Declaration Bucurest

The writers - participants to the Conference of PEN Romania, on 17 of May 2017 declared that:


       Intangable cultural heritage and collective cultural memory don’t know strong state and ethnic borders. The Balkans have a shared a specific ‘Balkan memories’ related within intangable heritage, popular culture and oral tradition, mythology, history, linguistics, musics and costums.

·         The contemporary cultural diversity on the Balkans (including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Monte Negro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey) is herited from the past, often commun in the shared social conditions, updated by the new social, political and media circumstances.

·         Some Balkan cultural identities and entities are displaced beyond state and ethnic borders, so the necessity for mapping the existing cultural diversity, to protect them and promote them is more than evident;

·         It is time to introduce an intelectual, artistic and scientific consensus for a new, inclusive cultural policy regarding the complex Balkan cultural heritage (trans-national, shared ‘places’, events and figures of collective memory);

·         It is time to transcend the controversal political and developping strategies of exclusion related to the shared historical and cultural heritage;

·         The exclusive, possesive, hegemonistic, convertive, and adoptive interpretation of the cultural hstory is not a productive option/platform for the contemporary Balkans that is envisaging the complex and worring chalenge regarding the massive migration/displacement from Asia and Africa to Europe;

·         The reach cultural heritage on the Balkans deserve an inclusive interpretative approach liberated of nationalistic prejudeces, imagological stereotypes, conservative clishes, and other conflictual intentions and emotions;

·         Balkan Charter for cultural heritage can provide a solution for the open questions among the neighbouring countries (related usually to the cultural history), may strengthen the management of the contemporary cultural identities for a future cultural re-integration, exchange and development of the Balkans.

·         The trans-national mapping of cultural diversity could promote a new political tools in the regional and bilateral relations of the Balkan states, since cultural diversity transcends the traditional ethnic and state differentiations. This would be of a strategic interest for the development of the Balkans and its EU integration.

·         It is necessary to establish the principles that would guide a unified cultural politics vis-à-vis the inherited and the contemporary Balkan cultural diversity and to initiate, in the name of the Balkan PEN centres, an Balkan consensus on the development of an interpretative methodology for  shared intangible cultural heritage

·         The Balkan political elites are in need of a scientifically backed inclusive cultural policy, that would put an end to the practices that deny the phenomenon of shared cultural heritage and various minority cultures and languages in the region.


Participants of the Conference in Bucharest