The Baltic Region Heritage Committee – BRHC (former Monitoring Group on Cultural Heritage in the Baltic Sea States – MG) was established in 1998 and is composed by nominated representatives of state authorities in charge of national heritage management in nine countries. The activities focus both on intrinsic value of cultural heritage and its sustainable management. The BRHC promotes the potential of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for developing the Baltic Sea region.
The main task of the BRHC is to provide that the cultural heritage in the region is identified, acknowledged, valorised, preserved and used as an important resource for the prosperous, innovative and competitive region.
The mandate to create an action plan for the common heritage in the Baltic Sea States was included in the Lübeck Declaration adopted by the 3rd Conference of the Council of the Baltic Sea States – CBSS – Ministers of Culture (Lübeck, 22 Sept. 1997). In accordance with this decision, a group of senior heritage experts was established in April 1998.
The Committees´ work is organized in three working groups under the supervision of the BRHC:
- Underwater Cultural Heritage – Its aim is to study the implications and possible content of a regional agreement to protect underwater cultural heritage in the Baltic Sea. This includes the prohibition of CBSS nationals and ships flying member-state flags from interfering with historic wrecks and archaeological structures.
- Coastal Culture and Maritime Heritage – The aim is to deepen the cooperation between authorities concerning the coastal culture and its development and to draw the attention to the strategies for sustainable use of coastal areas. Special attention should be given to documentation and presentation of coastal culture in terms of research and exhibitions.
- 20th Century Built Heritage – The aim is to develop a deeper knowledge regarding postwar built heritage, its architecture and how municipal planning in the region can contribute to a better understanding of the various values embedded in this era and facilitates, in extension, necessary mediation to decision makers.
The members represent the national bodies in charge of cultural heritage. The involved countries under the umbrella of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein), Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden. Russia is suspended from further participation in the BRHC activities in response to the unprovoked and illegal war now being waged by Russia against Ukraine, the Ukrainian people and the country’s authorities.
The chairmanship rotates between member states on an annual basis according to the presidencies of CBSS.