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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday February 15, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Susan Hazan

Susan Hazan

CEO , Digital Heritage Israel

portrait of Zuzana Malicherova

Zuzana Malicherova

Network and Policy officer , Europeana Foundation

Europeana Network Association Annual Report 2021

Explore highlights from all of the Europeana Network Association's activities in 2021. 

Figures in white clothing dancing in a circle in a meadow
Fairies of the Meadow
Nils Blommér

The Europeana Network Association (ENA) is a strong and democratic community of experts working in the field of digital cultural heritage, united by a shared mission to expand and improve access to Europe's digital cultural heritage. Below, you can download the ENA's annual report for 2021, as well as read the forward from the 2021 Chair, Susan Hazan. And if you are not already an ENA member, you can join today!

Looking Backwards | Smiling Forwards

As we are coming to the end of our second year of pandemic restrictions, we are beginning to sense that life is getting back on track. This is of course true of some countries more than others, but as a Pan-European community we are gradually getting back to our offices and our daily routines. What has been obvious over these past months are the powerful synergies that have pulsed across the Network, enabling us to work together and support each other to reach new heights. Our work together in the Communities, Task Forces and the Working Groups is inspiring. This report will detail some of the highlights of the year. There are many!

The strategic priorities that we first introduced in early 2021 have guided our actions and have supported capacity building towards digital transformation to drive all we do together. They were developed in a co-curated process with the ENA Management Board and approved by the Members Council in March 2021. They have fuelled our thinking in many ways and created an umbrella for our work together over this year.

In supporting capacity building and digital transformation we set ourselves the goal to define the main fields of competence where the Europeana Foundation can be most active through its ecosystem in promoting digital transformation. We understood that this process was poised to deliver a comprehensive package of capacity building support to cultural heritage institutions of all types and levels. Based on this, we identified how ENA can assume an important role in developing and strengthening these capacities by calling on its wide-reaching and embedded pool of active members, sharing knowledge and experiences and learning from each other. This can take place across cultural heritage domains and grassroots communities to help the Europeana mission succeed. A series of Town Hall meetings, for example, helped us formulate a white paper on Digital Public Spacewith a goal to align the European Commission’s Cultural Heritage Data Space vision with a new and holistic articulation of a green, inclusive, people-centred, sustainable, commons-based digital cultural heritage space for the 21st century.

Harnessing the potential of ENA members was an obvious priority that demanded that we get a better understanding of ENA’s 3,200+ membership in order to channel the potential, skills and enthusiasm of active participants. We felt that this was a prerequisite for a sustainable and active network, but also took into consideration that not all members would be equally active and the needs of passive members should be taken into account. Diversity and inclusion was another of the areas we identified that would determine our mindful and vital growth together; a key decision to embrace diverse and inclusive representation in the Network was a step towards what we believe is critical for the success and growth of ENA. We also believe that this is a long-term thoughtful process that should become an integral part of all we do, rather than a separate strategy with isolated activities. With a call to deepen the collaboration between ENA, the Europeana Foundation (EF), the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum (EAF) and wider network we identified scope for developing the  benefits of the EF-ENA relationship, to increase the impact of EF's digital transformation mission both with the EF and EAF as well as ‘neighbouring’ networks outside the Europeana ecosystem. By working together in this way, ENA can keep providing a rich source of expertise to support the knowledge pool which exists within the Foundation, which delivers the Europeana strategy. Regular meetings and conversations also enabled the information flow and collaborative efforts between ENA, the EF and the EAF. Transparency, accountability and democracy of planning, communication and decision-making we felt was crucial for success and a positive alignment of this was vital for harmonious relations between the various mechanisms of ENA, with EF and EAF and opening up ways to collaborate with the EF Advisory Board and  Supervisory Board. Funding and payments is still an area that needs constant monitoring when the existing ENA budget was underspent due to the effects of the pandemic not allowing for physical meetings. 

Perhaps our major celebration this year is the soon to be introduced Climate Action Community. We know that both as individuals and as a community we contribute to the climate crisis through our digital and non-digital activities. At the same time, we are convinced that the cultural heritage sector and Europeana have a responsibility to act. Driven by the tenacious ENA Climate Action Group, we are now looking forward to forming this seventh community! And together with the Europeana Foundation and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum, we are working on a Climate Manifesto which emerges from a collective desire to foreground the climate crisis within the ENA and its communities.   

ENA works both as a community of communities and through our individual capacity to exchange knowledge, expertise, and best practice in our special interest communities to call on members’ skill sets and enable all to make a real contribution. These synergies have been celebrated in our webinars, cafes, workshops and conferences. We come together to share our knowledge and experience with like minded heritage professionals from across Europe. We know that everyone can be an element of change in their own sphere. We also know that we make more impact when we work together. Together, we empower the cultural heritage sector by developing expertise, tools and policies to embrace digital change and encourage partnerships that foster innovation. ENA makes it easier for people to use cultural heritage for education, research, creation, and recreation and together our work contributes to an open, knowledgeable, and creative society.

Susan Hazan, Chair of the Europeana Network Association