The Forum, also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the first Forum organised in Gdańsk in 2003, gathered around 100 participants from the Baltic Sea states to discuss and debate “Heritage & Crises”. It was organised jointly by the National Institute of Cultural Heritage of Poland and the National Maritime Museum in Gdańsk, in collaboration with the BRHC.
During the Baltic Region Heritage Committee meeting held in connection with the Forum, three new working groups of the BRHC were established: Climate Change, Illicit traffic of cultural goods, and Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. These groups reflect the current challenges in safeguarding. These Working Groups bring together civil servants and experts to jointly tackle practical questions related to and take concrete actions in safeguarding heritage around the Baltic Sea.
Informal discussions between the Baltic and Nordic EPA (The Enlarged Partial Agreement on the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe) coordinators have raised the issue of better use of the Cultural Routes of
the Council of Europe programme in the Baltic Sea region.
In August 2023 there is 47 certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and the routes cover a range of different themes like architecture, pilgrim paths and other religious heritage, industrial heritage and figures of European art, music and literature, including also intangible heritage. The route networks implement activities in five main priority fields of action, which are also requirements for the certification:
co-operation in research and development; enhancement of memory, history and European heritage; cultural and educational exchanges for young Europeans; contemporary cultural and artistic practice;
cultural tourism and sustainable cultural development. More effective use of the Cultural Routes programme would benefit the preservation and sustainable use of cultural heritage and the development
of cultural tourism in the region.