Brussels, 28 November 2013
First sites to get European Heritage Label named
The first sites to receive the new European Heritage Label (EHL) were named today by the independent selection panel set up by the European Commission. The four sites are: Carnuntum Archaeological Park, a Roman reconstructed city quarter in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg, Austria; the medieval Great Guild Hall in Tallinn, Estonia; the 100-year-old Peace Palace in The Hague, and Camp Westerbork, a World War II Nazi transit camp at Hooghalen, also in the Netherlands.
The Label aims to raise awareness of sites which have played a significant role in the history, culture and development of the European Union, as well as to highlight their European dimension through information and educational activities. The ultimate objective of the EHL is to strengthen people's sense of belonging to the European Union. The Commission will formally nominate the sites in January 2014.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for culture, stated: "I congratulate the first sites to receive the new European Heritage Label. I believe that this initiative has the potential to be one of the most successful and popular schemes organised by the EU. It has a strong educational angle, especially for young people who will be able to better understand the European Union's history through its association with symbolic sites. We look forward to receiving further outstanding applications in the coming years."
Under the Decision setting up the Label and its criteria, five EU countries (Austria, Estonia, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) were eligible to nominate sites in 2013. They proposed a total of nine sites1 for the Label. A European panel made up of 13 independent cultural experts then assessed the applications on the agreed criteria: the most important of these are the European significance of the site, the activities proposed to highlight it and sound management of the site in order to attract public interest.
A further 18 Member States (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) will be eligible to nominate sites in 2014. Sweden, Finland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Croatia will not participate for the time being, but can join the initiative later if they wish.
For more information
MEMO/13/1068 European Heritage Label: Frequently Asked Questions
European Commission: Education and training
Follow Androulla Vassiliou onTwitter @VassiliouEU
The 9 pre-selected sites: http://ec.europa.eu/culture/our-programmes-and-actions/label/european-heritage-label_en.htm