European Cooperation projects have given EU Member States the opportunity to share experiences and solutions to common problems, previously only compared through research activities in the academia. Such opportunities allow public authorities, private parties, NGOs, educational organizations, and the civil society at large to know other European contexts and cultures and get direct experience thereof. Exchanging viewpoints and experiences on similar problems and sharing solutions through such projects is contributing to make Europe a more and more cohesive and inclusive area, a platform where cultural diversity becomes an opportunity for integration, in contrast with the former historic social and cultural divisions created by administrative national borders.
The YouInHerit Project (Youth involvement in the innovative valorization and revival of traditional trades and crafts as cultural heritage to make urban regions more attractive and competitive in a dynamic age) was part of these efforts. It was funded by the European Union through the Interreg Central Europe Programme under the EU Regional Development Fund. The project involved twelve partners from five Central European countries (Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Poland), among local and regional authorities, educational institutions, and NGOs, to work together on the common problem of engaging youth in the safeguarding and valorisation of the traditional crafts and trades as an employment and income-generating opportunity.
This document is an example of how joint planning and implementation among different European countries with a common objective can produce something useful for the society and the future generations. Beyond its contents, which may be argued by specialists in cultural heritage, this document is an example of a constructive process that involved different levels of stakeholders and different fields of expertise to develop and implement labour market and business management opportunities. All Project Partners worked together to make this document simple, clear and effective, in view of providing other European local and regional authorities with a practical tool to engage young people in the traditional craft sectors, addressing societal problems and fostering cultural diversity and integration.