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Culture and Creativity

Application process of the European Heritage Label

Eligibility criteria for sites and countries

Candidate sites for the European Heritage Label must have a symbolic European value. They must have played a significant role in the history and culture of Europe and/or the build-up of the Union.

For the purpose of the Decision establishing the European Heritage Label action, ‘sites’ means the following:

  • monuments
  • natural
  • underwater
  • archaeological
  • industrial or urban sites
  • cultural landscapes
  • places of remembrance
  • cultural goods and objects
  • intangible heritage associated with a place, including contemporary heritage

The European Heritage Label is open for application to sites in the 25 Member States that participate in the action:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

Types of sites

The European Union awards the European Heritage Label to three types of sites:

  1. Single site: application of one site.
  2. National thematic site: several sites, located in the same Member State, which focus on one specific theme and submit a joint application.
  3. Transnational site: several sites, located in different Member States, which focus on one specific theme and submit a joint application, or one site located on the territory of at least two Member States submits an application.

For transnational sites, the label is awarded to the site as a whole and under the common name. If a transnational site meets all the criteria, priority is given to that site during the selection.

About the selection process

Criteria

Each participating Member State may pre-select up to two sites every two years. The pre-selection is based on the criteria as set out in Article 7 of the Decision establishing the action and on the application form.

The jury assesses the candidates based on their European significance as well as their project and work plan submitted for the European Heritage Label.

Process

Each participating Member State establishes its own procedures and its own calendar for the pre-selection in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. Member States send the application forms of the pre-selected sites to the Commission by 1 March of the year of the selection procedure, according to the calendar of the Decision.

A European panel of independent experts carries out the selection of the sites at an EU level under the responsibility of the European Commission. This panel selects a maximum of one site per Member State.

The panel issues a report on the pre-selected sites including a recommendation for the attribution of the label.

The Commission then designates the sites to be awarded the label, having due regard to the recommendation of the European panel.

Candidate sites not selected may submit new applications for pre-selection at national level in the following years.

Application documents

Guidelines for candidate sites explain how to submit a proposal and the conditions to participate.

Find the guidelines document at the bottom of the page.

Candidate sites should

  • contact the European Heritage Label national coordinator for information on national-level pre-selection
  • complete and submit the application form to the respective national coordinator

Find the multilingual application forms for the 3 different types of sites:

The authoritative source of information is the English version of the application form. If there is any conflict between the translated versions and the English, the latter takes precedence.

  • For additional information and general questions about the application process, contact the national coordinator in the respective Member State.
  • For specific questions, contact the European Commission at EAC-CULTURE [at] ec.europa.eu.

Validity of the label awarded

The European Union awards the Heritage Label on a permanent basis. The relevant Member State monitors regularly each award-winning site in order to ensure that it continues to meet the criteria for the attribution of the label and that it respects the project and work plan submitted with the application.

Sites may renounce the label at any time. They shall notify the Member States concerned, which shall in turn inform the Commission. More information on monitoring, withdrawal, or renunciation is available in the Decision establishing the action.

Previous selections

Find the European panel reports below on selections procedures: