Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra ( Latin for „Our Europe“) is a pan-European Federation for Cultural Heritage , representing citizens‘ organizations that work on Europe’s cultural and natural heritage . It is the voice of this movement of international organizations, in particular the European Union , the Council of Europe and UNESCO . [1] It has consultative status with UNESCO [2] and is recognized as an NGO partner.

Organization and objectives

Europa Nostra’s network covers almost 50 countries across Europe and beyond. It is composed of over 150 member organizations, 150 associated organizations and also 1500 individual members who directly support the mission of Europa Nostra . [3]

Europa Nostra’s main goal is to place its heritage and its benefits in the mainstream of public awareness and to make a legacy of higher priority for public policies both at European and national levels. Its specific objectives are to promote, at a European level, high standards of quality in the fields of heritage conservation , architecture, urban and rural planning and to advocate a balanced and sustainable development of urban and rural, built and natural environment. Europa Nostra also seeks to highlight the importance of cultural heritage as a building block of European identity and contributing to a stronger sense of European citizenship .

Its activities are coordinated by an International Secretariat based in The Hague (Netherlands) headed by Europa Nostra’s Secretary General, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović (Netherlands / Serbia). In several countries, the International Secretariat is assisted in its tasks by country representations.

Europa Nostra’s main activities are:

  1. to act as a representative lobby for cultural heritage in Europe
  2. to celebrate and promote excellence through the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards ;
  3. to save Europe’s historic monuments, sites and cultural landscapes
  4. to animate a network of cultural heritage stakeholders in Europe.


Europa Nostra was founded in 1963 on the initiative of Italia Nostra , as a response to the serious threat to the survival of Venice , caused by regular flooding. In 1991 it merged with the International Burgen Institute (the International Castles Institute), itself created in 1949. [4]

Today, Europa Nostra is presided over by world-renowned opera singer Maestro Plácido Domingo (Spain), and its Executive President is Denis de Kergorlay (France). Previous presidents have been HRH the Infanta Doña Pilar of Borbón from Spain (2007-2009), HRH the Prince Consort of Denmark (1990-2007) and Hans of Koster from the Netherlands (1984-1990).

Lobby for cultural heritage

Acting as a European cultural heritage lobby, Europa Nostra seeks to secure adequate support for cultural heritage in various areas of European policy-making and funding. It advocates the need to take into account the role of the European Union and national policies, which has an impact – direct or indirect – on heritage. Europa Nostra also seeks to highlight the importance and the specific character of cultural heritage within the European Union , Council of Europe , and UNESCO .

During its European Heritage Congress held in Amsterdam (June 2011), Europa Nostra and 27 other European and international networks and organizations active in the wider field of cultural heritage decided to set up the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 .

In March 2010, Europa Nostra opened a liaison office in Brussels , whose task is to coordinate Europa Nostra’s lobbying of EU institutions and other European and international bodies based in Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris.

European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards

EU Prize for Cultural Heritage
Europa Nostra Awards
Awarded for Best practice in heritage conservation
Country EU and EFTA members
First awarded 2002
website www .europanostra .org/ heritage-awards /

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards for excellence in cultural heritage conservation , ranging from the restoration of buildings and their adaptation to new uses, to urban and rural landscape rehabilitation, archaeological site interpretations, and care for art collections. Moreover, it highlights research, dedicated service to heritage conservation by individuals or organizations, and education projects related to cultural heritage. The awards are supported by the Creative Europe program. It has been organized by Europa Nostra since 2002.

This awards scheme aims to promote high standards and high-quality skills in conservation practice and to encourage cross-border exchange. By spreading the „Power of Example“, the awards also encourage further efforts and projects related to Europe’s legacy. [5] [6]

Europa Nostra is the main partner of “ The Best in Heritage „, which takes place in the second part of September in the world heritage city of Dubrovnik (Croatia).

