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European Heritage Label

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 3 Dec 2008 14:32 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I noticed that, among the various options identified by the UK government for the future of its WHS program, was the possibility of contributing to "alternative Designations" such as the "European Heritage Label".

I personally was not aware of this scheme - but perhaps that reflects the UK approach to matters European!!

Anyway, my searches have identified some information which might be of interest to others who do not know about this "list" . I have had difficulty finding suitable English language sites - the majority are in French and, indeed there is a "jolly" taking place at Avignon at this very moment (Conférence pour la constitution d'un réseau des sites labellisés au titre du « Patrimoine européen »)!

a. Background
"The initiative was first announced at the Conference "Europe for Intercultural Dialogue", which took place in Grenada (Spain) on 27 - 28 April 2006. It is a joint proposal by the French, Spanish and Hungarian Ministers of Culture and is designed to highlight the importance of our historical heritage in the building of Europe. The list is not intended as a remake of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Instead of highlighting universal artistic value, it focuses on the value of a site for European history and culture."
(This seems a misreading/mis-statement of the WHS objectives which can encompass both "artistic value" AND/OR significance for "History and culture" - provided there is a "universality" about them, although even that is interpreted pretty widely and certainly can include significant "European" aspects!)

b. Introduction to the scheme (Jan 07) n.pdf

c. The current "List".
The fullest version I have been able to find is in French via the French Ministry of Culture Web site (copied below as the PDF doesn't seem to have a direct link). A shorter list in English and a bit more background is on the French UK embassy site

I get the feeling this is VERY much a French supported initiative. There are no UK or NL sites as yet! There is some, but not a massive, overlap with WHS and T list sites or those which could/should be -the T List ones which appear ot have given up on WHS and settled fro this are of note (E.g the Slovenian Paritsan hospital!). A number of the sites would certainly not seem to be likely to meet UNESCO WHS criteria and indeed some are totally excluded from the UNESCO WHS scheme eg "artefacts" (Belgian Stoneware), "events" (Portuguese abolition of the Death Penalty) or "crafts" (Lithuanian Woodworking) - ie it seems to merge several UNESCO tangible and intangible concepts/lists. overall it appears as a rather "random" list lacking any obvious form and in general I am not impressed - although there are certainly some sites of interest in there. But could it be otherwise if it isn't to duplicate the WHS list? Are there any objective assessment criteria? Can this motley collection of sites really represent the pinnacles of European "history and culture" or is it yet another opportunity for European bureaucrats to occupy and enjoy themselves at our expense! Or maybe my anti-EU prejudices are showing! (Els -Perhaps a "connection" should be established for those which ARE also on the WHS list??)
- Palais des Princes-Evêques à Liège (Région Wallonne)
- Les Grès de Raeren (Communauté Germanophone)
- L'ancien Palais de Bruxelles : site archéologique de Coudenberg (Région de Bruxelles
- Village historique Ename (Région Flandre)
- Site archéologique à Debelt (Région de Bourgas)
- Mémorial « Vassil Levski » à Karlovo
- Cite historique de la ville de Rousse
- Centre de musique Boris Christoff à Sofia
- Les fortifications de Nicosie
- Château de Kolossi
- Site de Kourion
- Circuit de six églises avec fresques byzantines et post-byzantines (Région de Troodos)
Espagne- Archives de la Couronne d'Aragon
- Monastère Royal de Yuste
- Cap Finistère
- Résidence des étudiants de Madrid
- Abbaye de Cluny
- Maison de Robert Schuman à Scy-Chazelles
- Cour d'honneur du Palais des Papes d'Avignon
- Acropole à Athènes
- Palais de Knossos (Crète)
- Site archéologique de Poliochne
- Site byzantin de Monemvasia
- Forteresse de Szigetvar
- Eglise et collège calvinistes de Debrecen
- Forteresse d'Eger
- Château royal d'Esztergom
- Place du Capitole de Rome
- Ile de Ventotene
- Maison natale de Puccini à Lucques
- Maison natale de Rossini à Pesaro
- Maison natale de Verdi à Roncole
- Maison natale de Alcide de Gasperi à Pieve Tesino
- Centre historique de Riga
- Palais de Rundale
- Ville de Kuldiga
- L'oeuvre de Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, compositeur et peintre
- Centre historique de Kaunas
- Le patrimoine sacré en bois de la région de Žemaitija et la colline des croix
- Le musée dédié aux victimes du génocide (soviétique entre 1940 et 1991) à Vilnius
- Catacombes de Rabat
- Chantiers navals à Gdansk
- Colline de Lech (cathédrale, église, palais épiscopaux, musée) à Gniezno
- Cathédrale St Wenceslas et Stanislas sur la colline de Wawel à Cracovie
- Ville de Lublin
- Cathédrale de Braga
- Couvent (église) de Jésus à Setubal
- Bibliothèque générale de l'Université de Coimbra
- L'abolition de la peine de mort
République Tchèque
- Le château de Kynzvart
- Le Mémorial d'Antonin Dvorak à Vysoká
- Zlin, ville de Tomas Bat'a (usine de chaussures)
- La mine de charbon Vitkovice à Ostrava
- Site archéologique d'Istria
- Palais Cantacuzino à Bucarest
- Athénée roumain à Bucarest
- Parc de Brancusi à Târgu Jiu
- Chapelle dédiée à St Constantin à Kopcany
- Cimetière de Zale à Ljubiana
- Hôpital des partisans Franja à Dolenji Novaki
- Mémorial du Saint Esprit à Javorca
Pays hors Union Européenne

- Cathédrale Saint-Pierre à Genève
- Château de La Sarraz
- Hospice du Saint-Gotthard

Author elsslots
#2 | Posted: 21 Mar 2009 08:36 
The European Commission has come up with a public consultation on the subject of transforming the current intergovernmental initiative into a European Heritage Label supported by the EU.

