European cooperation 

New Ways

The NEW WAYS initiative brought together Portuguese and Norwegian architecture faculties to study new uses and proposals of sustainable and strategic character for old deactivated railway stations in Portugal.

A hundred old railway stations deactivated in the last decades, need rehabilitation and a new life to stimulate the social and economic dynamics in a significant part of the territory.

The Serra Henriques Foundation (FSH) signed in December 2019 an agreement with Infraestruturas de Portugal Património (IPP) to prepare proposals for intervention in the deactivated railway stations, mostly buildings of historical and cultural interest. IPP has handed over to FSH the cooperation with architecture faculties and national and international partners, to jointly study solutions of sustainable and strategic nature.

National Representation of European Cities and Regions for Culture 

The Serra Henriques Foundation represented in Portugal, until 2019, the Association of European Cities and Regions for Culture. The organisation was established in 1994 by the European Commission, Ministers of Culture and Foreign Affairs.

The Portuguese mission was an institutional representation within the framework of European Cooperation to strengthen collaboration between members and stimulate the active participation of municipalities in projects with a transnational dimension, valuing identity and cultural heritage Portuguese for integrated regional development.

Partnership with the Association of European Border Regions 

The Serra Henriques Foundation regularly collaborates with this European organization that brings together 102 regional governments on the borders of all European states.

The Portuguese member regions are represented by the Regional Coordination and Development Commissions (CCDR North, Centre, Alentejo and Algarve).

Since 2012, the Foundation has participated, as a strategic partner, in joint projects and international meetings to stimulate cross-border and decentralised cooperation.

In April 2018, the Serra Henriques Foundation is part of the organizing committee of the AEBR European Congress for Cultural Cooperation, which will take place in Germany.

European Architecture Policy Forum 

Since 2013, the Serra Henriques Foundation has participated in the European Forum on Architecture Policies (EFAP) dedicated to the debate and promotion of architecture, urbanism and territorial development policies, combining Governance, Culture and Education.

The Forum originated in an international conference in 1997, under the Dutch Presidency of the European Union, which brought together representatives of European governments, cultural institutions and professional associations to share experiences and perspectives on Architecture Policies in the EU. Since then, biannual meetings have been held under the organisation of the EU Member State.

Currently, and within the framework of the implementation of the National Policy on Architecture and Landscape, the Serra Henriques Foundation collaborates with the Monitoring Committee of this public policy, to ensure the Portuguese participation in this European Forum.

Participation in the European Committee of the Regions 

As part of its European cooperation initiatives, the Serra Henriques Foundation regularly participates in the Committee of the Regions' conferences aimed at involving the various civil society organisations working on the issues of urban life, regional development and proximity to citizens at different levels of governance.

In this field, the Serra Henriques Foundation builds and develops collaborative networks with a view to elevating local initiatives to a transnational dimension.

Meetings of the rotating presidencies of the European Union 

Since 2013, the Serra Henriques Foundation has been part of the Portuguese delegations in meetings held by the rotating presidencies of the Council of the European Union, in the fields of Cultural Policies, Architecture, Urbanism and Territorial Cooperation.

In 2015, under the Presidency of Luxembourg, it participated in the annual conference of the Interreg territorial cooperation programme.

In 2016, under the Presidency of the Netherlands, the Serra Henriques Foundation participated in the European Observatory for Territorial Development (ESPON) network where 128 delegates from all Member States were present. On this occasion, the Foundation presented the project for the Enhancement of Cultural and Natural Resources of the Atlantic Area, which was submitted to the European Commission under the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, under the presidencies of Malta, Estonia, Austria and Romania, the Serra Henriques Foundation participated in the European Forums on Architecture Policies.

Participation in the European Culture Forum 

Since 2013, the Serra Henriques Foundation has participated in the European Cultural Forum organized by the European Commission. The 2017 edition took place on 7 and 8 December in Milan and was dedicated to the launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. The event was inaugurated by the President of the European Parliament and was attended by twenty delegates from Portugal, representatives of the government, foundations and cultural institutions.

2018 | The European Year of Cultural Heritage will highlight the richness of Europe's cultural heritage, highlighting its role in fostering a shared sense of identity and shaping Europe's future.

European Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, who officially opened the European Year of Cultural Heritage, said: "Cultural heritage is at the heart of the European way of life. It defines who we are and creates a sense of belonging. Cultural heritage is not only made up of literature, art and objects, but also the skills learned, the stories told, the food we eat and the films we watch. We need to preserve and cherish our cultural heritage for future generations. This year of commemorations will be a wonderful opportunity to encourage citizens, especially young people, to explore the richness of Europe's cultural diversity and to reflect on the place that cultural heritage occupies in our lives. It allows us to understand the past and build the future."

The European Culture Forum is an event that raises the profile of European cultural cooperation, brings together key players in the sector, takes stock of the European Agenda for Culture and promotes debate on EU policy and initiatives in the field of culture.

In addition to the launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, this year's Forum reflected on the role of culture in addressing European and global challenges, as well as on the contribution of culture and creativity to local and regional socio-economic development.