Europe’s cultural heritage and arts – promoting our values at home and abroad

  • Action type: HORIZON-IA HORIZON Innovation Actions
  • Opening date: 4 October 2023
  • Closing time: 7 February 2024 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 4 000 000 of total € 13 000 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 3
  • Official website


Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Further increase the visibility of and access to European arts and culture internationally.
  • Develop and test pilot solutions based on a model that will allow cooperation between local, national and European level and establish strategic alliances between art and cultural sectors and with other sectors.
  • Assess the effectiveness of good practices, programmes and policies that promote the EU priorities, culture and fundamental values abroad.
  • Strengthen the CCIs presence worldwide by promoting the European arts internationally.

The European Union should endeavour to use its cultural and creative assets to better assert its influence around the world. The arts can play an important role on building the contemporary image of the EU by increasing the visibility of the European identity, cultural heritage and the promotion of its values. In addition to the cultural benefits, the increased visibility of European arts and culture abroad can foster a sustainable and inclusive local, regional and national development and growth, including the growth of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs), while influence countries outside the EU on important societal issues, such as the protection of the environment, peace and security, migration, gender equality, justice, or freedom of expression.

However, when it comes to the presentation of the European traditional arts and culture abroad there is still lack of cooperation between national and European level. Even though there is a lot of funded research on the benefits of the European arts and culture and the ways to increase their visibility, the EU does not yet have an aligned vision and approach on how to promote the European values and identities through arts and meet common goals on behalf of the EU.

The objective of this innovation proposal is to test existing practices and policies that enable arts and culture to promote European values and identities outside Europe, allowing people to experience European arts, culture and traditions both in their original environments and settings and by visiting the rich European cultural landscapes. It also aims to identify potential existing barriers and propose a mixed model for cooperation that will take into account participation at the local, national and regional level and the coordination of different sectors and stakeholders. In this analysis, the presence of the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) should be considered.

Building on existing evidence, including from projects funded under topic HORIZON-CL2-2022-HERITAGE-01-02, proposals should identify creative practices, policies and programmes that aim to increase the attractiveness of the European arts (including digital arts) and culture abroad. They should collect good innovative practices developed at the EU and national level and develop small-scale pilots that will test their efficiency. Proposals should identify and analyse the barriers, shortcomings and needs of the existing policies and practicities and propose policy recommendations for improvements.

In this context, the proposals should also analyse the extent to which the existing practices and policies encourage coordination among countries as well as coordination among bodies at regional and local levels as well as the role and support of the EU on the cooperation and harmonisation of the Member States’ actions, as regards the of European arts’ promotion abroad.

The proposals may also look after the potential impacts of new regulations on the arts sector, including the copyright Directive that was adopted in March of 2019, and evaluate their effectiveness as regards their international access to European works of arts and performing arts.

The proposals should propose pilot policy solutions based on a mixed model that will allow cooperation at local, national and European level, better cooperation of the art sectors and the CCIs, while establish strategic alliances with other sectors.

The proposed mixed model should be developed and tested in wide and diversified partnerships of stakeholders. The proposals should develop policy recommendations for integrating this innovative mixed model into the arts policies.


This destination adopts a people-centred perspective and places cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries at the very heart of the European economy and its sustainable development. European R&I activities under this destination will support and strengthen European cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries essentially under three areas:

Green: Europe’s cultural heritage and its cultural and creative industries need to share their responsibilities for adapting to the consequences of climate change, and mobilise their resources to support European citizens and societies for an inclusive, socially and culturally sustainable climate transition. A participatory approach to European cultural heritage and digital transformations in the preservation of tangible and intangible heritage will guide new endeavours.

R&I actions will focus on, for example, supporting the cultural and creative industries to turn the challenges of the climate transition into opportunities, and become drivers of an inclusive societal transition. R&I actions will foment the development of new environmentally friendly technologies and methods to manage, restore and preserve cultural heritage, with a view to making Europe a world leader in sustainable management of cultural heritage. R&I will also strengthen our capacity to manage anthropogenic threats. Support to the New European Bauhaus initiative is part of this area, integrating the core New European Bauhaus values of sustainability, inclusion and aesthetics.

Digital: The digital transition promises enormous opportunities for Europe’s cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries, but also serious challenges. It is important to ensure that, through the digitisation, EU citizens benefit from cultural heritage and be enabled to contribute to its enrichment. Digitisation should also provide new training opportunities on creative industries for young citizens in less populated areas.

R&I actions will focus on, for example, innovative approaches to empower the cultural and creative industries, including its many micro enterprises, to reap the benefits of using digital technologies, creating more appealing and valuable products, services and experiences for its users. R&I actions will deepen our knowledge on what, how and why digitised and digital cultural heritage may be exploited, reaping the benefits while avoiding the many pitfalls, and creating societal value. Collaborative platforms for cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries will be supported. A dedicated call, namely HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01, will support the establishment of a digital European cultural heritage collaborative space, including a cloud platform for European cultural heritage institutions. Such platforms will strengthen the collaboration and co-creation among cultural heritage institutions and with other stakeholders in the cultural heritage domain, widen access for citizens and strengthen research. Please consider below some key characteristics and specific conditions of the call. Also, cooperation between different actors within the cultural and creative industries and between the CCIs and other economic sectors and industries will be strengthened, creating new market opportunities for CCI stakeholders.

Innovative: To an ever greater degree, creative and cultural aspects drive socio-ecological innovation, participatory democratic processes and economic growth. Successful new digital and physical products and services need to be appealing and attractive, adapted to cultural particularities. Similarly, societal transformations such as the green and digital transitions depend on behavioural changes, which are largely based on changes in lifestyle, culture and perceptions. In such processes, the human is at the centre, and cultural heritage, the arts and the cultural and creative industries are key.

R&I actions will cover a variety of subjects, such as strengthening the innovation capacity of the cultural and creative industries, and their capability to act as innovation engines. Actions will focus both on cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries holistically, as an innovation ecosystem, and on specific CCI sectors such as music, filmmaking and video games. Actions will also foment innovation in cultural tourism, as well as explore innovative connections between cultural expressions and democracy and politics. Actions will also support the development of new innovative technologies and methods to restore, preserve and manage cultural heritage, as well as re-inforce the role of Europe’s cultural heritage in promoting European values among EU citizens and abroad.

The innovation ecosystems created and nurtured by the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), in particular the KIC “EIT Culture and Creativity”, may contribute to innovation actions under this destination, and should as appropriate be considered.

In line with the Commission priorities, R&I actions under this Destination will help promote the European way of life, contribute to achieving the Green Deal goals and support an economy that works for people. They will contribute to the New European Bauhaus[[ The New European Bauhaus initiative was launched by European Commission President von der Leyen in her State of the European Union speech autumn 2020. More information here:]] initiative, to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to building a stronger, more participatory and crisis-resilient society and economy. They will support the realisation of the full potential of cultural heritage, arts and cultural and creative industries as drivers of sustainable innovation and a European sense of belonging.

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