The “Ljubljana Process II: Rehabilitating our Common Heritage” continues the Council of Europe / European Commission Joint Programme, the “Integrated Rehabilitation Projects Plan / Survey of the Architectural and Archaeological Heritage” (IRPP/SAAH) implemented from 2003 to 2010. The IRPP/SAAH was set up by the President of the European Commission and the European Commissioner for Education and Culture and nested within the Council of Europe Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in South East Europe (RPSEE) as part of their contribution towards the stability and development of democratic, peaceful and free civil societies in South East Europe. IRPP/SAAH established a set of conceptual guidelines, underpinned by extensive practical documentation, designed to bring about tangible benefits, both for local communities and for the fragile historic environment itself, emphasizing the regenerative potential of the historic environment.
The introduction of the ’Ljubljana Process‘ in 2008 as the final phase of IRPP/SAAH (Conference of Ministers, Slovenian Presidency of EU) was premised on the idea that heritage objects are assets, part of the solution to economic development challenges rather than an obstacle to them. This aspect of the programme has helped secure the active commitment of political leaders in the region (Ljubljana Conference, Slovenia, 2009) and generated more important investments in selected rehabilitation projects.
The decision to implement the “Ljubljana Process II” was taken by the Ministers of Culture (Cetinje, Montenegro, April 2010) based on the full recognition of the principle of the ‘common European heritage’ and the main achievements of IRPP/SAAH (completed in 2010).
The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), created in 2008 to promote cooperation among the countries of South East Europe through the generation and coordination of development projects on a regional scale, took over the responsibility for overseeing the process. The RCC enables the political and financial sustainability of the permanent management structures that are set up as part of the Ljubljana Process II, supported by the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
* This designation is without prejudice in positions on status and is in line with UNSC 1244 and ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration on independence.