European Heritage Congress, the biggest annual event of cultural heritage, is arranged in Turku in St Michaels Church on May 11–15 2017, as a tribute to the centenary of Finnish independence. Prizes in the European Heritage Award Ceremony are presented by Plácido Domingo, President of Europa Nostra, together with EU Commissioner Tibor Navracsics.

The archipelago and the maritime heritage are well present. The theme of the congress is citizens’ ability to participate in heritage decision making. The event is organised by Europa Nostra and its country representation Europa Nostra Finland and in close cooperation with the City of Turku. Europa Nostra is a federation of heritage NGOs which campaigns to promote the safeguarding of cultural heritage and presents the European Union Prizes for Cultural Heritage jointly with Europa Nostra Awards.

Wide international participation and platform for networking

In addition to thousands of Finns, over 400 European guests are expected to attend the congress – professionals and volunteers, members of Europa Nostra and the European Heritage Alliance 3.3, partners from the wider fields of culture and economy, and representatives from various EU institutions and governmental networks.

The Congress will provide a unique platform for international networking, capacity building and peer learning, transnational cooperation and exchanges of views on the latest EU policy developments related to heritage. During the Congress, Europa Nostra will showcase a number of exemplary heritage initiatives in Finland by publishing a new issue of its Heritage in Action magazine entirely dedicated to this country.

The European Heritage Congress is supported by numerous public and private bodies from Finland and other European countries. As a core activity of Europa Nostra’s network project 'Mainstreaming Heritage', it has the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.