Europa Nostra
#14 - 10 July 2020
Dear Colleagues & Friends,
As the Summer season is getting started and citizens will mostly travel within Europe, we wish to encourage you to seize this opportunity to (re)discover the richness and beauty of our continent. Some of the most important heritage sites that have significantly contributed to Europe’s history and integration have been severely hit by the pandemic and are eagerly waiting for your visit!
The European Commission supports a variety of actions, initiatives and prizes in order to reward excellence and raise awareness of Europe’s culture and heritage. Alongside our flagship European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards scheme, run in partnership with the EU, the European Heritage Label scheme celebrates and symbolises European ideals, values, history and integration.
In 2020, 10 new sites have been awarded the European Heritage Label by an independent panel of experts. This selection brings the total number of European Heritage Label sites since the launch of the initiative at EU level in 2013, to 48 sites. The pre-selection at national level is now open for the 2021 Selection (more information in the newsletter below). The variety of the selected sites illustrates all the facets of Europe’s common history and heritage from ancient times until now, both tangible and intangible, such as The Heart of Ancient Athens (Greece), Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest (Hungary) - who was also a Grand Prix winner of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards in 2015 - the Maastricht Treaty (The Netherlands) or the Underwater Cultural Heritage of the Azores (Portugal).
As 2020 marks the 35th anniversary of the signature of the Schengen Agreement, we invite you to get a glimpse into this small, but highly significant, village located in Luxembourg. On this occasion, Martina Kneip, Director of the Centre Européen Schengen, recorded a special video message for our Agora. At a time when citizens unexpectedly experienced closed borders due to the COVID-19 crisis, she reminds that this Agreement, allowing the free movement of citizens within the so-called Schengen area, is one of the EU’s major achievements. Martina Kneip also calls on all of us to promote the values of freedom, respect and solidarity enshrined in the Schengen Agreement, and to stand all together to “Keep Schengen Alive”.
Following the European Commission’s recently published strategy for recovery ‘Tourism and transport in 2020 and beyond’, Europeana has launched its ‘Discovering Europe’ season to highlight Europe’s rich natural beauty and cultural heritage and inspire safe travel to local and alternative destinations - on the road or from home. Throughout the summer, Europeana will feature cultural jewels and hidden gems across the continent in galleries, blogs and learning scenarios which highlight the diversity and beauty that Europe offers. Everyone can get involved by sharing personal collections which celebrate the beauty of Europe and local attractions online with the hashtag #DiscoveringEurope or by sharing examples of inspiring cultural and/or local tourism initiatives via an online form.
The German Presidency of the European Union (July - December 2020), which just started under the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery”, includes among its priorities important challenges to secure Europe’s economic recovery based on a more sustainable, innovative, digital and fairer Europe which promotes its common values. In the frame of the German Presidency, I will have the pleasure to contribute to the online Conference ‘Promoting Europe’s cultural heritage and diversity – Who? How? With whom?’ organised by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and ICOMOS on 13-14 July with a keynote address and as part of the concluding panel discussion (more information below). Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis and resulting economic crisis, the conference will provide an opportunity for heritage experts to discuss the long-term conservation and promotion of cultural heritage by the EU and its Member States on the basis of the ‘European Quality Principles for EU-funded interventions with potential impact upon cultural heritage’, produced by ICOMOS during the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.
Earlier today, members of the European Parliament discussed in Plenary ‘How to recover the hard-hit European culture after COVID-19'. During this discussion, in the presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, MEPs debated the appropriate measures to support culture, heritage and the creative sectors to overcome the current crisis and become more resilient in the future. Europa Nostra warmly welcomes the commitment and vision shown by members of the European Parliament and the European Commission on this important occasion, and will work closely with them to duly include culture and cultural heritage in the various components of the Next Generation EU Recovery Plan. Indeed, as stated by European Commission’s Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, ‘Culture is not a luxury but a necessity. It is part of our heritage and of our European way of life. We therefore must unite to put it at the heart of our new future’.
