Economic Taskforce

The Economic Taskforce, one of the two committees of the European Heritage Heads Forum, was established at the annual meeting in Potsdam, Germany, in 2012 'to create a common methodology for collecting economic data of cultural heritage'. The first meeting was held in London, hosted by English Heritage, on 11 December 2012. The Taskforce was then revived at the annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in 2015 as a response to the European Commission’s initiative for improved cultural statistics - coordinated by Eurostat. Terje Nypan, senior councillor at the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage, accepted the function of chairman of the Taskforce.

The Economic Taskforce aims at formulating clear indicators for assessing the economic contribution of the physical Cultural Heritage at the European level in order to answer the current need for evidence-based policies. The European Commission fully supports such initiative as formulated in its communication ‘Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe’ published in July 2014 (COM(2014) 477 final).

The statistics developed should not only illustrate the cultural heritage itself (e.g. number of listed buildings), but also reflect how it is instrumental in generating economic and social value for other sectors – the so-called spill over effects. This analysis will highlight how cultural heritage is a “strategic resource for a sustainable Europe” (Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe, Council of the European Union, May 2014).

The Economic Taskforce concentrates particularly on the contribution of the physical cultural heritage to gross value added and to jobs generated. The four most impacted economic sectors are considered to be:

  1. The building and construction sector
  2. The tourism sector
  3. The real estate and property sector
  4. The cultural and creative industries sector