On May 9, 2022, on Europe Day, the memorandum of understanding on the establishment of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for Central and Eastern Europe in Krakow was signed by the Mayor of Krakow, Professor Jacek Majchrowski and Professor Hermann Parzinger – Executive President of Europa Nostra.
Selection of Krakow to partner Europa Nostra in its mission to advocate for heritage on pan-European level was not coincidental. During the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, hosted by Krakow in 2017, for the first time in the Committee’s history, non-governmental organisations took the floor. Their message was read out at the assembly by the Secretary General of Europa Nostra, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović. The activity of the Hub in Kraków is another step towards strengthening the position of non-governmental organisations dealing with cultural heritage, whose tradition in the city dates back to the 19th century.
Europa Nostra Heritage Hub was conceived as a showcase of Krakow in terms of activities carried out in the field of cultural heritage by non-governmental organisations. The activities undertaken by the Hub will be two-way in nature – on the one hand, they are to serve the objectives of Europa Nostra in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland and Krakow (transfer of knowledge and competences, networking), and on the other hand, to integrate Krakow’s achievements in the field of cultural heritage into the international circulation. The activities of the Hub will turn Kraków into one of the most important civic heritage centres in Europe – next to The Hague and Brussels, where the Europa Nostra Secretariat operates, Athens, where a regional hub was also established, and other cities, such as Venice and Lisbon, which are making efforts to create such European offices.
In the competition for the operator of the Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for Central and Eastern Europe organised by the Department of Culture and National Heritage of the City of Kraków the Society of Friends of Kraków History and Heritage was selected.