Policy, legislation and funding for cultural and built heritage asset preservation in South East Europe

Submitting Institution

Northumbria University Newcastle

Unit of Assessment

Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Built Environment and Design: Architecture

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Summary of the impact

This research has had transformational impacts: systematically providing evidence of the state of cultural heritage policies concerning nine countries in South East Europe; identifying the need for management tools to integrate inventories, environmental and spatial planning, heritage protection and funding mechanisms for projects to enable sustainable use of heritage resources; helping shape a Council of Europe regional programme; creating the framework for legal/administration reform requests by the states concerned; and has led to technical assistance actions, jointly funded by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, including monitoring to ensure the institutionalisation of methodologies in national policies and strategies.

Underpinning research

Professor Pickard has, for the last 20 years, been a technical consultant to the Council of Europe on cultural heritage issues, a member of its expert group, the Legislative Support Task Force (Cellule d'appui législatif — abbreviated as CAL) since 1997, and its co-ordinator since 1998.

In 2003 the Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe (RPSEE), covering Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, was established with the aim of contributing to peace and reconciliation in a region undergoing complex political, legal, economic and social transition. Its principal components are:

  • heritage rehabilitation within a sustainable local development framework;
  • creating an integrated approach to conservation, planning and development issues;
  • an Institutional Capacity Building Plan (ICBP) to effect this.

The CAL, led by Pickard, was commissioned to undertake research and technical assistance through the ICBP. Three research projects were carried out (commenced in 2004) by CAL members Pickard and Goblet (Attachée, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale, Belgium) through detailed surveys on legal, policy and heritage management issues according to standards established by the Council of Europe conventions on Architectural Heritage (1985), Archaeological Heritage (1992) and Landscape (2000) (European Treaty Series nos. 121, 143 and 176).

These were directed to national authorities (ministries and relevant institutions) responsible for cultural heritage, environmental protection, sustainable development and spatial planning in the nine countries. The research outputs referenced in Section 3 effectively record the analysis and conclusions drawn from these projects and provided a platform for further actions (References 1, 2 and 3).

The first project analysed the state of cultural heritage policies in each country, recording the significance of heritage assets, political strategy concerning the management of heritage reflecting transition from communist regimes, legislation, institutions, financing and issues relating to ethnicity (following the destruction of heritage and ethnic cleansing in the Balkan wars). The second project investigated the state of documentation (inventory) and the extent of integration of heritage protection in spatial and urban planning policies, as well as authorisation, supervision and enforcement procedures. The third project examined the state of progress in developing and implementing policies for sustainable development associated with heritage assets

Issues arising from the research were considered at three international seminars, involving senior officials from the countries and invited international experts, chaired by Pickard. From the debates and contributions (including Pickard), the outcomes and recommendations were finalised and edited by Pickard for publication in 2008 (References 1, 2 and 3).

In parallel, between 1998 and 2008, Pickard investigated European and North American best practice mechanisms for funding the architectural heritage through interviews with national, state and provincial authorities, heritage organisations, building owners and developers, case studies and a literature review.

The summative results were published by the Council of Europe and now form part of the Reference Framework for the RPSEE (Reference 4), and reported elsewhere (e.g. Reference 5). Pickard also led the revision of Council of Europe guidelines for legal and administrative reform in the field of cultural heritage in 2010-11 to assist the RPSEE (Reference 6).

The research on which this case study focuses was carried out by Professor R Pickard (joined Northumbria 1983, with a career break from July 2010 to his re-joining in 2013), part of the Urban Regeneration & Architectural Design Group during the period.

References to the research

Copies available from Northumbria University on request

1. Pickard, R. (2008) (Editor of book/author of parts) Analysis and reform of cultural heritage policies in South-East Europe, European Heritage Series, book published by Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg (ISBN 978-92-871-6265-6). REF 2 copies sent to HEFCE.

2. Pickard, R. (2008) (Editor of book/author of parts) Integrated management tools in the heritage of South-East Europe, European Heritage Series, book published by Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg (ISNB 978-92-871-6264-9). REF 2 copies sent to HEFCE.

3. Pickard, R. (2008) (Editor and /author of parts) Sustainable Development Strategies in Europe, book published by Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg (ISBN 978-92-871-6371-4). REF 2 copies sent to HEFCE.

4. Pickard, R. (2009/2010) Funding the architectural heritage: a guide to policies and examples/ Financement Du Patrimoine Architectural: Politiques et Pratiques, 2009 in English /2010 in French, book published by Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, (ISBN 978-92-871-6498-8 English; ISBN 978-92-871-6815-3 French). REF 2 copies sent to HEFCE.

5. Pickard, R. (2010) `Funding mechanisms in Europe: a synthesis' and `Synthesis of Debates', Proceedings of a workshop on Heritage Economics and Conservation Funding published through the European Union's Euromed Heritage Programme 4 for Strengthening the institutional and legal framework with the Ministry of Culture, General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums, Syria, at pp. 55 - 88, (available at:

6. Pickard, R. (2011) (Editor/author) Guidance on the development of legislation and administration systems in the field of Cultural Heritage, 2nd edition/ Orientation pour le développment de législations et de systémes de gestion du partrimoine culturel, 2eme edition. Book published by Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg (ISBN 978-92-871-6922-8 English; ISBN 978-92-871-6921-1 French) — available from HEI on request.

Details of the impact

The research has impacted upon the policies of the Council of Europe, helping to shape its regional programme and regulatory frameworks, and also on the associated Balkan states providing structure, guidance and advice to aid the rehabilitation of their cultural heritage.

