In August 2013, the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission (DG EAC) submitted a request to the EENC (the predecessor of EENCA), for the identification of the main challenges for cultural heritage in Europe and the policy areas in which future action at EU level could provide more substantial value added, through a consultation with experts in this field. In the context of the consultation, a broad definition of cultural heritage has been adopted, based on the Council of Europe’s 2005 Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (also known as ‘Faro Convention’): “Cultural heritage is a group of resources inherited from the past which people identify, independently of ownership, as a reflection and expression of their constantly evolving values, beliefs, knowledge and traditions. It includes all aspects of the environment resulting from the interaction between people and places through time.”
The European Commission's 2014 Communication "Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe" underlined the importance of maximising the intrinsic, economic and societal value of cultural heritage, in order to promote cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue.
The Expert Group on Cultural Heritage was established under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014 for the Societal Challenge 5 'Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials'. The Expert Group on Cultural Heritage has published a report recommending research and innovation actions for cultural heritage that can contribute towards smarter, more inclusive and more sustainable development.