In the context of the European Heritage Days, the European Heritage Forums are annual international crossroads for all stakeholders involved in the interpretation, communication and dissemination of the cultural heritage. Such forums offer once a year an opportunity for dialogue among heritage professionals and professionals from other sectors of society.

 The 4th EHD Forum is organised in Wrocław (Poland) on 11 October 2011 on the theme "Value the Heritage! European Heritage and Economic Development". The annual meeting of EHD coordinators will be also be held on 11 October and will be followed by a one-day training session on 12 October on "communicating the European dimension of the EHDS: successful media work and creating networks".

 The idea of the European Heritage Days was launched in Granada (Spain) on 3 October 1985, during the Second Conference of European Ministers responsible for Architectural Heritage of the Council of Europe. On that occasion, the French Minister of Culture suggested that the “Monuments Open Doors” scheme launched in France in 1984 should be extended to other European countries. Several countries such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Belgium, the United Kingdom (Scotland) and Sweden soon set up similar events.

The aims of the European Heritage Days are to:

  •   make citizens aware of Europe’s cultural diversity and wealth ;

  •  create a climate conducive to intercultural dialogue and appreciation of the rich mosaic of European cultures ;

  •  combat racism and xenophobia, encourage greater tolerance in Europe across national borders and enhance the sense of belonging among all Europeans ;

  •  inform the public and the political authorities of the need to protect cultural heritage from new threats ;

  • encourage Europe to respond to the social, political and economic challenges it faces.