1. Impact on the research sponsor itself, the Council of Europe, through its expert group, the Legislative Support Task Force (CAL) (Source 1). This work (References 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6) has made fundamental contributions to the direction of the European Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe (Source 2) through influencing its Reference Framework. (Sources 3 and 4). In view of this, the Council of Europe has commended the work for addressing:

"related problems of administrative organisation and...heritage funding where this is linked to legal and administrative protection mechanisms, as well as dissemination of good practice, as illustrated in the Reference Framework" (Sources 3 & 4)

The Reference Framework, in turn identifies the three books derived from the international studies (References 1-3), the research book on Funding the Architectural Heritage (Reference 4) and related guidance, the revision of which was co-ordinated by Pickard (Reference 6), and encourages states to refer to these `in the process of drafting new laws and policies' (Source 5).

2. The work (in particular References 1, 2 and 3) has impacted on the legal and regulatory frameworks of the countries in question. Real change has been effected through enhancing heritage conservation, improved cultural understanding and knowledge of integrated conservation mechanisms and rehabilitation processes. This has been recognised by Council of Europe itself in regarding the three international studies (References 1-3) as having provided:

"...multilateral assistance for the benefit of the region" and that: "Legal Assistance requests are being formulated by different countries/regions on the basis of the results..." (Sources 3, 4 and 6)

The work (principally References 2, 3 and 4) has provided an important basis for legal and institutional capacity building and rehabilitation projects relating to Heritage in South East Europe and has provided countries with a better basis for applications to the European Union to secure funding for rehabilitation projects. (Sources 1, 6, 7 and 8). Robert Palmer, Director of Culture and Cultural and Natural Heritage in the Council of Europe until 2012, has stated that the three European Heritage Series publications (References 1-3) constituted:

"...an important working basis for on-going and future projects in South-East Europe as well as in other priority regions of intervention for the Council of Europe". (Source 9).

Further actions have been taken by Pickard through the CAL to influence heritage legal reform. He assisted in the drafting of legislation which culminated in a new Cultural Heritage Law (Law no. 02/L-88) being approved by the Assembly of Kosovo and the subsequent approval of seven associated Ministerial regulations in 2008. (Source 10)

3. Subsequent actions have taken place through the Ljubljana Process (launched 2008; extended 2011) (Source 7), funded jointly by the Council of Europe/EU, to highlight the role of heritage in implementation of national development strategies and encourage the development and funding of rehabilitation projects. A process commenced in 2012 to establish Heritage Assessment Reports for each country to identify issues, obstacles and challenges to be addressed in order to consolidate the methodology and improve institutional capacity through Action Plans. These were developed by Pickard through a questionnaire with information gathered from inter-ministerial working groups specifically established, and confirmed through six follow-up workshops (led by Pickard between 2012-13). From Autumn 2013-14 monitoring action commenced regarding the implementation of identified priority actions, through a pool of experts (Pickard responsible for Bosnia and Herzegovina and FYR Macedonia).

`Funding the Architectural Heritage' (Reference 4) provided evidence that the measures identified in Council of Europe Recommendation R (91) 6, and adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 11 April 1991, did indeed: "support the funding of the conservation of the architectural heritage" as they were intended to.

This delivered authoritative information on funding mechanisms/management systems that assisted the development of good practice and informed the updated guidance produced by the CAL expert group on legal and administration reform (Reference 6, Source 1) and in the UK, where the paper `Funding sources and strategies: Europe and beyond' was presented at a conference organised by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, the UK Association of Preservation Trusts and Glasgow City Heritage Trust (Glasgow, 18 - 20 Nov. 2010) and published in Context (the Journal of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation), No. 118, March 2011 at pp. 12-15 (ISSN 0958-2746). The book led to other internationally-invited work and further publications, including the discussion of funding mechanisms in relation to the European Commission's Euromed Heritage 4 Programme that supported reform initiatives in non-European Mediterranean countries. (Reference 5).

Sources to corroborate the impact

  1. Council of Europe: Legislative Support Task Force (CAL):
  2. Council of Europe: Regional Programme on Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe (RPSEE): http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/cooperation/SEE/default_en.asp
  3. Council of Europe: South East Europe: Institutional Capacity Building Plan (ICBP). Benefit derived from the three European Heritage Series studies (Refs. 1, 2 and 3):
  4. Testimony available from Secretariat, Managing Diversity Division, Directorate of Democratic Governance, Council of Europe.
  5. Council of Europe: South East Europe: Reference Framework, (Refs. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6):
  6. Testimony available from Project Co-ordinator for Republic of Serbia, Local Development Pilot Project in the context of the Council of Europe's Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe.
  7. Council of Europe, South East Europe: Integrated Rehabilitation Project Plan/Survey of the Architectural and Archaeological Heritage and the Ljubljana Process II, based upon the agreement of the Ministers of Culture for S.E. Europe (6-7 November 2009) available, respectively, at
    http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/cultureheritage/cooperation/SEE/IRPPSAAH/default_en.asp, and
  8. Testimony available from Advisor on Cultural and Historical Heritage, Sector for Identification, Protection and Use of the Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture
  9. Palmer, R. (2008) `Foreword', in Pickard, R. (ed.) Sustainable Development Strategies in Europe, European Heritage Series, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg, at pp. 7 (Ref. 3).
  10. Republic of Kosovo: Annual Government Report 2008: Section 17. Culture, Youth, Sports,
    http://www.kryeministri-ks.net/repository/docs/ANNUAL_GOVERNMENT_REPORT_2008.pdf at pp. 157.