CHCFE_EHL_CeremonyOn 15 April, members of the CHCFE Steering Committee attended the European Heritage Label (EHL) Award Ceremony. Held at the Bibliothéque Solvay in Brussels, the ceremony commemorated the sixteen heritage sites from 10 countries chosen to receive the label in 2015. During his opening speech, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport said: “Heritage is a vital part of our collective identity as Europeans. It roots us firmly in our past, but it also helps us to shape our vision of the Europe of the future. It is a source of inspiration for thinkers and artists and the driver of our cultural and creative industries.” In front of an audience of policy makers, culture and heritage professionals, and representatives of European networks, Silvia Costa, MEP and Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education handed out the Award plaques to each winner.

The European Heritage Label sites were chosen by an independent selection panel because they are about much more than just aesthetics. They go beyond to celebrate and symbolise European integration, ideals, values and history. The sites were also carefully selected for the activities they offer in order to bring the European Union and its citizens closer together. This includes organising a wide range of educational activities, especially for young people. Together, the sites can give visitors a real feel for the breadth and scale of what Europe has to offer and what it has achieved.

For those of us spending most of our time at a computer screen, to hear the inspiring stories and take in the personal energy of the European Heritage Label winners more than justified our behind-the-scenes work on policy and practice with the Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe project.  The winners from across Europe fully demonstrate yet again that the diversity of our cultural heritage is one of Europe’s greatest assets,” said Kate Pugh, member of the CHCFE Steering Committee and Chief Executive of The Heritage Alliance in the United Kingdom.

The European Heritage Label Ceremony was a very inspiring evening which invited us to interpret cultural heritage widely by embracing not only historical monuments and sites but also historical events and personalities as an integral part of our common European cultural heritage. We congratulate the sixteen sites who received the Label for their commitment to promote the European idea and ideal,”  added Sneška Quaedvlieg – Mihailovic, Secretary General of Europa Nostra who is leading the CHCFE project.

The European Heritage Label began as an initiative of several national governments to improve knowledge of European history, as well as the role and values of the EU. It was formally established in 2011 and the first selection of sites took place in 2013.

Learn more about the 16 awarded sites and about the European Heritage Label: