Throughout 2018 – the European Year of Cultural Heritage – the European Union is celebrating Europe’s diverse cultural heritage to provide an opportunity to Europe’s citizens to discover and explore common heritage in all its forms. To mark the European Year of Cultural Heritage and the official launch of the CULTURWB network, a consortium of institutions and organisations aiming to promote the cultural heritage of the European Union and the region, the EU Info Centre organised the international conference “Cultural Diversity: The Common Heritage of Humanity”.
“The European Union is committed to promoting cultural diversity, protecting cultural heritage, easing obstacles to the mobility of cultural professionals, and supporting the contribution of cultural and creative industries to boosting growth and jobs across Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a lot of potential and it is important that this potential is recognised and promoted,” noted Khaldoun Sinno, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina. “The EU has supported numerous projects and initiatives with the aim of preserving and promoting the common cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region, as an integral part of the EU’s values, and we will continue to provide support to preserve the uniquely interconnected culture and nature that you have here,” underlined Sinno.
The international conference gathered relevant representatives of BiH cultural and tourist organisations and institutions, and featured experts from the European Union, who presented the latest developments in the field of cultural tourism and the possibilities for promotion of the cultural heritage of the region, underlining the importance of tourism to the economic and social development of every country. Dino Mujkić, Director of Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures, highlighted the impact of cultural heritage on the promotion of the tourist offer of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the economic boost the sector can achieve. “Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sarajevo in particular, are symbols of cultural diversity. We have been working for years in order to create bridges that will promote the culture and cultural tourism offer of the country, and our goal is to link all relevant stakeholders to work together, a goal that the initiative CULTURWB aims to achieve,” said Mujkić.
The conference aimed to reinforce entrepreneurship within the cultural and creative sectors, and to encourage the development of creative clusters or incubators in order to facilitate access to financing and establish an enabling business environment. During the Conference, the Erasmus+ financed CULTURWB network was officially launched. The network is the part of the project which addresses the need for strengthening the development of the cultural tourism industry in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.
The European Year of Cultural Heritage has seen the organisation of thousands of events all across Europe, gathering millions of people with the aim of enabling dialogue and exploration of the common European identity. Cultural diversity is an integral part of the values of the European Union.