History of Collections Mobility

Museums form fantastic platforms offering European citizens an insight into the cultural and historical traditions of European nations, regions and communities. Sharing our rich European heritage is of great importance. Therefore, the subject of increasing the mobility of collections has been on the common EU cultural agenda since the Greek presidency in 2003 and has been addressed in a number of conferences held in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria, Finland and Germany.

There’re a number of key documents produced during the years: in 2005, the expert report Lending to Europe was published. The report identified obstacles for exchange of cultural moveable heritage between the member states of the European Union. The report and the conferences resulted in The Action Plan for the EU Promotion of Museum Collections’ Mobility and Loan Standards (2006). More in depth analysis takes place in the book Encouraging Collections Mobility – A Way Forward for Museums in Europe (2010).

Whereas written documents have been produced, also different expert groups have been active. In 2006, during the Finnish Presidency, working groups were set up to produce standard documents and proposals relating to specific areas of interest.

Collections Mobility is mentioned in the work plan of the Council of the European Union (Brussels 2008/C 143/06). OMC committee for Mobility of Collections started working in 2008. A number of expert groups have produced surveys, reports, and recommendations resulting in recommendations for the EU Commission in June 2010. All the documents will be available on this website.

How did it start?

  • 2003 Delphi, Greece
  • 2004 Naples, Italy
  • 2004 The Hague, the Netherlands: Museum Collections on the Move
  • 2005 Report: Lending to Europe
  • 2005 Manchester, United Kingdom: Increasing the Mobility of Collections
  • 2006 Austria, Action Plan for the Promotion of Museum Collections’ Mobility and Loan Standards
  • 2006 Helsinki, Finland: Encouraging the Mobility of Collections
  • 2007 Munich, Germany: Collection Mobility in Europe, Crossing Borders
  • 2007 Bremen, Germany: Collection Mobility in Europe, Building up Trust and networking
  • 2007 Communication European Commission
  • 2007 Work Plan on Culture Council of Ministers
  • 2009 Open Method of Coordination: working group on Collection Mobility
  • 2009 CM 2.0, 21st century Lending for Europe project funded by the European Commission