We wish you an inspiring and enriching journey through our Digital Agora and related online platform! Please, share your contributions for inclusion in our next editions with Manon Richard (
On behalf of the Europa Nostra Agora Team,
Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović
Secretary General
European Heritage Label: newly selected sites in 2020 - On 30 June, the European Commission met with the 10 new sites that have been awarded the European Heritage Label in 2020. The Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel warmly congratulated the sites and emphasized their significant role in the history and culture of Europe and the building of the Union: “They all provide great opportunities for European citizens to connect with their cultural heritage and strengthen their sense of belonging to the European Union.” The Label is awarded to sites that are milestones in the creation of today’s Europe. Spanning from the dawn of civilization to the Europe we see today, these sites celebrate and symbolise European ideals, values, history and integration.
Congratulations to the ten new sites!
European Heritage Days Stories - The 11 stories selected in the frame of the European Heritage Days Stories 2020 edition have been announced, of which 3 were laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards. The call for European Heritage Days Stories, as a joint action of the European Commission and the Council of Europe, highlights stories behind the European Heritage Days event and provides funding for selected sites to develop their story into a project. Since 2018, the European Heritage Days have collected over 200 beautiful Stories from every corner of the continent. The annual Call for Stories is open to European Heritage Days communities from participating countries, European Heritage Label sites, and European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Award winners.
The Franja Partisan Hospital European Heritage Label site received this year a European Heritage Days Stories award, for its story ‘Franja Partisan Hospital – A hidden gem of Europe’. Located in Cerkno, Slovenia, the Franja Hospital was a secret World War II hospital run by the Slovenian partisans as part of the resistance movement against the occupying Nazi forces. The hospital was run and kept secret thanks to the support of local people. Today, it has been turned into a museum promoting solidarity, democratic values and human rights. The site was designated as a European Heritage site in 2015, under the European Heritage Label action, as a spectacular example of a humanitarian action undertaken in extreme conditions.
The Director of the site, Ivana Leskovec, reacted: “We are glad that our project on the Franja Partisan Hospital was awarded. We are proud to manage the heritage of European importance and we are happy to be able to pass on to visitors the values that are the values of all Europeans. The award will, in these difficult times of the coronavirus which have greatly reduced the number of visitors in our museums, significantly contribute to complete realization of our project.
Goethe Institüt - In the frame of the German Presidency of the EU (July - December 2020), the Goethe Institüt is launching several European-wide projects aiming at strengthening a common European public sphere as well as promoting European digital civil society and ecological cultural change in Europe, such as:
  • #OEKOROPA: a Europe-wide youth competition on sustainable travel
  • Disappearing Wall: an interactive wall installation combining quotes from European high and pop culture showing Europe’s diversity
  • Europe’s Kitchen: an exploration of hospitality in the widest sense of the word
  • Tell me about Europe: an invitation to delve into the memories of well-known Europeans alive and join in the discussion
  • Earth Speakr: a participatory and Europe-wide artwork created by Olafur Eliasson
France: Mission Patrimoine 2020 - On 30 June, the French Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, and Stéphane Bern, who was entrusted by French President Macron with a Mission for heritage in peril, announced the 18 emblematic sites selected for the Mission Patrimoine 2020, in the presence of Guillaume Poitrinal, President of the Fondation du Patrimoine and Stéphane Pallez, President and Director of the FDJ Group (French Lottery). These sites will receive financial support from the Fondation du Patrimoine, through the special heritage Lottery, from the Ministry of Culture for buildings protected as historic monuments, as well as from donations and sponsorship.
#RetourAuMusée: With the reopening of museums in France after quarantine, Paris Musées have organised a competition across social media. The idea is to publish your most beautiful pictures of your museum visits with the hashtag #RetourAuMusée as well as tagging @parismusees and the relevant museum before 26 July. A jury will pick the three best photos of museum visits and the winners will receive a one-year unlimited access pass to museums in Paris as well as a tote bag and some postcards! If this interests you, find out more here, and if you are not in Paris and can’t participate - you can still delight in beautiful pictures of these museums, their artwork and artifacts, by following the hashtag.
