The extraordinary context of this policy paper is the launch of the first European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. This is a notable attempt to assess the potentials and challenges of a shared European cultural heritage. Research on these complex challenges is to provide evidence and advice towards better education, cultural, social and other policies at European, national and regional levels. This policy review gives the state-of-the-art of current EU-funded research on cultural heritage. Based on this mapping exercise interpreted in its wider scientific and policy context, the policy... review makes suggestions to attain an appropriate European research framework after 2020, fitting both the current concept of cultural heritage and the corresponding cultural, societal, economic and ecological challenges.