Culture / heritage

The European Heritage Label

The European Heritage Label (EHL), created in 2013, is an initiative within the Creative Europe program and awards sites promoting European values and history. The main goal of the label is to strengthen the sense of belonging to the EU, promoting shared values, history and intercultural dialogue. Croatia took part in the initiative in 2015 when the Krapina Neanderthal Museum and Hušnjakovo Excavation site participated in the program. 

Croatian site carrying European Heritage Label

Croatia took part in the initiative in 2015 and proposed the Krapina Neanderthal Museum and Hušnjakovo Excavation Site that was ultimately assigned the label. 

The museum is designed to be interactive as it displays the origin of life on Earth. It is located next to the Neanderthal excavation site discovered in 1899. 

The whole area is a protected natural monument of Croatia as it has an impressive fossil collection that has shaped scientific theories about human development and human life during the Pleistocene Epoch. Thanks to the EHL awarded in 2015, the Museum took part in notable international collaborations and in 2019 was highlighted as a success story within the EU. 

On 11th of September this year, the museum celebrated half a century.

About the European Heritage Label

The European Heritage Label began as an intergovernmental initiative in 2006 and was finalised in 2011 when the label was created. 

In 2013, the first four sites were designated with a label, and that is when all member states began sending proposed sites for the selection process. 

Since then, sites have been selected based on their symbolic value, their role in European history, and the activities they offer. 

They should celebrate and represent European ideals, history, values and multicultural integration. 

Currently, 48 sites across the EU have been designated with the EHL label. 

Selection Process

EHL recognises three types of sites:

  • Single site
  • National thematic site: several sites located in the same member state but are focused within one theme
  • Transnational site: several sites located in the different Member States, focused on the specific theme and are part of a joint application. 

Upon selection completion, the European Commission will provide a toolbox on how to manage EHL sites. 

It has examples for promotional campaigns, inspiration for logo and graphics design with included best practices.

The process of designation is held every two years. Each member state can set up their procedure of pre-selection and can propose two sites. Once candidates are received, a jury of independent experts will complete the selection process and designate a maximum of one site per member state. 

The European Heritage Label is given permanently, but the relevant Member States will monitor each site regularly to make sure criteria of the label are met, and that site follows the project and work plan from their submitted application. 

You can check The European Heritage Label map here:

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