Göteborg Resolution

European Organ Symposium, Göteborg, 2001 (EOS-2001)

The participants of EOS-2001, a follow-up conference of the Varazdin Congress (September 2000) approved the following text:

The organ has a clear and unique European identity and reflects centuries of European music, thought, science and technology. Many visions that have contributed to the formation of the Europe we recognize today, are given expression by the organ as a musical instrument, artistic tradition and bearer of culture. Today, we are faced with the challenge of preserving a seriously threatened legacy of European historical organs. At the same time, it is not enough to simply preserve this heritage, but also to find ways to make it live for the people of our time.

In order to communicate the European organ heritage and create an extensive legal protection for it, the following tasks should be carried out:

A. Communicating the European organ heritage

  1. The importance of the European organ heritage and the organ as a symbol of the European vision par excellence will be communicated to, amongst others, the EU-Council, the EU-Parliament, the Council of Europe, UNESCO, religious authorities, National and Regional Heritage bodies, as well as owners, curators and users of the organ.
  2. A European contact network will be built with individuals and organisations in all of the countries that have actively taken part in the conferences so far or that are already EU member nations; the communication of the European organ heritage will take place via this network. This applies to official bodies that already have the responsibility of safeguarding the organ heritage. Other organisations or institutes with the agreement of these official bodies may join this network. Where there is no clear authority over the organ heritage, groups already engaged in its protection should become involved.

B. Protecting the European organ heritage

  1. Amongst others, those named in A.1. will be asked to work for an extensive legal protection of the organ heritage that can be realized throughout the whole of Europe.
  2. The responsibility for the organ heritage and its safeguarding belongs in the first place to the individual countries. Because the organ is historically a pan-European phenomenon and because it represents European culture in all of its regional manifestations, a European responsibility for this common cultural heritage is necessary and proper.
  3. Notably, in view of the extension of the EU, the situation with respect to the organ heritage that is to be protected changes dramatically: in the countries of central and eastern Europe, several thousand valuable historic organs are to be found, of which the majority are in very poor condition. This fact urges us once more to strive for a European responsibility for this common cultural heritage.
  4. A comparative survey will be researched and published detailing the existing legal protection of historic organs in European countries.
  5. Guidelines for protecting the European organ heritage should be further developed, and will be presented at coming EOS-conferences.

C. Conducting a complete survey of European historic organs

  1. An important tool for the realisation of the aims mentioned under A. and B. is a complete survey of historical organs in Europe. Such a survey should be assembled in cooperation with the respective authorities that are responsible for organ heritage. Where official registers of historic organs already exist, they will be included in this survey. A relevant list will also be included in the survey for countries that do not yet have their own official register, with the help of the contact persons and contact organisations mentioned under A. 2.
  2. From this complete survey two lists will be generated. The first will identify the instruments that should be offered special legal protection on a European level. From this list, an exclusive group of organs will be nominated for World Heritage status.

D. Founding of a European organisation

The EOS-2001 presidency will appoint a working group and an international reference group. During the EOS conference in Lisbon, 2002, the working group will present a report demonstrating how such a European organisation could be established. This report will be produced with the international reference group as well as interim information about contact persons and contact organisations.

The working group should be appointed by August 1, 2001 at the latest, the reference group by September 1, 2001 at the latest, and the contact persons as soon as possible but in any event by the end of the calendar year 2001.

Some priorities for this small and efficient European organisation are:

To be a partner in political discussions

  • to coordinate the exchange of education resources, research, and knowledge
  • to build networks
  • to give advice and help in finding sponsors
  • to organise EOS conferences
  • to support the realisation of the goals outlined in A. B. and C.

The coming EOS conferences:
2002 Lisbon, 2003 Bratislava, 2004 Bologna, 2005 Vilnius, 2006 United Kingdom, 2007 France.

Göteborg, June 14, 2001