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Complementing the strong EU commitment to the European future of the region and as part of the Western Balkans Strategy, the European External Action Service announced today the EU – Western Balkans Cultural Heritage Route, a series of initiatives and events that will promote the rich cultural heritage of the Western Balkans.
“The Western Balkans are part of Europe. We all belong to the same European family. We share a common history and cultural heritage. We share the same interests in the present, and we will share a common future inside our European Union”, said the EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.
“Cultural heritage helps us learn about each other and ourselves. It builds bridges between people, between communities – and between the past and the future. That is why cultural heritage has a key role to play in building a cohesive, resilient, united Europe,” said Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
The year 2018, as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, is an opportunity to celebrate the role of Europe's cultural heritage in fostering a shared sense of history and identity. In addition, culture has a significant impact on economic growth, tourism, intercultural dialogue and creative industries which are all fields of action important for the European integration process of the Western Balkans.
Through a number of events, the Cultural Heritage Route aims to connect sites and highlight the European Union’s support to the preservation of culture in the region. As the Strategy announced, the EU will continue to foster the cultural links with the region.
This will include work to protect the Western Balkans cultural heritage and promote its cultural and creative industries.