ICOMOS International, pp.42, Paris, 2021
World Heritage transnational serial nominations embody the essence of the spirit of the World Heritage Convention: the principle of the universal value of cultural heritage and the role of transnational cooperation in the recognition and conservation of cultural heritage.
However, excess popularity and issues that emerged in evaluation and management practice have convinced the World Heritage Committee that additional reflection was necessary. Between 2008 and 2010, meetings were held in Vilm (Germany) and then in Ittingen (Switzerland), which resulted in a modification to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
After 10 years of implementation, the ICOMOS Europe Group, comprising the ICOMOS National Committees of the European Region considered that exchanging information within its network of professionals about preparing and managing this type of nominations could prove worthful. Thanks to the financial support of the Wallonia Region (Belgium) and the technical - logistical input of the ICOMOS International Secretariat, the initiative could be implemented.
The implementation of the World Heritage Convention is a primary responsibility of States Parties: this initiative simply intends to offer a contribution, by the ICOMOS network of professionals dedicated to the conservation of immovable cultural heritage, to strengthen protection, conservation, and management of these heritage places in a sustainable manner.
A rapid survey of the World Heritage List shows that a very limited number of transnational serial nominations – 12 - are currently inscribed on the World Heritage List for the Europe sub-Region and the Tentative Lists of States Parties altogether count 8 entries. The number might be slightly higher though, as some entries in the Tentative Lists concern sites that are planned as extensions of listed properties that, eventually, might become transnational series, and concepts for serial transnational nominations are under development. These low numbers and the complex history of a number of serial nominations together indicate that, despite the potential interest, transnational serial projects pose several challenges to proponents.