Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The European Commission published its implementing decision on 13 December 2011 for the fourth year of the five-year programme Preparatory actions for preserving and restoring cultural heritage in conflict areas in the Western Balkans for the year 2011. A maximum amount of EUR 500 000 has been allocated by the European Union for the preparatory action Sustaining the Rehabilitation of Cultural Heritage in the Western Balkans. The grant is contracted to the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Secretariat, to be implemented by the RCC Task Force on Culture and Society.  

In their efforts to secure public and private funding for heritage rehabilitation projects, national administrations and their partners (local authorities, civil society, property owners) often need small, urgent funds, whose deficiency may compromise the implementation of the action.  Grants from donors for conservation/restoration works generally do not include a budget for preliminary investigations and expertise nor for the preparation of tender documents or management plans necessary for the implementation and sustainable management of the projects. 


The grant intends to contribute to the successful implementation of Ljubljana Process and the rehabilitation of monuments/sites by assisting participants at specific points of project development with small incentives to bridge gaps. These points have been identified based on the past seven years’ experience of the Ljubljana Process and should ensure the successful completion of 

“consolidated projects”[1], thereby increasing the visibility not only of the donors and the implementing organizations but also of the monuments and sites themselves. Incentives may be provided in the form of sub-grants (up to €10,000) or procurement contracts. The funding will also encourage and support public authorities to take further responsibility for consolidated projects listed in Ljubljana Process Priority Intervention Lists (PIL) which are expected to or have already entered the fundraising phase. Furthermore, the implementation of the sub-grants and contracts will be an important learning experience for the Technical Teams in managing small projects according to EU standards and regulations.

The duration of the grant action will be 20 months (from September 2012 until April 2014).

Supported Activities

Objective: To avoid irreversible deterioration of monuments and sites while the technical process for elaborating the rehabilitation project and raising funds is being carried out.

Description: In principle, this is an obligation of the central or local authorities responsible for the particular monument or site. The purpose of the small grants is to ensure that the consolidated projects do not undergo irreversible deterioration thereby compromising negotiations for attracting and securing larger funds. The urgent intervention implies very quick, small works that will visibly increase awareness of responsible institutions, owners and users. Furthermore, it can encourage future small funds for maintenance of the monument or site, highlighting the fact that maintenance is always less costly than restoration.

Objective: To complete a Feasibility Study with firmly supported findings and accurate estimates in order to identify the most viable options for the rehabilitation of monuments and sites.

Description: It is crucial that accurate assessments and estimates in the Feasibility Study be prepared to make it a useful document in the process of rehabilitation and securing funds. Investigations such as soil and material research, structural analysis and measurements, chemical examinations, environmental conditions studies, surveys, preventive archaeology, conservator tests for wall paintings etc. are necessary initial steps in any conservation process. Nevertheless, they are often completely omitted due to lack of sufficient funds. It is expected that awareness about the importance of these preliminary investigations will be raised and authorities encouraged to take necessary action in similar cases. Where skills are lacking, regional or international experts may be called to assist and train local professionals in conducting such studies.

Objective: To allow projects with secured funds to complete the tender design phase and enter the work phase.

Description: In order to speed up activities and draw the attention of public authorities to their responsibilities, contracts are provided for the preparation of project documents. These include urban, architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical design drawings and specifications (from schematic design through design development to construction documents), construction cost estimates, building code and sustainability requirements and all other necessary documentation needed for tendering procedure and for obtaining approvals and building permits.

Objective: To sustain the rehabilitation projects with increased capacities and ensure the sites’ management after funds are secured.

Description: The grant assists activities for drawing up site management plans, increasing awareness about this concept and assisting in the organisation of training workshops for those responsible in management.


[1]                  The term “consolidated project” signifies a rehabilitation project on the Priority Intervention List (PIL) at an advanced stage of the methodology for which a Preliminary Technical Assessment (PTA) and a Feasibility Study (FS) have been drafted and approved. It may or may not already have a Business Plan (BP) drawn up.

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* 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.