European Heritage Days are a joint Council of Europe and European Union programme which sees the participation of 50 countries, all party to the European Cultural Convention. Participating countries organise events centred around two fundamental aspects of EHD, namely the free access to sites which are not usually accessible to the public, and the relevance to a common theme selected for the particular year.
The aim of these events is to encourage European citizens to learn about their shared cultural heritage as well as creating awareness with the public and the political authorities about the need to protect cultural heritage against new threats, counter racism and xenophobia, whilst encouraging greater tolerance in Europe beyond national borders. Malta was amongst the countries to participate in the very first EHD events launched by the Council of Europe in 1985.
This event today boasts up to 20 million visitors every year, making it one of the most significant European Cultural projects shared by the people of Europe. The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage is the National Coordinator for European Heritage Days.