Survey: Cultural Heritage is a Positive Force in Europe

Being involved with cultural heritage gives Europeans a sense of belonging. It is a positive force that brings us together, creates new economic opportunities and improves our lifestyles.  

These are just some of key findings of the recent Special Eurobarometer report, which explored citizens’ perceptions on and attitudes towards cultural heritage. Carried out at the request of European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, and coordinated by the Directorate-General for Communication, the survey reveals how Europeans feel about their heritage.

In the context of the upcoming European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, these findings highlight the meanings and values of cultural heritage that will be enforced during the celebrations.

The report focuses on discovering the scope of personal involvement with heritage, as well as its perceived importance for citizens. It also discusses the question of heritage governance and helpes identify potential barriers to accessing cultural heritage sites. The results offer an interesting insight into the different aspects of heritage, revealing that:

  • Most respondents (82%) feel proud of cultural monuments, historical site, works of art, and traditions from their region or country.
  • More than half (55%) recently accessed heritage-related information via the Internet.
  • 88% of respondents agree that school programmes should include lessons on Europe's cultural heritage.
  • 68% agree the presence of a cultural heritage site can influence their decisions regarding a holiday destination;
  • 80% think that the diversity of European culture sets it apart and gives it its particular value.
  • Citizens are actively involved in local cultural lives: Within the last 12 months, 61% of respondents have visited a historical monument or site, 52% have attended a traditional event, while a half has visited a museum or gallery.

These are just some of the figures that reveal the level of interest in cultural heritage and prove that it is a positive force throughout Europe. The report also outlines the results per countries, identifying some varying trends. What is common to all, however, is the fact that Europeans are aware of the values of cultural heritage and are willing to make it a part of their lives.

In 2018, when all European countries will come together to celebrate their shared heritage, citizens will have an opportunity to further their knowledge and understanding of their common histories and unique cultures.

The full Eurobarometer report can be downloaded here.