Tax incentives for cultural heritage conservation
Recommendation 1634 (2003)

Doc. 10365
29 November 2004

Reply from the Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 904th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (17 November 2004)

1.             The Committee of Ministers has considered with much interest Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1634 (2003) on tax incentives for cultural heritage conservation. It has forwarded it to the governments of its member states.

2.         Like the Assembly, the Committee of Ministers considers that Recommendation No. R (91) 6 on measures likely to promote the funding of the conservation of the architectural heritage continues to be relevant.  It invites the CD-PAT to hold an exchange of views at its next ordinary meeting on the measures taken and the difficulties to which implementation of this Recommendation may give rise.

3.         With regard to a comparative review of existing systems and publication of the results, the Committee of Ministers points out that the European Heritage Network (HEREIN information system) could in future constitute an appropriate tool for such work. Moreover, on the basis of a mandate given by the Committee of Ministers, the CDPAT is currently elaborating a draft Framework Convention on the cultural heritage aiming, notably, at stressing the need of Parties to establish the legal, financial and professional framework necessary for concerted action by public authorities, experts, owners, investors, undertakings and civil society and to develop the exchange of good practices.

4.         In practical terms, a contribution will be made by the Technical Cooperation Programme's[1] legislative support task force, which plans to prepare a work of reference on these matters.

5.         Having made the information gathered by international organisations available to governments, it is up to each government to decide how the ideas can best be applied in their own taxation system.

Appendix to the reply

Technical Cooperation and Consultancy Programme

In 1973, at the request of the member states, the Committee of Ministers drafted a code of practice for the programme - "Rules for technical assistance relating to the integrated conservation of the cultural heritage of monuments and sites".  The programme evolved in time as refinements and adjustments were made, and the Rules had to be revised in 1979 and in 1987.

In the light of the changed political and economical situation in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which has led to the accession of these countries as new members to the Council of Europe, the Rules were revised by the Bureau for the Council of Cultural Cooperation in December 1992. The new "Rules for the Technical Cooperation and Consultancy Programme relating to the Integrated Conservation of the Cultural Heritage" were adopted at that time.

The Programme is one of the principal tools in this area.  It supports member states in solving complex problems linked to the protection, conservation, promotion, management, use and re-use of the architectural and archaeological heritage, the protection and development of sites and landscapes, together with the resulting urban planning problems, all in the integrated view of social and economical sustainable development.

The structure of the Programme is based on informal groups of high-level experts, as for instance, the “Legal Support Task Force” (CAL) created in 1997.  The CAL is responsible for evaluating legislative texts, providing assistance in preparing new texts, as well as setting out the conditions for their application.  The CAL also contributes to the publication of “Road maps” and guides of good practices in the legal field.

Since 2002, the Programme has been implemented as part of the “Technical Cooperation and Field Action Unit” (DGIV).

[1] See Appendix to this reply.