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 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 to promote the untapped potential of Europe’s heritage, cultural and natural, immovable and movable. 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.
Renovation Wave ELO EHH position paper: EHH and ELO are keen to actively contribute to the common climate and environmental objectives and are in favor of making the existing building stock more energy efficient. However, many energy efficiency measures cannot be applied without seriously damaging and altering the very essence of the European continent: its cultural heritage. The inclusion of historical buildings within the scope of the new Directives risks more than just the buildings, but the wider impact of cultural heritage on the economy. EHH and ELO, therefore, suggest taking measures to acknowledge the uniqueness of cultural heritage within the built real estate sector.
In a Communication adopted on 17 March, the European Commission charted the way ahead for a balanced policy and common EU approach to a gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions when the epidemiological situation will allow. In order to better coordinate Member States’ measures for the safe resumption of activities in the cultural and creative sector, the Commission will develop guidelines for all the artistic sectors
The Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) of the European Commission wrote a background paper and selected good practices for the cultural heritage field. The Work Plan for Culture 2019-22 invites the Commission to organise workshops in order to identify new sources of funding for cultural heritage and transferable best practices in order to promote its economic sustainability and does not provide any definition of “alternative funding for cultural heritage” since it can be broadly understood as financial schemes and means, be it public-private or private, which are complementary to the public support at local, regional, national and EU level.
The publication EU funding for culture intends to provide a first glance at the new generation of EU funding programmes 2021-2027 that are accessible for the cultural and creative sector, aiming to aims at providing insights into current and future EU support measures for the cultural and creative sector. Culture is considered an important pillar of the EU as it significantly contributes to social cohesion, building a common sense of belonging, and promoting shared values and cultural diversity. For that reason, the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU defines culture as a cross-cutting area that builds bridges and synergies to other policy areas. As a result, a wide range of European funding instruments is open for cultural and creative projects and complements the support that is provided by Creative Europe, the EU’s main program addressing the cultural, creative and audio-visual sector across Europe.
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.