Council of Europe: Industrial Heritage Year 2015

In a resolution adopted 8th of March 2013, by the Standing Committee meeting in Paris, the Assembly of the Council of Europe has made a series of practical recommendations to member States with a view to preserving Europe’s industrial heritage. To ensure that such protection is effective, the PACE has proposed that a European label for industrial heritage be developed. According to the conclusions of the rapporteur on this issue, Ismeta Dervoz (Bosnia and Herzegovina, EPP/CD), the Assembly has also invited the EU and UNESCO to consider the possibility of launching, together with the Council of Europe, a European Industrial Heritage Year in 2015, as proposed by E-FAITH (European Federation of Associations of Industrial and Technical Heritage).

Excerpt from the report:
Europe is justly proud of its industrial heritage, not least because it is a heritage which is universally recognised as being of profound international significance in the development of global industrialisation, but equally important, it is also locally the main provider of sense of identity of many territories. It is a heritage with which we can still identify, preserve its buildings and archival and photographic sources, and share its memories. It is also a common European heritage, with the transfer of technology and processes scarcely recognising national boundaries.

Across Europe, there are innumerable examples of such transfers of expertise, engineers and indeed of migration of labour. Thus lacemaking in Calais may reflect its English roots, car manufacture in London its Parisian influences, a textile mill in Schio its Belgian model while a colliery in Serbia has an Austrian steam engine and the gasworks in Athens were built by French engineers. The migration of labour is not a modern phenomenon – Huguenots from France established the English silk industry three centuries ago while British iron workers skilled the early 19th century iron industries in France and Belgium and British “navvies” constructed several of the early railways in Europe. More recently, Polish, Italian and Turkish immigrants worked the coal mines in Nord Pas-de-Calais and Limburg, all bringing distinctive cultures to their new workplaces.

The information on the E-FAITH campaign is on:
If your association hasn’t yet endorsed the memorandum, please do it now as soon as possible and send it back to secretariat @  p/a Vredelaan 72 B-8500 Kortrijk. Please ask other associations to endorse the memorandum too.

  • 18 and 19 May 2013: Roubaix (France): first meeting on the project “Factory chimneys and collective memory”
  •  25-27 Oct 2013: Neuchatel (Suisse/Switzerland): Annual E-FAITH industrial heritage weekend