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Culture and Creativity

Application process of the European Heritage Label

Eligibility criteria

Candidate sites for the European Heritage Label will have to demonstrate in their application

  • their intrinsic European values
  • the role they played in European culture and history and/or the build-up of the Union.

Eligible countries

The list of eligible countries participating in this action is defined in the  Decision establishing the European Heritage Label action.

Eligible candidates

The list of eligible site is defined in the  Decision establishing the European Heritage Label action, encompassing

  • monuments
  • natural, underwater, archaeological, industrial or urban sites
  • cultural landscapes
  • places of remembrance
  • cultural goods
  • objects
  • intangible heritage associated with a place, including contemporary heritage

Eligible projects

The European Union awards the European Heritage Label to 3 types of sites.

  1. Single site: application of one site.
  2. National thematic site: several sites, located in the same Member State, which focus on one specific theme and submit a joint application.
  3. Transnational site: several sites, located in different Member States, which focus on one specific theme and submit a joint application, or one site located on the territory of at least two Member States submits an application.

For transnational sites, the label is awarded to the site as a whole and under the common name. If a transnational site meets all the criteria, priority is given to that site during the selection.

Selection process

Selection criteria

For each biannual selection process

  • each participating Member State may pre-select up to 2 sites every 2years
  • the European Panel will then select 1 site per participating Member State

Article 7 of the Decision lays the criteria for the preselection.

Pre-selection process

Each participating Member State establishes its own procedures and its own calendar for the pre-selection, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity.

Member States send the application forms of the pre-selected sites to the Commission by 1 March of the year of the selection procedure, according to the calendar of the Decision.

the Decision.

Selection process

A European panel of independent experts carries out the selection of the sites at an EU level under the responsibility of the European Commission. This panel selects a maximum of one site per Member State.

The panel issues a report on the pre-selected sites including a recommendation for the attribution of the label.

The Commission then designates the sites to be awarded the label, having due regard to the recommendation of the European panel.

Candidate sites not selected may submit new applications for pre-selection at national level in the following years.

Application documents

As specified in the guidelines document for candidate sites, candidate sites should

  • contact the European Heritage Label national coordinator for information on national-level pre-selection
  • complete and submit the application form to the respective national coordinator


2023 application forms are available through the below links.

For specific questions, contact the European Commission at

For additional information and general questions about the application process, contact the national coordinator in the respective Member State.

Validity of the label awarded

The European Union awards the Heritage Label on a permanent basis.

The relevant Member State monitors regularly each award-winning site to ensure that it continues to meet the criteria for the attribution of the label and that it respects the project and work plan submitted with the application.

Sites may renounce the label at any time. They shall notify the Member States concerned, which shall in turn inform the Commission. More information on monitoring, withdrawal, or renunciation is available in the Decision establishing the action.

Previous selections

Find the European panel reports on selections procedures under the Reports section, at the end of the page.

Tagged in:  Creative Europe