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Frequently Asked Questions: European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra Awards

European Commission - MEMO/12/398   01/06/2012

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MEMO/12/398

Brussels, 1 June 2012

Frequently Asked Questions: European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/ Europa Nostra Awards

When was the Prize launched and why?

The European Commission has supported the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards since 2002 through the Culture Programme of the European Union.

The prize celebrates excellence in cultural heritage work in Europe, raising visibility of this among professionals, decision-makers and the general public. It also aims to promote high standards and high-quality skills in conservation practice, to stimulate cross-border mobility among heritage professionals and to encourage heritage-related projects throughout Europe.

Who can participate?

The Prize is open to the 37 countries which are part the EU Culture Programme (the 27 EU Member States, as well as countries in the European Economic Area (Liechtenstein and Norway), EU accession and candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro) and potential candidate countries (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania).

To be eligible for the award, projects must have been concluded during the two previous years. The winners are selected by specialist, independent juries in four categories:

  • Conservation

  • Research,

  • Dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals and/or groups

  • Education, training and awareness-raising.

What type of cultural heritage is covered?

The notion of cultural heritage is understood in the broad sense, including:

  • Buildings or groups of buildings in a rural or urban setting;

  • Industrial and engineering structures and sites;

  • Cultural landscapes: historic parks and gardens, larger areas of designed landscape, or areas of cultural, environmental and/or agricultural significance;

  • Archaeological sites, including underwater archaeology;

  • Works of art and collections: collections of artistic and historic significance or old works of art.

What are the main benefits of the prize for the winners?

Each year, up to 31 entries are selected for the award. Six receive a 'Grand Prix' for the most outstanding heritage projects of the year and receive €10,000 each. For the first time in 2012, an online poll was organised to choose the 'Public Choice Award'.

The winners benefit also from the visibility created by the award and the recognition received from the European Commission and Europa Nostra.

Who organises the prize?

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards are organised for the European Commission by Europa Nostra, a European network dedicated to safeguarding Europe’s cultural heritage for present and future generations. Europa Nostra is responsible for organising the specialist juries, the award ceremony and other promotional activities. The award ceremony is organised in a different country each year. Next year's ceremony will take place in Athens.

How much does the Commission allocate for the prize?

The Commission allocates €200 000 for the Prize (60% of the total budget). Europa Nostra is responsible for the remainder of the budget. The Commission's contribution covers the selection process, including travel and accommodation expenses for the jury members, promotional activities including publications, and costs associated with the ceremony itself.

Does the European Union award other prizes for culture?

The EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award is one of four prizes awarded as part of the EU Culture Programme - the others are for architecture, literature and popular music.

Does the EU support other initiatives in the area of cultural heritage?

Yes. The Culture Programme also supports cooperation and networking in the field of cultural heritage, the European Capitals of Culture, the European Heritage Days (jointly with the Council of Europe) and the new European Heritage Label, initiatives which all have a strong cultural heritage dimension. The Culture programme has invested €30 million in co-financing heritage projects since 2007. Other EU-funded programmes also provide support in this area: since 2007 the European Regional Development Fund has allocated €3 billion for the protection and preservation of cultural heritage, €2.2 billion for the development of cultural infrastructure and €775 million to support cultural services; a further €150 million has been invested through EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development since 1998.

For more information: See also IP/12/551


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