Today, on February 25th, the government approved Estonia's accession to the Council of Europe Framework Convention. The Faro Convention emphasizes that cultural heritage is a valuable resource for society and an inherent part of sustainable development.
“By acceding to the Convention, Estonia affirms that cultural heritage plays an important role in modern society and that Estonia bases its heritage policy on international principles,” Minister of Culture Anneli Ott said. “Cultural heritage is a resource that only increases as it’s used,” Ott added.
The Faro Convention is an international agreement that provides a new approach to cultural heritage. Unlike other conventions, it does not focus on heritage conservation, but deals with the values attributed to heritage. The text emphasises that cultural heritage is a valuable resource for society because, in addition to its cultural dimension, it also has environmental, economic and social dimensions. It also stresses that cultural heritage improves people's quality of life, diversifies the living environment, is a source of creative activity, and plays a role in sustainable development.
Another central idea of the Convention is the right of everyone to participate in cultural heritage, as the responsibility for cultural heritage is both individual and collective.
The framework convention does not create specific obligations for action by the signatories, but rather is a set of principles. The member states can choose the approaches that best suit their legislation, principles and practices.
The Convention was opened for signature to the member states in Faro, Portugal on 27 October 2005 and entered into force internationally on 1 June 2011. The Faro Convention has been ratified by 20 member states of the Council of Europe. And six have signed it, but not ratified it. For Estonia, the Convention shall enter into force three months after the date of deposit of the instrument of accession with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.