Faro - Participation in Cultural Heritage

Heritage brings people together and ensures that our rapidly-changing surroundings retain their familiarity. The European Faro Convention emphasizes this social and connecting value of heritage and the importance of participation by society. This is why, in the years ahead, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands will be working in close collaboration with heritage organizations to explore how citizens’ initiatives and participation can best be encouraged and facilitated.

Signature and ratification of the Convention

The Faro Convention also defines a movement in the heritage sector that is growing stronger: the use of cultural heritage to achieve social goals. Think of an old fortress maintained by a group of people with a distance to the labour market. Or the celebration of Saint Martin in Utrecht, an enormous public event where different groups of people come into contact with each other.
For institutions and governments who already put people at the heart of heritage care, the Faro Convention is an incentive to continue on this path. For others, it often means a new way of working. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science wants the Faro principles to become an integral and normal part of Dutch heritage practice. An important milestone in this process is the signing of the Faro Convention in January 2024 by the government. If parliament approves (ratifies) the convention, it enters into force. The Faro Convention applies to the European Netherlands and the Caribbean Netherlands (Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius).

In addition, five Member States are signatories to the Convention: Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Netherlands and San Marino. Click here for the current state of affairs.

Catalyst for further development

In the Netherlands, the Faro Convention is therefore not the start of a new heritage practice, but above all a catalyst for further development. On the way to ratification and implementation of the convention, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) is working with the heritage field on an Implementation Agenda. An important basis of this agenda is the already existing Faro practice in the Netherlands and abroad. Based on interviews with people in the heritage field and the analysis of practical examples, three spearheads have been identified that form the backbone of the Implementation Agenda.

Faro Initiatives

The government has set up a financial scheme for the period 2023-2025. This scheme is intended to bring the existing system heritage care and policy more in line with the Faro principles. There are now 26 initiatives that have received a financial contribution from the Faro Implementation Agenda.