO colleagues and a wider public, including representatives of the European Commission. The Fair was opened by Caroline Mierop, a Member of the Cabinet of Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for European Commissioner for Culture and Education.
During the break for lunch delegates were treated to an impromptu display of traditional Polish sword-dancing arranged by Executive Board member Michal Smoktunowicz, Polish Heritage – Culture and Nature.