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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 16 June 2013

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.

The Prize celebrates excellence in cultural heritage work in Europe, raising awareness of this among decision-makers, professionals and the public. It also aims to promote high-quality skills and standards in conservation, 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, European Economic Area countries (Liechtenstein and Norway), EU accession and candidate countries (Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro) and potential EU candidates (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:

  1. Conservation

  2. Research

  3. Dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals and/or groups

  4. Education, training and awareness-raising.

What type of cultural heritage is covered?

Cultural heritage is understood in the broad sense, including:

  1. Buildings or groups of buildings in a rural or urban setting;

  2. Industrial and engineering structures and sites;

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

  4. Archaeological sites, including underwater archaeology;

  5. 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 30 entries are selected for the award. Six or seven receive a 'Grand Prix' and €10 000 each for the most outstanding heritage projects of the year. For the second time in 2013, an online poll was organised to choose the 'Public Choice Award'. All the winners also benefit from the extra visibility created by the award and the recognition received from the European Commission and Europa Nostra.

Who organises the prize?

The Prize is 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 Vienna.

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?

This Prize is one of four EU prizes awarded with the support of the EU Culture Programme - the others are for contemporary architecture, literature and border-breaking pop 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 more than €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/13/542 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards: 2013 public choice and Grand Prix winners announced


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