On the 10th November, the European Commission published a recommendation on a common European data space for cultural heritage. The recommendation recognises that:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the strengths and vulnerabilities of the cultural heritage sector and the need to accelerate its digital transformation to make the most of the opportunities provided.
  • Cultural Heritage is an important contributor to the European economy, fostering innovation, creativity and economic growth.
  • There is an urgent need to protect and preserve European cultural heritage, and, in particular, endangered cultural heritage.

In particular, the Commission would like to accelerate the digitisation of cultural heritage assets. Most relevant to 4CH are the following points which align very closely to the objectives of 4CH:

  • Member States have various approaches to cultural heritage, addressing the specific characteristics and needs of cultural heritage institutions to a varying extent. A comprehensive digital strategy for the cultural heritage sector, setting up a clear and concrete vision and the most appropriate means for implementing it, would ensure a more effective policy response and make the sector stronger. In order to achieve an effective digital transformation, establish confidence and strong cooperation, Member States should involve all the relevant stakeholders in preparing the strategy.
  • The development of advanced digital technologies, such as 3D, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, data technologies, virtual reality and augmented reality, has brought unprecedented opportunities for digitisation, online access and digital preservation.

One of the solutions proposed is the creation of a common European data space for cultural heritage to foster the reuse of content and spur creativity in various sectors, building on the work of Europeana.

Further information including links to the PDF of the full recommendation in the main European languages: https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/news/commission-proposes-common-european-data-space-cultural-heritage