The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage was launched in 2002 by the European Commission as part of the implementation of the Culture Programme. Europa Nostra, the Voice of Cultural Heritage in Europe, was selected to run this Awards Scheme on the basis of its long experience in publicly recognising individual or joint excellence in the field of Cultural Heritage at a European level.


The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards is granted annually to identify and promote best practices in the conservation of tangible cultural heritage, to stimulate the trans-frontier exchanges of knowledge and experience throughout Europe, to enhance public awareness and appreciation of Europe's cultural heritage, and to encourage further exemplary initiatives through the Power of Example.

Outstanding heritage achievements will be awarded in the following categories:

1. Conservation

2. Research

3. Dedicated Service by Individuals or Organisations

4. Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

Criteria for the assessment of entries include excellence in the work executed and preliminary research conducted, as well as respect for artistic, cultural and social value, setting, authenticity and integrity. Special attention will also be paid to sustainability, interpretation and presentation, educational work, funding and management, and social responsibility. Entries can be on a scale ranging from small to large, local to international, and should display a standard of work considered outstanding in a European context.

The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards consists of two award levels. Up to six entries will be awarded a Grand Prix, which includes a monetary award of € 10 000. Up to twenty-five entries will receive an Award.

Closing date:

1 October 2011

For further information:


Elena Bianchi

Heritage Awards Coordinator

Lange Voorhout 35

NL-2514 EC The Hague, The Netherlands

T. + 31 70 302 40 58


Download an entry form:


Select the most appropriate category and submit one entry only per project or field of work.



Outstanding achievements in the conservation, enhancement and adaptation to new uses, of cultural heritage in the following areas:

Architectural Heritage: single buildings or groups of buildings in rural or urban setting.

Building additions or alterations, or new building projects within historic areas.

Industrial and engineering structures and sites.

Cultural landscapes: Historic urban environments or townscapes, city or town squares and streetscapes

Historic parks and gardens, larger areas of designed landscape or of cultural, environmental and/or agricultural significance.

Archaeological sites, including underwater archaeology.

Works of art and collections: collections of artistic and historic significance or old works of art.

o Projects should have involved restoration or conservation of a structure or site, its adaptation to new uses, building additions or alterations, or new design in conservation areas.

o The building / site / work(s) of art must be accessible to the public. Buildings or sites that are regularly used by large numbers of people, for instance schools or office premises, are considered accessible. Private buildings or sites that are regularly open to visitors are considered accessible.

o The project may include an interpretative display for cultural or educational purposes.

o Completed phases of large-scale projects are eligible. Entrants should state in the description how the phase relates to the project as a whole, and indicate the overall project’s expected completion date.

o The project must have been completed within the past three years: September 2008 - September 2011.

Category 2: RESEARCH

Outstanding research which leads to tangible effects in the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe in any of the above-mentioned Category 1 areas.

o Studies, results of research and/or scientific publications may be submitted. If the study is preliminary research carried out before a now completed intervention, submit the entry as a Category 1 project only.

o Studies, results of research and/or scientific publications must have been completed within the past three years: September 2008 - September 2011.


Open to individuals or organisations whose contributions over a long period of time demonstrate excellence in the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage (relating to the above-mentioned Category 1 areas) in Europe and far exceeding normal expectations in the given context. The contribution should be of a standard which would be considered outstanding in the European context and may have a European impact.

o Entries must be nominated by a third party only

o Entries must be supported by three letters of recommendation from persons other than the nominator.


Outstanding initiatives related to education, training and awareness-raising in the field of tangible cultural heritage (in any of the above-mentioned Category 1 areas), to promote and/or to contribute to the sustainable development of the built environment.

The projects should be:

ongoing and sufficiently advanced to have led to tangible results

exemplary, sustainable and applicable in other parts of Europe

innovative and creative

interactive and participatory

programmes beyond the usual academic framework

They should also have a scientific base, reach a large audience and promote social inclusion, intercultural and inter-generational dialogue, as well as active citizenship.

The projects should be related to education or training, or the combination of the two. They can be solely awareness-raising projects too (e.g. innovative and interactive media-projects, campaigns, etc).

The training projects should also be based on a sound pedagogical method, and should provide knowledge of historical construction and technical skills, interdisciplinary co-operation, mastering of processes in restoration and reconciliation of historical and modern technology. They should result in self esteem and confidence.

The educational projects should also have a sound educational method to familiarize the public with the tangible heritage, creating an acceptance and support for the built environment and sensibilisation of non-experts. The project should result in a change of mindset related to the tangible cultural heritage.

All projects should result in local support, building a sense of place and identity of ownership.

Who may submit an entry

o Entries may be submitted from all European countries. However, only entries from countries that take part in the Culture Programme of the European Commission are eligible for the monetary award1.

o Entries may be submitted by anyone closely connected with the entry, as long as the permission from the owner of the building or site, author of the study, or nominee has been obtained prior to submission.

o Entries may be resubmitted once only in the same category with an enlarged documentation.

1 Entries from, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus Republic, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, FYROM, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom are eligible for the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage. Entries from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the Holy See, Moldova, Monaco, the Russian Federation, San Marino, Switzerland and Ukraine are eligible for a Europa Nostra Award ONLY.

Entry dossiers

o Entrants should complete and submit the entry form and annex the required information. Please follow carefully the ‘Dossier requirements’ for the appropriate category when preparing your dossier, as non-compliance will result in the entry being disqualified and not submitted to the Jury.

o All dossiers must be submitted in English or French only.

o Receipt of the dossiers will be acknowledged by the Europa Nostra Secretariat.

o Dossiers will not be returned but filed in the Europa Nostra archives.

Selection procedure

o Award-winning entries will be selected by a European Jury of independent experts. Jury members are designated by Europa Nostra. The Jury will adopt its own rules of procedure upon proposal of its Chairman. The decisions of the Jury are final.

o Entries in categories 1, 3 and 4 will be assessed on location by a local expert prior to the Jury meeting. Assessors will submit their recommendations to the Jury.


o Entrants will be informed of the decision of the Jury by 15 April 2012. Correspondence may not be entered into regarding the decision of the Jury.

o Representatives of all winning entries will be invited to attend the European Heritage Awards Ceremony in June 2012 where they will be presented their awards.


o All winning entries will receive a certificate.

o All winning entries in Category 1 will receive one bronze wall plaque.

o All winning entries in Categories 2-3-4 will receive one bronze statue.

o Winners of a Grand Prix will in addition to the above mentioned receive a monetary award of € 10 000.


o Award winners must respect the Media embargo stated on their notification of winning an Award, until such time as advised by the Europa Nostra Secretariat. This is in order to maximise the announcement of the total list of Laureates.

o Award-winning achievements will be widely publicised throughout Europe.

o Award winners will endeavour to achieve local media coverage of their Award (after the embargo has been lifted), and will provide the Europa Nostra Secretariat with a list of their local media contacts.

o Award winners are expected to provide Europa Nostra with additional photo material for PR purposes upon notification of the Jury decision, if necessary. All photo material provided must be copyright free for Europa Nostra’s use for publicity and other uses; photo credits will be noted on request.

o Award winners are expected to organise, in consultation with the Europa Nostra Secretariat and after the European Heritage Awards Ceremony has taken place, a Local Awards Ceremony to present their award to those involved in completing their project, and local community and to promote their achievements at the national level.

o Owners or those responsible for the Category 1 winning projects are obliged to place the awarded bronze plaque, in-situ and in a visible location.