The last almost two years were heavily marked by the COVID-19 crisis, which not only hit hard people and families, but determined also relevant financial, cultural and social damages. The pandemic affected all spheres of our economic and social life, not to mention the access to natural and cultural heritage, which was hit in the hardest and most visible way, due to the necessary imposed restrictions derived by the virus spread. Many people felt the impact on their daily lives arising from the impossibility to physically access cultural institutions and events, and unfortunately, the negative effects of the pandemic on cultural institutions all around Europe and the world, are yet to be completely felt.

In this context, CD-ETA project applied under the 5th restricted call for additional activities launched by Interreg Europe Programme in order to further exchange experiences on how the crisis impacted the project addressed topics and on possible measures to face and recover from the crisis. The topic of CD-ETA – digitization of natural and cultural heritage – will become even more important in these times affected by COVID-19, and the continuation of the learning process will be of great benefit for the partners’ regions, because in the core of the interregional cooperation are the projects, and people behind them, who want to do more, or do better, by building connections and learning from others.

European regions now need new horizons towards a sustainable future and one of the solutions could be represented by the digital technologies, which could provide new ways to manage and access cultural and natural heritage, new features, more choices and a more efficient use of limited resources. Digital instruments can also be a means of inspiring into people confidence that traveling and tourism can be safe.

The new approaches, based on digital solutions, which were undertaken during the last 2 years by the different institutions from European regions, will provide different precious experience after facing the challenge of COVID-19 and related restrictions and new conditions. It is out of dispute that in these hard times the cooperation is needed more than ever and although physical experience remains crucial, digitization and remote access solutions can help communities connect with each other during confinement, providing a kind of social help by sharing culture, nature and creative expressions.

CD-ETA project will be relaunched with an online Interregional event to outline state-of-art across partners regions after year and a half of COVID-19 pandemic in terms of policies for digitalization of natural and cultural heritage. Soon the registration for the event will be opened and all interested in the topic will be very welcome!