About the programme

In 2021, the International Heritage Cooperation Programme succeeded the Shared Cultural Heritage programme. Although shared heritage remains relevant for the Netherlands, the focus of this current programme has shifted towards shared challenges.

Central to the International Heritage Cooperation Programme are the social challenges in which international cooperation has added value over national cooperation. This enriches heritage care in the Netherlands as well as in the partner countries. In addition, in this way the RCE supports relations with other countries and contributes to Sustainable Development Goals.

The programme is part of the International Cultural Policy of the Netherlands 2021-2024, which the RCE implements with various partners.

For more information about our programme, please check the document "International Heritage Cooperation Policy Note 2021-2024".

Our focus

We are building further on the experience gained in previous years within the Shared Cultural Heritage programme. Between 2021 and 2024, we focus on fostering connections and exchange that can enrichen heritage conservation in the Netherlands and the partner countries. And on the contributions that the RCE can make to the joint development of knowledge, expertise and instruments, and sharing the results thereof. To make that possible, we create space for experimentation in shaping heritage conservation in cooperation with the international field.

In our work with other countries, we focus on challenges where international cooperation offers greater added value than national cooperation alone, based on issues identified with the partner countries. A demand-driven approach is essential in ensuring the sustainability of international cooperation. The RCE plays a proactive role in identifying challenges, and seeking out partners with shared interests. In assessing potential challenges, the following criteria are applied: relevance, urgency and added value.

Programme goals

  • Fostering connections, exchange and cooperation in order to enhance heritage conservation in the Netherlands  and in the partner countries
  • Developing new knowledge and expertise together for the purpose of societal challenges where international cooperation offers greater added value than national cooperation alone
  • Ensuring that knowledge and expertise developed within the programme are visible and accessible