At the last meeting of the Culture Council on 27 November, EU Ministers adopted a new Work Plan for Culture for the years 2019 to 2022.
The Architects’ Council of Europe very much welcomes this Work Plan and congratulates the Austrian Presidency for its excellent work.
The Work Plan is articulated around five main priorities: 1) Sustainability in cultural heritage; 2) Cohesion and well-being; 3) An ecosystem supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals and European content; 4) Gender equality; 5) International cultural relations. 17 specific actions will be undertaken by the Commission and Member States to achieve the ambitions set out in the Work Plan.
OMC Group on High-quality Architecture
As regards “Cohesion and well-being”, EU Ministers note that “special attention should be paid to (…) the quality of architecture and the living environment”. A Group on High-quality architecture and built environment for everyone will be set up under the so-called Open Method of Coordination (OMC). The OMC is an intergovernmental means of governance in the EU, based on the voluntary cooperation of Member States, which designate experts to exchange good practices/ achieve a specific objective.
The High-Quality Architecture OMC Group will focus on “architecture as a discipline that encompasses the right balance between cultural, social, economic, environmental and technical aspects for the common good. Multi-disciplinary and participatory governance models contributing to social inclusion and sustainable development of neighbourhoods will be analysed".
The OMC group will be working from 2020 to mid 2021, and should lead to a conference hosted by Austria in the second half of 2021 and possibly to Council conclusions in the first half of 2022.
An OMC Group on Adaptation to climate change will also be created to “identify and exchange good practices and innovative measures for the historical environment in relation to climate change” and another action will aim at developing “guidelines governing the next generation of EU funds, ensuring quality principles for the conservation and safeguarding of heritage. ACE is also very pleased to see that actions will be undertaken towards the Young creative generation and Gender equality in the cultural and creative sectors.
Read here the letter of introduction by ACE President Georg Pendl, summarising the essential message of the Plan.