EU prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards

The European Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards were launched in 2002 by the European Commission and have been run by Europa Nostra ever since. The Awards celebrate and promote best practices related to heritage conservation, management, volunteering, research, education and communication. In this way, they contribute to a stronger public recognition of cultural heritage as a strategic resource for Europe’s society, economy and environment.


The aims are:
- to promote high standards of conservation practice;
- to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and experience throughout Europe;
- to encourage further efforts through the power of example.
It will achieve this by giving public recognition to outstanding initiatives and best practices by either individuals or organisations, which contribute to the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe.

In 2021, the Awards will be given to up to 30 remarkable heritage projects and initiatives in four categories. Up to seven will be selected as Grand Prix winners and receive €10,000 each. One will get the Public Choice Award.

The areas are the following:
- Architectural Heritage: single buildings or groups of buildings in rural or urban setting;
- Building additions or alterations, or new building projects within historic areas in urban and rural settings;
- 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;
- Moveable heritage: collections or single works of art or objects of historic significance;
- Intangible heritage;
- Religious heritage sites.

The prize will be awarded to each of the following categories:

Category 1: Conservation
Outstanding achievements in the conservation, enhancement and adaptation to new uses of cultural heritage.

Category 2: Research
Outstanding research projects which lead to tangible effects in the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage in Europe.

Category 3: Dedicated service
Open to individuals or organisations whose contributions over a long period of time (min. 10 years) demonstrate excellence in the protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage (relating to any of the above-mentioned areas in Europe and far exceeding normal expectations in the given context.

Category 4: Education, training and awareness-raising
Outstanding initiatives related to education, training and awareness-raising related to cultural heritage with the aim of fostering capacity-building and local support, building a sense of place and identity and stimulating citizens engagement and ownership.


Entries may be submitted from the countries that take part in the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
You can still apply for a Europa Nostra Award if your country is not on the list of eligible countries.

Countries eligible for the European Heritage Awards: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

Countries eligible for the Europa Nostra Awards only: Andorra, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Faroe Islands, Holy See, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Russia, San Marino, Switzerland and Turkey.


All winning entries receive a certificate as well as a bronze wall plaque to be put up at the awarded building or heritage site.
Among the winners, four projects (one per category) will be selected as Grand Prix winners and one will receive the Public Choice Award following an online vote conducted via the Europa Nostra website. The Grand Prix laureates also receive €10,000 each.

In addition, two new ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will be awarded in 2021 from among the submitted applications.
ILUCIDARE is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme with the aim of fostering heritage-led innovation and diplomacy.
ILUCIDARE will contribute to the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards by identifying and promoting best practices in cultural heritage-led innovation and diplomacy.

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