#CultureTogether: Culture Together is an initiative by Be Culture and MOVIETOWN, which aims to promote a common experience of culture while at home in quarantine. Culture Together posts a short video every day in which they interview prominent cultural figures from Belgium and sometimes the larger Benelux region. They feature organisers and performers for platforms such as the Belgian National Orchestra, the Festival International du Film Francophone or ADAM Brussels Design Museum. With over 90 days worth of content, there is a treasure-trove of cultural actors showcasing the diversity of cultural heritage in Belgium and the surroundings. You can find the videos on their instagram platform @culturetogether.
#GalleryOfTheWeek: Europeana, as part of the #MuseumFromHome initiative, puts together thematic online galleries on themes such as Postcards from Europe or the Heroes of medicine. These galleries allow you to delve into a part of history or a theme you may not have otherwise, in an easy and accessible digital format. Discover these lovely curations on Europeana’s twitter, facebook or find them all cataloged here.
#CulturePrime: 6 french audio-visual companies have come together to create the platform CulturePrime. Each week short videos are published on cultural themes such as the literature of James Baldwin or women in cinema - with the intent of making culture accessible to all. These videos are on video streaming websites such as YouTube or on Culture Prime’s social media, all labelled with #CulturePrime. Their motto: “Parce que la culture, ça se partage” - “Because culture is meant to be shared”.
#FolkloreThursday: Folklore Thursday is an organisation aimed to promote folk culture on social media platforms, primarily twitter. Every thursday, their team puts out short articles, videos and tweets on a folk theme (covering traditions, beliefs, customs, stories and culture from Europe and beyond). Their tweets can be found through the #FolkloreThursday hashtag, their archive or simply their twitter account @FolkloreThurs. They additionally compile resources on folklore such as a recommended reading list. Delve into folklore and tradition in accessible and bite-size stories, as well as discover the online community who are passionate about preserving oral heritage.
IMPORTANT: Do not forget to join & contribute to our conversation on social media with the hashtag #EuropaNostraAgora on Twitter, Instagram and FacebookWe also invite you to watch our #TakeoverTuesdays Instagram stories with laureates of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2020.
Promoting Europe’s cultural heritage and diversity – Who? How? With whom? Online conference in the framework of the German Presidency of the EU to be held on 13–14 July 2020. The online conference will focus on the document ‘European Quality Principles for EU-funded interventions with potential impact upon cultural heritage’, produced by ICOMOS under the mandate of the European Commission and in the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Heritage experts, policy-makers and civil society representatives from across Europe will have an open discussion on the recommendations provided in the ICOMOS Document for the long-term conservation and promotion of cultural heritage by the EU and its Member States. The Conference is supported by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media in partnership with ICOMOS Europe, the European Heritage Legal Forum, the German Association of Heritage Conservationists, the Association of German Federal State Archaeologists and the Association of German Cities. Europa Nostra Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg - Mihailovic will contribute to the Conference with a keynote address and as part of the concluding panel discussion. More information here. Read the programme here. Please register at to receive access details.
EU Presidency Trio Conference: Museums and Social Responsibility - Values revisited - In the frame of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, NEMO and the German Museums Association are co-organising the online conference Museums and Social Responsibility - Values revisited from 17-18 September 2020. The conference will focus on what social responsibility means for museums. Through their daily work, museums make a significant contribution to social responsibility by dealing with questions that are connected to social cohesion, social inclusion and social diversity. From 17-18 September, experts will discuss what museums can do, what is needed, and what still is missing to make an impact on our European society. More information on the programme and registration will soon be available here.
Culture: an accelerator under used? Realising the potential of culture for short-term recovery and long-term sustainable development Webinar on 13 July (12:00 – 13:30 New York Time). The recent statement on Culture and COVID-19, endorsed by the President of the UN General Assembly, calls for action to integrate culture into short-term and long-term policy thinking. This webinar will investigate how well culture has been integrated into the UN 2030 Agenda process so far, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar is organised by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) with International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), United Cities and Local Governments and The #Culture2030 Network as a side-event of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2020 (HLPF 2020) of the United Nations. Read more here. Register here to participate.