Heritage in Danger

Europa Nostra supports national and international campaigns for the preservation and rescue of Europe’s heritage which is in danger. In January 2013 it launched with the European Investment Bank Group , represented by the EIBInstitute, the 7 Most Endangered Program to identify endangered monuments and sites in Europe and mobilize public and private partners on a local, national and European level to find a future those sites, working as a catalyst for action. [7] The 7 Most Endangered sites and monuments for 2013 were selected from a list of 14 international nominations from 40 member nominations from member organizations from 21 countries. [8]

In recent years, Europa Nostra has brought its voice to save endangered historic monuments, sites or landscapes in Europe such as:

  • The area of Rosia Montana ( Transylvania , Romania), whose heritage and environment is threatened by a proposed open-cast gold mine ; [9]
  • The Roman archaeological site of Allianoi (Turkey), threatened by the construction of an irrigation dam (today, the site has disappeared under water); [10] [11] [12]
  • Mont Saint-Michel ( Normandy , France) threatened by the proposed construction of giant wind-turbines having a negative visual impact on the cultural landscape surrounding Mont; [13]
  • Italian historic cities, mainly in the Emilia Romagna region, affected by the earthquakes in May 2012; [14]
  • The Ancient City of L’Aquila and the surrounding distinctive villages ( Abruzzo Region, Italy) under attack by various degrees of destruction caused by the April 2008 earthquake;
  • The Ancient City of Famagusta (Cyprus) |
  • The remains of the Mediaeval Town Hall of Berlin (Germany);
  • The Piazza Sant’Ambrogio in Milano ( Lombardy , Italy) being threatened by the proposed construction of an underground car park. [15]

Pan-European Network

Europa Nostra serves as a platform for conservation , education, research, communication and interpretation . It helps its professionals, volunteers and supporters from all over Europe and beyond to meet, debate and inspire each other. They also have a wide range of stakeholders, be they policy makers, other European or international networks related to heritage, students and young heritage professionals or the public at large. Europa Nostra is a partner of Wiki Loves Monuments, the Wikipedia photo contest around cultural heritage. [16]

Europa Nostra organizes an annual European Heritage Congress, including a public forum on various topics that are of relevance to the whole of Europe. It also holds smaller-scale national, regional and local meetings and debates with heritage in Europe. In addition to this, Europa Nostra’s Scientific Council organizes an annual Colloquium to promote and coordinate the scientific study of ancient structures and fortified buildings in Europe.


Europa Nostra publishes an annual magazine restyled in 2010 with the name „Heritage in Motion“ ISSN  1871-417X . This magazine contains articles related to cultural heritage actors and initiatives in the country or the city which hosts the annual congress of Europa Nostra. Its previous name was „European Cultural Heritage Review“ ISSN  1871-417X .

Europa Nostra’s Scientific Council has also published a total of 64 volumes of its „Scientific Bulletin“.


Europa Nostra is a non-profit organization, which is financially supported by membership fees and donations, by the European Commission and other public bodies and private supporters and sponsors.

Europa Nostra’s membership is made of different categories:

  • Any non-governmental and not-for-profit organization (eg association, foundation or museum) working actively to the cultural and natural heritage at European, national, regional and / or local level can submit an application to become a Member Organization.
  • The following is an organization (eg regions, cities, towns, governmental heritage agencies, educational institutions, tourism organizations, and global heritage organizations).
  • Individuals who wish to directly support Europa Nostra’s action can become an Individual Member.

See also

  • Art conservation and restoration
  • Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe
  • European Heritage Alliance 3.3
  • European Heritage Days
  • European Museum Forum
  • Global Heritage Fund
  • Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
  • International Committee of the Blue Shield
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites
  • List of World Heritage Sites in Europe
  • The Best in Heritage
  • World Heritage Convention
  • World Heritage Site
  • World Monuments Fund


  1. Jump up^ „Europa Nostra website“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  2. Jump up^ „UNESCO“ . UNESCO . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  3. Jump up^ „Europa Nostra membership“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  4. Jump up^ „History of Europa Nostra“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  5. Jump up^ „Europa Nostra website“ . Europa Nostra . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  6. Jump up^ [1] Archived29 June 2012 at theWayback Machine.
  7. Jump up^ “ ‚ The 7 Most Endangered‘ Program launched“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  8. Jump up^ „The 14 Most Endangered European Heritage Sites“ . Huffington Post. 2013-05-19 . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  9. Jump up^ „“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  10. Jump up^ Laura Allsop (14 October 2010). „CNN“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  11. Jump up^ Guillaume Perrier (October 5, 2010). „The Guardian“ . London: The Guardian . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  12. Jump up^ [2] Archived23 January 2011 at theWayback Machine.
  13. Jump up^ [3]
  14. Jump up^ „Europa Nostra website“ . . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .
  15. Jump up^ [4] Archived25 October 2015 at theWayback Machine.
  16. Jump up^ „Wiki Loves Monuments“ . Wiki Loves Monuments . Retrieved 2013-09-19 .