Brussels, 15 September 2017
The European Union adopted a programme worth €2 million to support confidence building among the ethnic communities in Kosovo through cultural heritage protection.
The European Commission adopted this week a programme – under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) – worth €2 million to support cultural heritage protection in Kosovo. The programme will support the continued rehabilitation of important cultural and religious sites, the development of cultural and rural tourism, as well as engaging communities to work together on cultural heritage protection. In doing so, this programme will contribute to greater understanding and reconciliation between ethnic communities.
This programme will build on the results of an earlier EU-funded project that focused on renovation and rehabilitation of cultural heritage sites. This new programme will expand these activities, widen its geographical scope and increase engagement of the local civil society. The development of cultural and rural tourism is also envisaged, to render the protection of cultural heritage economically viable and attractive to communities. Local restoration workshops will be established to bring together artisans and specialists in cultural heritage restoration to share experiences and pass skills on to younger generations. This programme will not only focus on tangible cultural heritage sites but will also bring the communities together to work on intangible cultural heritage (such as traditions, performing arts, cuisine, crafts). Particular focus will be placed on engaging youth and women.
The European Union has played a leading role in the international efforts to build a new future for Kosovo since 1999. Kosovo has a clear European Union perspective as part of the wider Western Balkans region, and the European Union plays a prominent role in its reconstruction and development. The EU is by far the single largest donor providing assistance to Kosovo and the Western Balkans region, and is at the forefront of the reconstruction effort.