The European Historic Houses has an advocacy role towards all relevant European institutions and stakeholders on behalf of owners of historic houses.
It aims at raising awareness on historic houses and ackowledge the enormous contribution of their owners to the preservation of our common heritage. We want citizens and politicians to understand that owners dedicate their time, money, effort and passion to preserve these houses.
We work in several policy areas affecting owners of historic houses at European level and rely on our members to share our messages at national level.
Voices Of Culture is an organisation which structure dialogue between the European Institutions and the cultural sector. The topic of ‘The role of culture in non-urban areas of the European Union’ was brainstormed the 4th & 5th of February 2020 at Fagus-Werk in Alfeld, Germany. EHH was a part of 35 cultural organisations participating. EHH had taken over the writing of a section of the brainstorming report, in order to prepare the dialogue meeting for this topic which took place in April 2020.
The CULT Committee is a group of consultation for the civil society toward the EU Institutions specialised for the cultural sector. In 2020 EHH participated in this consultation among 37 other organisation which were sharing about how to bring green initiatives to the EU programmes with an emphasis on transports (trains over planes) catering (local and organic) and zero-waste behaviours.
The committee is responsible for all the cultural aspects of the Union such as the dissemination of culture, cultural heritage, cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as for education, audiovisual policy, information and media policy, the cultural and educational aspects of the information society, youth and sports.The Committee also regularly holds public hearings to gather evidence from experts in the fields of its competence. EHH is regularly consulted and invited to meetings and discussions.
The European Heritage Alliance 3.3 is an informal European sectoral platform composed of 49 European or international networks and organisations active in the wider field of cultural heritage. Europe major heritage networks agreed to work more closely together to promote the untapped potential of Europe’s heritage, cultural and natural, immovable and movable. The Alliance founding members bring together Europe’s civil society organisations, historic cities and villages, museums, heritage professionals and volunteers, (private) owners of collections of artefacts, historic buildings and cultural landscapes, educators, town planners, etc. The name of this Alliance refers to the article 3.3. of the consolidated version of the Lisbon Treaty of the European Union which stipulates that “[The Union] shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.”
European Historic Houses takes part to the Expert Groupe on Cultural Heritage of the DG EAC and make the voice of the private owners heard toward the European Commission. EHH is advocating on all related cultural heritage fields.
Energy efficiency regulations
We are working to prevent further measures directly affecting historic building and their owners, regarding the application of the Energy Performance of Building Directives (EPBD), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).
We advocate for examptions regarding historic buildings to be introduced when relevant within European legislation.
We collaborate with the European Property Fund & International Union of Property Owners.
We promote alternative, sustainable cultural tourism within historic houses in Europe as a way of reducing tourism overflow in some European cities.
This is a subject we will focus in the coming years, notably by promoting networks of historic houses and developing thematic cultural routes.
Virtuous fiscal environment
We are promoting the idea of a virtuous fiscal environnement for historic houses, notably by supporting reduced VAT rates on preservation and renovation works in historic houses.
We believe that:
- Attractive tax policueus would encourage owners to carry out renovation works, including relating to energy efficiency regulations
- Preventive works are more cost-effective in the long term than post-damage reconstructions
- Such works would stimulate the employment of local, skilled crafstmen
- Attractive tax policies would be an alternative to subsidized grants
We also promote virtuous fiscal and regulatory frameworks relating to the operations of SMEs as part of a historic house’ business model.