Europe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage of monuments, historic cities, archaeological sites and world famous museums attracts millions of visitors each year. Moreover, heritage plays a major role in individual and collective identity by contributing in all its tangible and intangible forms to the cohesion of the European Union through a common inheritance. The project JHEP (Coordination action in support of the implementation of a Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) on cultural heritage and global change: a new challenge for Europe) enabled Member States and Associated Countries to address challenges through a joint transnational approach. Project partners created and implemented a management structure with associated activities, which enabled public research programmes to respond to major societal challenges. The results were disseminated and an evaluation framework developed to address the impacts. Long-lasting cooperation and integration was achieved between government ministries and research institutions over the lifetime of JHEP. At the same time links were forged with the main international organisations concerned with cultural heritage. JHEP provided a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) that combined a bottom up approach with a scientific and institutional perspective on cultural heritage research activities at a European level. The SRA helped overcome the diverse and potentially conflicting approaches used by the cultural bodies and institutions responsible for Europe’s cultural heritage. The work conducted by JHEP has strengthened the position of Europe as an international leader in cultural heritage research through its involvement in major international programmes and by supporting policymaking at the European level. It also marks an important step towards raising public awareness and the creation of a European Research Area in cultural heritage.
Cultural heritage, JHEP, Joint Programming Initiative, Strategic Research Agenda, European Research Area