ADRIATIC – IONIAN INITIATIVE
Round Table on "Culture"
Final Joint Statement
The first and the second session of the Round Table on Culture under the Slovenian presidency were chaired by Ms Jelka Pirkovic, State Undersecretary at the Ministry of Culture. The main topic of the Round Table was cultural heritage in the region and co-operation for its protection and enhancement.
The Round Tables were attended by delegations from six Adriatic Ionian Initiative Member States, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia. The list of participants is in the Appendix.
In the introduction, the participants reviewed the current situation regarding the cultural heritage in their respective countries, and exchanged views on pending issues. The main part of the agenda was devoted to the presentation of general and individual themes by Slovenian participants, and complemented by presentations of cases from other Member States. Slovenia selected the themes according to the following criteria:
- Concrete examples in the existing co-operation between Slovenia and at least one Adriatic Ionian country that is potentially of common interest of other Member States,
- Projects that represent good practice (standards) in data collection / processing and cultural heritage conservation in the framework of large public works and in implementation of international legal instruments (conventions),
- Projects that show an integrated approach to the conservation of cultural heritage and have the potential for a multiplying effect on other sectors, represented in other Adriatic Ionia Imitative Round Tables, especially environmental protection and sustainable development, economy, tourism, SME, education and inter-university cooperation.
Archaeological research in heritage protection
The countries of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative should be encouraged to take advantage of new technologies and ethical standards of preventive and non-destructive archaeology as formulated by the La Valletta convention.
We agree that a better co-operation is needed between research and higher education institutions on one hand and heritage protection authorities on the other in making practical steps to implementing these techniques in preparation of heritage inventories, development planning and management of large infrastructure projects.
The Adriatic Ionian Initiative can promote greater co-operation between institutions of higher education and awareness raising for general public. In this respect, the Round Tables on Culture endorses the draft project for inter-university co-operation formulated by the University of Ljubljana “Integrated non-destructive research techniques for the complex heritage sites” and invites partners from Adriatic Ionian Initiative countries to join the project that could be co-funded through EU Socrates/Erasmus programme other financial mechanisms (Tempus, CEEPUS).
Underwater cultural heritage
We strongly support the intentions of our authorities to sign and ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Underwater Heritage or to improve national measures for the protection of this heritage.
We propose a more realistic promotion of co-operation in the form of concrete bilateral or multilateral projects, while closer co-operation is advisable in terms of professional training of underwater archaeologists and exchange of good practice, especially in the field of (strategic) archaeological heritage impact assessment as an integrated part of environmental impact assessment in coastal areas.
We are highly satisfied with the preliminary political support to the bilateral co-operation between Croatian and Slovenian Ministers of Culture in this field and we urge other Members of Adriatic Ionian Initiative, especially Italy and Croatia, to include it in bilateral agreements. We are convinced that practical steps (financial and administrative) will follow the political agreements in order to enable the implementation of such co-operation.
We support the idea of co-operating in creating a database on underwater and other maritime archaeological heritage (harbours, shipwreck sites) including a compendium of legal systems in individual Member States regarding the protection of underwater heritage. The database could be founded through EU funding.
Integrated conservation of protected heritage areas
Conservation of historical urban and rural centres, cultural landscapes and other heritage areas are extremely demanding in terms of their management, revitalisation and inclusion into modern life. In this respect, Adriatic Ionian Initiative Member States have to take into account not only cultural heritage along the coast but also the cultural environment in the hinterland.
We stress the need of close cooperation between inhabitants, municipalities, national authorities, economy, especially the tourism sector, and civil society in conservation and enhancement of protected heritage areas.
The Adriatic Ionian Initiative can be used as a framework for testing innovative development planning tools, such as cultural heritage impact assessment, sensitivity mapping of coastal and adjacent zones, developing multilingual glossary of terms in conservation and databases for sharing good planning and management practices and technical know-how.
Saltpans as eco-museums
The existing network of saltpans museums of Slovenia, Italy and Greece is an excellent example and provides a good starting point for future co-operation.
Saltpans eco-museums need to be promoted as an opportunity for integrated approach to coastal management where different initiatives (archaeological research, environmental concerns and sustainable development in form of tourism) can be successfully put into practice.
We support concrete initiatives for co-operation in the framework of Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums (AMMM) that were formulated during the meeting in Palermo, Italy (19th – 21st September 2003) to make an application for the co-funding the project in the framework of EU Culture 2000 programme.
We strongly support the idea of one integrated project covering large scope of themes of individual Round Tables, possibly under the title “Maritime traffic, tourism, environment and culture” and covering the general theme of Integrated Coastal Zone Management as put forward by Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2002 concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe (32002H0413), and urge states, members of the EU and the Adriatic Ionian Initiative to negotiate joint funding opportunities.
We strongly believe that the newly established University in Koper, Slovenia can be used as a means for the promotion of integrated training programmes on tourism, protection of environment and cultural heritage.