Euro-Mediterranean Heritage,an opportunity for dialogue

The inter-relationship between cultural heritage, development, awareness and tourism has been attracting considerable attention of late. The complexity and the changes they introduce present new challenges and require new ways of addressing constantly emerging problems. In Europe, considerable progress has been accomplished in this direction and this has nurtured the conviction that culture will be the making of Europe and will support its citizens as they blossom and prosper. In the context of the Mediterranean region – cradle of such a mixture of civilisations, witness to millennia of cultural exchanges as well as “cultural clashes”, and stage where the age-old relationship
between Europe and the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean has been played out through the ages – Europe has emerged as both a major actor and a major stakeholder. The birth of the Euromed Heritage Programme (EH) in 1998 is one of the outcomes of the 1995 Barcelona Declaration, and can be perceived within the above context1. Timely and influential in regions at the conjunction of Europe and its Mediterranean neighbours, the Euromed Heritage programme is an expression of this relatively new geo-political configuration. Euromed is a new “borderland zone on
the edge of Europe”2, and the programme embodies the potential that cultural heritage incorporates as “a tool for a policy of openness, tolerance, peace and stability in the region”3. Euromed Heritage: a worthy perspective on cultural heritage development