||In response to the membership in the European Union, post-communist states, societies and economies in Eastern Europe are
undergoing unprecedented change and are in a process of re-definition. The European integration process relies in part on
programmes initiated by the European Commission, one of which is the European Capital of Culture (ECC). In 2007, Sibiu city
in Romania, together with Luxembourg and the Greater Region, was named ECC. The status of ECC was simultaneous with Romania’s
accession to the EU. Thus, the events taking place in Sibiu were given great symbolic and political importance in the country.
The article looks at how, in the context of Sibiu ECC 2007 programme, heritage is an essential part of different strategies
used by local people in Sibiu city and region
to promote economic, social, and cultural development and to strengthen and increase the global competitiveness of regions,
in this case, Transylvania. There is a renewed concern for revitalizing local traditions, which are seen as necessary in affirming
Romanian national identity in the context of European Union. At the same time, traditions strengthen regional identities.
The article examines the inauguration of the first ecomuseum in Romania, Sibiu County Ecomuseum (Ecomuzeul Regional Sibiu),
an example of how heritage,
landscape and identity were linked and gained more importance in the context of the Sibiu ECC 2007 programme that aimed at
asserting the potential of heritage for economic development.