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Finland to join the European Heritage Label initiative

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 28.11.2018 14.30
Press release
In 1906, Finland became the first European country to adopt universal and equal suffrage. The image shows citizens voting in the parliamentary election in 1929. Image: Finnish Heritage Agency Picture Collections.

Finland has decided to participate in the European Heritage Label initiative. The European Heritage Label can be awarded to sites in the EU that have a particular significance for European history, culture and integration.

“The European Heritage Label is a cultural heritage initiative of the European Union. Its objective is to increase Europeans’ knowledge about European history and diverse cultural heritage,” says Minister of Culture Sampo Terho.

According to Terho, joining the European Heritage Label project will bring welcome continuity to the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which is in its final stage. “Finland will continue to be actively involved in the discussion on what constitutes European cultural heritage,” Terho comments.

By awarding the label to sites, the initiative aims to increase appreciation for cultural heritage by promoting the significance and public awareness of cultural sites. The label can be awarded to monuments, natural or urban sites, cultural landscapes, places of remembrance and cultural goods and objects. It can also be granted to the intangible cultural heritage associated with a place.

The label is granted based on the recommendations of a panel of independent experts, to whom Member States can propose candidates. Every second year, each Member State can pre-select a maximum of two sites for designation.

European Heritage Label

The Commission granted its first Heritage Labels in 2014. The label has been awarded to 38 sites so far, and the list is growing each year. Of the 28 EU Member States, four have not yet participated in the project.

The label is permanent, but sites must meet certain criteria in order to maintain it. The label does not cost anything, nor do sites with the label receive funding from the EU.

The range of sites that have been awarded the label is very broad. Heritage Label sites include the historic Gdánsk shipyard, the Portuguese Charter of Law of Abolition of the Death Penalty from 1867 and the Franja Partisan Hospital in the Slovenian mountains.

Inquiries: Päivi Salonen, Counsellor for Cultural Affairs, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 2953 30281

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