CBA Festival of Archaeology Digital Week - From 11-19 July 2020, the Council for British Archaeology is organising the Festival of Archaeology Digital Week run in partnership with Historic England and other heritage and archaeology bodies around the UK. 9 days of online archaeology events are replacing the usual summer programme, while on the ground events have been postponed to 24 October - 1 November. Planned activity includes the CBA’s Online Archaeology Day with Wessex Archaeology on 11 July, interactive talks and panel discussions from experts – including TV archaeologist and Festival ambassador Alex Langlands, plus a range of other events and content that shine a light on every aspect of archaeology. Discover the programme and competitions here.
Lecture: A virtual tour of World Heritage Sites in less than 80 days - MANCENT (Manchester Continuing Education Network) is putting together a virtual tour of a selection of the 908 cultural World Heritage Sites, introducing them and discussing why they should be considered important. The lectures will be organised in thematic groups of five and will be spread over several weekdays, depending on the lecturers presenting. Each date will consist of a 50-60min lecture, 10 minutes break and 15-20 minutes discussion. The themes presented are: Frontiers of the Roman Empire ; The cities of Rome ; European Prehistoric Sites and Praecolombian archaeology of the Americas. Book your lecture here.
The Future is Heritage Online Programme 2020 - Join the 'FisH Online Programme 2020' for online sessions around heritage topics that will be central in the upcoming main event of The Future is Heritage! Each month, one of the themes of the upcoming main event will be introduced and discussed in an interactive online session, by examining case studies from different European countries and triggering opinion and experience sharing. Don’t miss the first online session on the topic “Heritage & Tourism” to be held on Thursday 16 July 2020 (register here). Additionally, we invite you to visit the newly launched “The Future is Heritage” website to learn more about the journey and activities of this international network and platform that aims to strengthen the position of young people working in the heritage field throughout Europe.
European Heritage Alliance Manifesto conveyed to EU Leaders ahead of the next European Council meeting in Brussels. At the very start of the German Presidency of the European Union and ahead of the important meeting of the European Council on 17-18 July 2020 in Brussels, Europa Nostra sent, on behalf of the 49 members of the European Heritage Alliance, individual letters to all 27 EU leaders urging them to seize the challenge of Europe’s unprecedented recovery plans to unleash the transformative power of cultural heritage for the future of Europe. The letters were accompanied by the European Heritage Alliance Manifesto ‘Cultural Heritage: a powerful catalyst for the Future of Europe’. As part of the intense advocacy campaign carried out by Europa Nostra on behalf of the European Heritage Alliance, these letters have been shared with all EU Ministers in charge of Culture, as well as with the 27 EU Member States’ Permanent representatives to the EU in Brussels. Read more here.
Joint letter by German, French and Italian Ministers in charge of Culture addressed to Commissioner Gabriel calls for necessary funding for culture within EU recovery instruments. In the run-up to the German Presidency of the EU, on 30 June, German Minister in charge of culture Monika Grütters, together with French and Italian Ministers for Culture Franck Riester and Dario Franceschini, conveyed a joint letter to European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel calling for an increase in the Creative Europe budget in light of the negotiations of the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU (2021-2027). In the letter, the 3 Ministers reaffirm the commitment of the German Presidency of the EU to relaunch culture and the media after the crisis, and to support entirely the efforts of the European Commission in duly funding and aiding these sectors. Read Press release here.
Priorities of the six-month German Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 July - 31 December 2020). 1 July marked the start of the German Presidency of the European Union, handed over by Croatia. With the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery”, the German Presidency will focus on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and seeking answers to the challenges of the future. The guiding principles of the six-month German Presidency are: 1) overcoming the pandemic permanently and secure Europe’s economic recovery; 2) a stronger and more innovative Europe; 3) a fair Europe; 4) a sustainable Europe; 5) a Europe of security and common values, and 6) a strong Europe in the world. When introducing the priorities of the German Presidency, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, said ‘Together for Europe’s recovery' – this motto is directed at us all, the citizens of Europe, and by no means solely at governments and parliaments (...) For Europe can only succeed if we work together. Read more about the German Presidency of the EU here.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Cultural and Creative Sector Report commissioned by the Council of Europe. The report, prepared by KEA European Affairs for the Council of Europe, aims to provide a first analysis on the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural and creative sector. It provides a first assessment of the pandemic’s economic impact on the sector, enlightening the intrinsic precarity of its workers. It continues with a panoramic overview on the measures taken at the international, national and local level to tackle the economic and social crisis. The report concludes with a perspective on the “new normalities” provoked by the pandemic as well as recommendations on future policies for the sector in the aftermath of the pandemic. Read the full report here.