Other international cultural heritage initiatives already exist, such as the UNESCO World
Heritage List, the main purpose of which is to protect monuments and sites of universal
value, and the Council of Europe's Cultural Routes, which emphasise mutual influences
and the sharing of common values. It would therefore be especially important for the new
European Heritage Label to clearly show how it is distinct from and complements these

You can submit your ideas on this at the website linked above.
Or add your thoughts below.

Author cristina
#3 | Posted: 24 May 2009 11:16 
La Comision Europea otorgó indebidamente la etiqueta "patrimonio europeo" en su versión intergubernamental (esto es la UE Como observador ) en Marzo del 2007 a La Residencia de Estudiantes de Madrid, España, que en su propuesta-informe no incluyó un Refugio antiaéreo que esta debajo de dicho lugar, y que es un vestigio de la arquitectura militar de la guerra civil española.
Contraviniendo pues sus propios criterios, donde se pretende resaltar las señas de indentidad comunes a Europa, como puede ser este Refugio y el Hospital de Carabineros que estuvo en dicha Residencia durante los años 1937-38 y 39, dirigido por mi abuelo el Dr Luís Calandre, discípulo del premio nobe de medicina Ramón y Cajal.
Ante esta ocultación de información histórica europea, puse una queja en la Comisión de Peticiones del Parlamento Europeo en Septiembre del 2008 , que en Marzo del 2009 me fué denegada, diciendo que no tenía que ver mi queja con el mal funcionamiento de las Instituciones Comunitarias, lo que a mi manera de ver es falso, pues fué el Comisario de Cultura y Educación , dentro del marco comunitario, el responsable final de que se otorgara dicho Sello" patrimonio europeo", con obligación de vigilancia de que se cumplieran los criterios para dicha etiqueta .
Por todo ello tengo puesta otra queja al Defensor del Pueblo Europeo, sobre el mal funcionamiento de la Comisión de Peticiones del PE que espero me sea atendida con mayor interés.

Author Solivagant
#4 | Posted: 13 Mar 2010 02:09 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Forum members might be interested to note that the EU has just "formalised" this propagandist initiative, which means that it can now legitimately spend even more of our money on it. Anyone who believes that only 920,000 euros pa is going to be spent deserves to have their taxes increased! Such a figure fails to take account of slush funds, monies from National budgets (which are themselves often gloriously inflated by EU subsidies paid for by "net contributors" like UK!) and of course "future growth" (The EU has historically been very good at increasing the scope of everything it comes in contact with!).

But UK, that frequently "semi detatched" member of matters European, still doesn't appear to want to get involved (despite having to pay for it)!! Its recent consultation exercise on the future of nominations to the UNESCO list gave people the chance to opt for the "European Heritage Label" either instead of or in addition to the UNESCO list - but it didn't fly. See the following section from the summary report -
"Option iv) consider alternative designations such as a National Heritage List or the European Heritage Label.
There was no clear support for the idea of alternative designations such as the European Heritage Label or a putative National Heritage List, because resources that would have to be deployed on other such schemes would simply reduce the resources for already hard pressed World Heritage Sites, and the benefits of these alternative designations was not clear.
The Government agrees that these proposed designations do not offer a viable or worthwhile alternative to inscription on the World Heritage List."

This article from the normally generally EU-supportive UK newspaper "The Independent" criticises a number of the sites inscribed so far - including "La Residencia de Estudiantes de Madrid" (the subject of the above post) and pokes some gentle fun at the concept whilst at the same time highlighting its genuine weaknesses and stupidities f-eu-integration-1920678.html

Author Solivagant
#5 | Posted: 23 May 2011 06:38 
The UK has (quite rightly in my view!) decided NOT to take part in this scheme claiming that the UNESCO scheme is quite sufficient beyond national protection/promotion approaches - but we will of course be paying our usual disproportionate amount of the budget of 650000 Euros from Jan 2012 to Dec 2013 (and no doubt ever increasing thereafter!!). But, no doubt all that is amere nothing to the expense accounted overpaid bureaucrats and MEPS in Brussels/Strasbourg.

Criticisms include "a vain attempt to force a common European identity" and a desperate attempt by the EU to "create a synthetic European identity". 011

NB The scheme is separate from the existing "Intergovernmental" scheme - for which we have a "connection" where WHS are on both. Sites on that list can apply for the new one - so we might even see TWO "European Label" schemes progressing for some years at least!!

Author meltwaterfalls
#6 | Posted: 24 May 2011 05:34 
Leaving aside the potential merits of this, I was thinking about how it relates to the UNESCO list.

On the whole these seem like a bunch of sites that don't meet the OUV of the World Heritage List, so they have just gone for a lesser inscription instead.

Maybe this can stem the flow of exceptionally mediocre sites that Western Europe seems to pump into the WHL every year.
I wouldn't hold my breath though and I am sure that we can look forward to some truly wonderful mining landscapes, a minor prince's summer house and wonderful examples of some obscure regions town planning principles (they may reduce the overall quality of the list but I do love traveling to them so I shouldn't complain too much)

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