ACE welcomes the Council conclusions on “culture, high-quality architecture and built environment as key elements of the NEB initiative”


On 30 November 2021, EU ministers responsible for culture adopted Conclusions on culture, high-quality architecture and built environment as key elements of the New European Bauhaus initiative. The Architects Council of Europe very much welcomes these conclusions and congratulates the Slovenian Presidency of the Council for the excellent work.

These Conclusions are a key element of the Council’s Work Plan for Culture 2019–2022 and in particular the work achieved by the Member States’ expert group on High-quality Architecture and Built Environment for Everyone, which recently published its final report, Towards a shared culture of architecture

In furtherance of the 2018 Davos Declaration, the Council underlines the important role of Architecture and the built environment, seen as “embodiments of past and present culture, ways of living and values”. They “establish the stock for our cultural heritage of the future and contribute to shaping our societies and identities”.  

The Council also importantly recalls that Architecture is of common interest: “Architects (…) play a central role in all phases of the development of high-quality architecture and living environment and, can therefore contribute in a significant manner to the public interest”.

The ACE very much welcomes the Council’s call on the EU Member States and the Commission to “work towards a holistic, inclusive, transdisciplinary, high-quality-led and long-term vision for architecture and the built environment” and to “embed a quality-based and holistic approach in all policies and activities that have an impact on the built and living environment”. The ACE very much supports this quality-based and holistic approach which can be a game-changer in the transition to a more sustainable, inclusive and beautiful built environment.

The Council rightly identifies public procurement as a key lever of action, calling for “public procurement rules, regulatory simplification and innovative procedures that foster a high-quality-based approach over a solely cost-based one”. 

ACE President Georg Pendl said: “These Council Conclusions are a major step forward for achieving high quality architecture as it places it at the heart of the public interest and situates it as a basic need in everyone’s life. Everything that is stated in this document is highly valuable and I would like to add, in the chapter on public procurement, the wish for a special chapter for intellectual services to make the prevalence of quality-based selection procedures possible. This is only method of selection that can guarantee the positive results suggested by the Council’s conclusions”

The Architects’ Council of Europe will promote the Council conclusions within its network and  continue to work closely with all the European institutions to create an enabling regulatory framework for high-quality architecture.   

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