In november 2009 industrial heritage associations from different European countries and regions met in Calais (France) to discuss cross-border co-operation and exchange of experiences and information. There was a large concensus on the proposal to launch the idea of an European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year.
During the following meetings this idea was further developed.
A campaign was launched which makes an appeal to heritage and (local) history associations in every European country to support the initiative.
As a first step, in 2012, a Memorandum was drawn to rally as much as possible national, regional, local and thematic associations round the common Memorandum.
Associations have asked to have this memorandum approved by their board or general assembly, to copy the text on their letterhead and to send it duely undersigned (by at least two responsibles of the association) to E-FAITH.
A list of associations who did endorse the memorandum can be found here.
The associations and representatives who took part in the London E-FAITH weekend of October 2012 decided to designate 2015 to be the European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year - thus to happen exactly 40 years after the pioneering European Architectural Heritage Year of 1975. In 2013 the idea was taken up and endorsed in a report and a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The campaign for a European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year arose clearly from the grassroots and is growing bottom-up, in contrast with most other European campaigns that are initiated top-down. Thus it is an exemplary example of citizens’ initiative and the power of associations. It will also be an experiment and a test which will show how public authorities and public institutions do respond to and encourage, how they appreciate and support the devotion and efforts of volunteers and voluntary associations.
In most European countries volunteers and NGOs are working hard to turn ‘2015 European Industrial and Technical Heritage Year’ into a succes.
May we call everbody, organizations and individuals, to join this initiative - it’s upon you and so many other to take up the challenge.