Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Programme funding

EUR 70 million
To contribute to the creation of "an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe" and to "the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore".


Raphael is established to encourage and supplement action taken by the Member States in the field of cultural heritage, in recognition of the importance of integrating the different aspects of cultural heritage (both movable and non-movable) into a coherent Community action.

Drawn up in the context of Article 128 of the Maastricht Treaty which gives the Community competence in the area of cultural heritage, the objectives of the programme are to be achieved by focusing on a number of specific activities, aimed at:

- Contributing to the development and promotion of cultural heritage;
- Encouraging cooperation at the European level (pooling of knowledge, expertise and practices in matters of heritage preservation);
- Supporting the stepping-up of research and common practices in the heritage field in order to realize Europe's potential;
- Improving access to heritage and the supply of information on it for the public at large so as to contribute to the affirmation of a European citizenship through greater knowledge of heritage;
- Fostering cooperation with non-Member countries and competent international organizations.

All operations supported under the programme must take account of the accumulated body of Community programmes in the areas of training and education, and research and technological development. A particular emphasis is placed on promoting cooperation between training and/or research establishments. Priority attention is also given to the development of applications and standards for advanced information and communication technologies and services in the area of cultural heritage.


Five areas:

- Development and promotion of the cultural heritage in Europe:
To encourage the development and pooling of optimal practices and to create an environment conducive to the preservation of cultural heritage:
. Support for projects to preserve the movable or non-movable heritage that qualifies as "European heritage laboratories";
. Support for "European heritage sites" on common themes related to the preservation of the movable or non-movable heritage;
. Support for the development of better practices and European standards for managing and projecting cultural heritage;
. Promoting the acquisition and joint management of major works of art;
. Development of projects and studies with a cultural focus, to complement other Community activities;

- Networks and partnerships:
To help enhance transnational cooperation, exchanges and pooling of experience and the preservation of the European dimension of heritage:
. Support for the creation of "European heritage sites" by specific theme;
. Development and dissemination of information tools for use by networks of professionals working on cultural heritage;
. Support for transnational cooperation projects between museums and/or monuments aimed at highlighting the European dimension of heritage;
. Support for cooperation projects between training and/or research institutes, e.g. inventories, evaluation methods, shared analysis, scholarships, exchanges, dissemination of information;

- Access to heritage:
To promote projects with a European dimension to raise public awareness and to encourage the use of advanced communication technologies and services:
. Inclusion of measures aimed at raising public awareness in all projects receiving Community support under the Raphael programme;
. Support for multilingual presentations in museums, monuments and sites;
. Support for the application of advanced information and communication technologies and services giving professionals and the public access to heritage, e.g. pilot projects, studies or seminars on a particular problem for the heritage sector;

- Innovation, further training and professional mobility:
To promote the exchange of experience and encourage mobility and further training for professionals working on cultural heritage:
. Support for identifying subjects for research, the dissemination of results and the development of practical applications;
. Support for organizing conferences and colloquia with a European dimension;
. Cooperation projects aimed at setting up exchange programmes for professionals in the heritage field;
. Support for basic and advanced training for professionals in the heritage field on the use of advanced information and communication technologies and services;

- Cooperation with third countries and international organizations:
To develop projects with third countries and create synergies with activities undertaken by other international organizations, in particular the Council of Europe:
. Support for projects to preserve the movable and non-movable heritage, particularly monuments and sites on the World Heritage List;
. Participation in projects related to networks and partnerships or the creation of complementary projects;
. Participation in projects to make heritage more accessible to the public, e.g. European Heritage Days; . Encouragement for professionals in the heritage field to participate in research, training and professional mobility.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by the Advisory Committee to be established under the Kaleidoscope 2000 programme. This consists of one representative from each Member State and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Projects undertaken in the framework of the Raphael programme must:

- Have a European dimension and offer a genuine added value with respect to action taken in the Member States;
- Help to promote cultural heritage;
- Contribute to the development of better practices and greater knowledge and expertise in matters of conservation;
- Be of relevance at Community level because of their exemplary or innovative and informative nature, or have a multiplier effect in cultural, educational or socio-economic terms.

Financial support from the Community will be made available to assist the implementation of activities under the programme. In general, this only covers a portion of the cost of a particular project, not exceeding 50% of the total costs. Community funding may exceptionally exceed 50% of the costs, or even cover the entire cost of a measure, in the following cases:

- Research work and projects carried out by third parties where requested directly by the Commission;
- Organization of meetings and conferences held on the Commission's initiative;
- Grants to young researchers and professionals in training or as part of exchange measures.

The Commission will seek to develop projects under Raphael with non-EU countries, in particular by extending the programme to those countries in Central and Eastern Europe which have signed cooperation agreements with the Union and by promoting cooperation on a project-by-project basis with certain countries in Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Cooperation with international organizations will focus on the development of synergy arrangements, in particular with UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The Commission hopes to foster regular consultations with these organizations on subjects and activities of common interest and, possibly, join in the setting up of a cooperation project on monuments and sites on the World Heritage List.

Three years after the start-up of the programme, but no later than 30 September 1999, the Commission is required to draw up a report evaluating the results achieved, together with appropriate proposals, where necessary, for adapting the programme to any requirements which may arise in the course of its implementation. Upon completion of the programme, but no later than 30 September 2001, the Commission will draw up a final report on the implementation of Raphael and the results achieved. Both the interim and final reports will be presented to the Council, the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions.
Record Number: 512 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05