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Discussing Cultural Heritage Policy of Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine

Public discussions in the frame of the program CHOICE last week in four countries of the Eastern Partnership.
Following the first public discussion held in Kyiv (Ukraine) on 25th April organized in the framework of the project CHOICE, ALDA - key partner of the program - in partnership with other national organizations, had a second public discussion on the same theme, which was held last 28th April also in Chisinau (Moldova), Minsk (Belarus) and in Armenia.
The events were great platforms to discuss and share methodical findings and policy recommendations about historical and cultural heritage, elaborated in the past two years of implementation of the project CHOICE.
CHOICE aims at enhancing civil society’s role and building its capacities to develop a heritage-friendly living environment in Belarus, Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine. The public discussions about cultural heritage also provided a local perspective on the topic - sharing the results of small projects implemented under the granting scheme of the project CHOICE and reflect on the role of civil society in the process of development of cultural policy of the countries.
The events were attended in the four countries by representatives of the Ministry of Culture, civil servants, local and central authorities, business partners and experts in the field of cultural heritage, such as methodologists, philosophers, analysts, cultural anthropologist, lecturers, and researchers.
The European Cultural Heritage Strategy for the 21st century was presented within the public debate. It redefines the place and role of cultural heritage in Europe and provides guidelines to promote good governance and participation in heritage identification and management, and disseminates innovative approaches to improve the environment and quality of life of European citizens. The strategy sets challenges, recommends actions and highlights best practices to be followed by all actors and stakeholders – governments, local authorities, civil society and professionals. The "Strategy 21" is based upon and comes in support to existing Council of Europe's conventions in the field of heritage, in particular the Faro Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society.
During the public debates, the results of the projects that are implemented in the four countries by the public associations in partnership with national and local museums, local and central public authorities were presented. The projects are implemented in the framework of the small grants of the project CHOICE, which is funded by the European Commission.
The discussions were also devoted to the peculiarities of the national context of these countries for the work with historical and cultural heritage, the main factors and the challenges faced by professionals of the field on daily basis. Special attention was given to the establishment of a new collective actor to address common professional issues of heritage protection and interpretation.
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