February 8, 2023

Mediterranean Cultural Heritage in EU Policies, a talk with Sonia Bombico, researcher at the University of Évora


The Mediterranean cultural heritage is a crucial component of the economies and identities of the countries and communities that share it.

Sonia Bombico, University of Évora

“The University of Évora has long been committed to preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean region. Given the vastness of the region and the diversity of its heritage, the University felt the need to implement a teaching programme dedicated to exploring the European policies surrounding it.

The project also brings an opportunity to discuss the concept of “Mediterranean Heritage” and discover its potential for strengthening intercultural relations with Europe’s neighbors in the Mediterranean.

The course aims to develop knowledge, skills, and generic competences in the areas of Cultural Heritage and History, with an interdisciplinary approach focused on European Studies.

European Policies for Mediterranean Cultural Heritage

The programme will also provide critical analysis of European policies related to cultural heritage in the Mediterranean area, and will include case studies to explore the implementation of these initiatives and the funding opportunities available.

The status of European policies surrounding the Mediterranean cultural heritage is a complex and evolving topic, with EU member states as well as non-EU states sharing this common heritage. The Union for the Mediterranean has created the Day of the Mediterranean as one initiative to bring attention to this common heritage. There is a need to work more on transversal level policies for common heritage in the Mediterranean, as the initiatives and funding for projects in this field are currently fragmented and not always representative of the south Mediterranean countries. 

The MEDHEUS project aims to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of these policies, exploring the ways in which the EU is working to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Structure of the programme and target

The course will have three editions, over the three years of the project, and is composed of a total of 7 modules. A total of 6 Keynote Lectures and several Thematic Workshops complete the educational offer developed within the project. The video recording of the lectures and all the educational materials produced will be made available online, in open access.

The MEDHEUS programme will include both face-to-face – taking place at the University of Évora – and online lessons.

The course is designed for trainees with different backgrounds and aims to contribute to the training of human resources with skills in the areas of cultural heritage management and European Mediterranean studies. The programme will be conducted in both Portuguese and English, with most of the reading materials being in English. For students enrolled at the University of Évora, the 60-hours course will equate to 3 ECTS. The procedures to apply for the course will be available on the website of the University.

The MEDHEUS project represents a significant step forward in the preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of the Mediterranean region. Through the exploration of European policies and the presentation of a comprehensive understanding of the region’s cultural heritage, the University of Évora aims to make a meaningful contribution to the field. Whether you are a student, an academic, an officer or a manger in a local or national authority dealing with the subject, or simply a curious individual, this programme is sure to offer a wealth of insights and knowledge.”

To learn more on the MEDHEUS project, visit the dedicated website at https://www.medheus.uevora.pt/.

UNIMED is an associated partner in the MEDHEUS project.

Sonia Bombico is the coordinator of the MEDHEUS programme and Assistant Researcher at the University of Évora. She integrates the team of two research units (CIDEHUS – Interdisciplinary Centre for History, Culture and Societies & MED – Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development), and the UNESCO Chair in Intangible Heritage at the University of Évora. She is also part of the UNIMED office team at the University of Évora.