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From Oslo to Mechelen – via Portoroz (Dag Myklebust)


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The speaker will present the background for The First European Conference on Voluntary Organisations in the Field of Cultural Heritage, which to place in Oslo 21 – 24 September 2000. This was a result of a process within the Cultural Heritage Committee of the Council of Europe. The choice of Oslo as venue was based on the fact that The Norwegian Society for the Preservation of Ancient Monuments has been continuously active since 1844.

Norway also has a very clear political consensus on the importance voluntary organisations have for consolidating democracy as a governing principle.

The results of the Oslo conference were used to draft a declaration on the role of voluntary organisations in the field of cultural heritage, which was adopted by the Vth Council of Europe conference for ministers responsible for cultural heritage in Portoroz in Slovenia in 2001.

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From Oslo to Mechelen – via Portoroz (Dag Myklebust)

  1. 1. The road from Oslo to Mechelen – via Portoroz Dag Myklebust Senior Adviser The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage Mechelen 23 March 2009
  2. 4. Council of Europe:   Working party on “New strategies” 1991-92.   Emphasis on the role of voluntary organisations  
  3. 5. Ministerial conference for Ministers responsible for cultural heritage   Helsinki June 1996.
  4. 6. the statement made by the Ministers responsible for cultural heritage at their 4 th European Conference in Helsinki in 1996 : “the role of voluntary organisations should be more effectively promoted, used and encouraged by taking into account the major contributions made by voluntary initiatives in building a democratic society”,
  5. 7. Working group set up by the Council of Europe.   Conclusion:   Norway should host a conference.  
  6. 8. Why Norway?  
  7. 9. Foreningen til Norske Fortidsmindesmærkers Bevaring   The society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments   Founded 1844
  8. 15. A meeting in Guadalahara in 1999
  9. 16. Vlaamse Contactcommissie Monumentenzorg ( VCM )   National Contact Monuments, Netherlands ( NCM )
  10. 17. Dag – to which authority do you in your country go to for getting permission to establish a voluntary organisation?
  11. 18. Target groups for the Oslo conference:   Countries in Central and Eastern Europe
  12. 21. <ul><li>Why the Norwegian government s are so concerned about having a strong sector of voluntary organisations:   “They are important factors in society due to the activity they perform   They are important as democratic participants, voicing the views and interests of their members   They are carriers of belonging, companionship and meaning, and are in many ways the “glue” of society   </li></ul>
  13. 22. Organisations are contributing in the confidence between people, and in this way give their contribution to reducing prejudice and antagonism   Organisations are important disseminators of knowledge and learning   The numerous conglomerate of organisations are contributing to a social plurality which in itself is a benefit, because it gives room for a variety of common values, cultures and interests.”
  14. 23. Minister of Environment Siri Bjerke at the Oslo conference:   “Finally I would like to underline the important role of voluntary organisations as critics of governmental policies and of the bureaucracy. I know that this may sound strange to you being said by a minister. But for us here in Norway, a government is only seen as truly democratic if it allows others to criticise its work. This of course does not mean that we necessarily agree with the criticism. But this dialogue is essential for a true and consolidated democracy.”
  15. 27. What happened afterwards?
  16. 28. The Vth Council of Europe ministerial conference for ministers responsible for Cultural Heritage meeting in Portoroz in Slovenia 6-7 April 2001 adopted a declaration on the role of Voluntary Organisations in the field of Cultural heritage
  17. 29.   8.      Governments should encourage voluntary organisations to take an active part in preventing conflicts by respecting cultural diversity and encouraging the protection of the culture of others.  
  18. 30. THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON THE VALUE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE FOR SOCIETY Opened for signature in Faro , Portugal, 27 October 2005.  
  19. 31. Section III – Shared responsibility for cultural heritage and public participation Article 11 – The organisation of public responsibilities for cultural heritage In the management of the cultural heritage, the Parties undertake to: a   promote an integrated and well-informed approach by public authorities in all sectors and at all levels; b   develop the legal, financial and professional frameworks which make possible joint action by public authorities, experts, owners, investors, businesses, non-governmental organisations and civil society;
  20. 32. c   develop innovative ways for public authorities to co-operate with other actors; d   respect and encourage voluntary initiatives which complement the roles of public authorities; e   encourage non-governmental organisations concerned with heritage conservation to act in the public interest.
  21. 33. Article 12 – Access to cultural heritage and democratic participation The Parties undertake to: a   encourage everyone to participate in: –    the process of identification, study, interpretation, protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural heritage ; –    public reflection and debate on the opportunities and challenges which the cultural heritage represents; b   take into consideration the value attached by each heritage community to the cultural heritage with which it identifies;
  22. 34. c   recognise the role of voluntary organisations both as partners in activities and as constructive critics of cultural heritage policies; d   take steps to improve access to the heritage, especially among young people and the disadvantaged , in order to raise awareness about its value, the need to maintain and preserve it, and the benefits which may be derived from it.
  23. 37. Who is hosting the   Second European Conference on Voluntary Organisations in the field of Cultural Heritage?