European Heritage Label 2021 - applications are now open at national level for the 2021 Selection! The Label is given to sites which have a strong symbolic European value and have played a significant role in the history and culture of Europe and/or the building of the Union. Candidate sites must submit a project highlighting and presenting their European dimension and demonstrate that they have the operational capacity to carry out this project.
The selection of sites takes place in two stages. The national level selection is the first stage. The final selection is then carried out among the pre-selected sites at European level by a panel of independent experts under the European Commission's responsibility. As each participating Member State establishes its own procedures and own calendar for the national selection, we recommend contacting respective National Coordinators for further information (the list and contact details are available here).
The European Heritage Label is open to sites in the 25 Member States participating 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 and Spain.
The 48 European Heritage sites are milestones in the creation of today’s Europe. Spanning from the dawn of civilization to the Europe we see today, they include monuments, natural, underwater, archaeological, industrial or urban sites, cultural landscapes, places of remembrance, cultural goods and objects and intangible heritage.
Heritage in Motion - This multimedia competition is for the creators and users of films, games, apps and websites on themes related to Europe’s heritage, cultural and natural, tangible and intangible. It is an initiative of Europa Nostra together with the European Museum Academy and powered by Europeana. Heritage in Motion grants awards and celebrates the best multimedia achievements and products – through varied, creative and innovative means - in order to draw attention to the value of Europe’s cultural and natural heritage in all its facets. Submit your application by 1 August 2020 and win the chance to showcase your successful project!
European Commission: Platform for the Cross-border Distribution of European Performing Arts Works - The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the vulnerability of the performing arts sector. The new call aims to support the cross-border circulation and digital distribution of performing arts works. This will help the sector recover and regain its European dimension, which is a clear added value of the Creative Europe programme. The new support scheme will also address the impact of mobility on the environment and the role of digital culture. The call for tenders worth 2,5 million euros should lead to the selection of a contractor or consortium in the fourth quarter of 2020 so that funds can reach the sector as soon as possible. Apply by 31 July here. Expressions of Interest for Strategic Partnerships - Since 2008, ASEF’s arts and culture website – - has been enabling public access to relevant digital information on arts and culture for individual artists, arts organisations and policymakers across the 51 countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) region. ASEF is now inviting expressions of interest from public agencies and private foundations working in the arts, culture, heritage, creative industries, cultural diplomacy and digital sectors, to partner to shape the future of this exciting project. Deadline: 31 July. More information here. 
UNESCO: Culture & COVID-19 Impact and Response Tracker - To address the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the culture sector, UNESCO is publishing a weekly Issue to provide an overview of the rapidly evolving situation. It explores both the immediate impact of the health crisis and examples of how countries are adapting to the situation, giving facts and figures from around the world. This is one of several initiatives by UNESCO to respond to the impact of the pandemic on the cultural sector worldwide. You can read online the 12 latest issues on themes such as museum closures, tourism, biological diversity, indigeneous people and tourism.
You are receiving this informative email because you have subscribed to the Europa Nostra e-newsletter. You can unsubscribe by sending an email to If you would like to read our Privacy Policy please click here:
The European Voice of Civil Society committed to Cultural Heritage
Lange Voorhout 35, 2514 EC The Hague, The Netherlands | +31 (0)70 302 40 50 |
Brussels Office
Rue de Treves/Trierstraat 45, 1040 Brussels, Belgium | T +32 (0)2 486 25 26 |
Proud founding member and coordinator of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3
With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union
© 2020 Europa Nostra