The South-East European Experts Network on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) was established in 2007 under the auspices of UNESCO, in order to support the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention in South-East Europe.
Annual meetings since 2007 contributed to enhance a common understanding of opportunities and challenges linked to the safeguarding of the ICH as a key asset of South-East European cultural diversity, as well as to develop institutional and professional capacities within the relevant national authorities serving as a regional platform for sharing knowledge and good practices. Since 2018 the annual meetings focus on a specific thematic annually, so as to more effectively analyse issues raised by the experts and be integrated in the larger scale of ICH safeguarding agenda,
The present, 15th annual meeting is organized by UNESCO regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice, Italy) in close collaboration with the Living Heritage Entity, with the generous support provided by the Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe (Sofia, Bulgaria).
The 15th annual meeting of the South-East European Experts Network on ICH takes place in the midst of the revised Periodic Reporting process in the European Region. Following the training of country focal points for periodic reporting in Europe region organized by Living Heritage Entity in March-April 2021, the meeting aims at:
• Taking stock of the progress achieved regarding the PR process in South-East European countries;
• Sharing knowledge, experiences and advice on strategies, mechanisms and tools for PR process in the region;
• Identifying possible opportunities for reinforced regional cooperation in implementing the 2003 Convention and safeguarding ICH.
Finally, the meeting is an opportunity to discuss and advance cooperation on intangible cultural heritage safeguarding issues with and among Member States and other relevant partners in South-East Europe, confirming the importance of ICH to sustain the regional cooperation process.