Sustaining the effects of investments remains one of the most burning problems in the management of cultural heritage. Many cultural institutions have difficulties to cover even basic maintenance costs. This issue is of great importance to the whole EU area, where recent economic downturn put cultural heritage at the bottom of the priority list. According to the EC Sixth Report on economic, social and territorial cohesion stronger emphasis has to be given to sustainability, as an explicit objective of cohesion policy. This shift is also mirrored in the increasing focus on sustainable growth in the Europe 2020 strategy.
The main aim of the KEEP ON project is to improve public policies in the cultural heritage sector in terms of delivering high quality projects that allow results to remain sustainable with reasonable public funding and have long-lasting impact on regional development. Both policy organisations and cultural institutions should plan for sustainability long before the project start date. When the public funding is over, how do institutions sustain their work for the future? How do they get funds for their future functioning? How can public policies support beneficiaries in the self-sustainability of their projects? The KEEP ON project will address these questions from an EU-wide, interregional perspective.
The KEEP ON project brings together partners from Southern Europe countries having extremely rich cultural heritage, but also the most vulnerable economies (ES, PT, IT, GR), accompanied by Poland (largest EU cohesion policy beneficiary), the Netherlands (cultural policy model with high involvement of local communities) and an advisory partner from Croatia. In total 6 policy instruments (3 structural funds programmes, 3 local/regional strategies) will be improved through interregional learning process. The KEEP ON project intends to provide a valuable input to all EU stakeholders with special focus on the forthcoming post-2020 cohesion policy.