The European Parliament adopted today a report which calls for a new cultural initiative introducing the European Heritage Label (EHL).
The main objective of the report is transforming an existing intergovernmental scheme (involving 17 Member States plus Switzerland) into a European Union Initiative.
The European Heritage Label will be awarded to cultural sites and historical monuments that have played an important role in European history and symbolize European cultural heritage, values and diversity. The label aims at enhancing awareness of the EU's history and the democratic values underpinning Europe´s integration process. As such the label offers opportunities for cultural tourism, bringing economic benefits.
"Europe is above all a community of values. The European Heritage Label would allow for the Gay Rights Monument and Anne Frank House in The Netherlands to be included, as a symbol of equal rights of all EU citizens", Ms. Schaake Marietje (Democraten 66, Netherlands) said.
Marietje Schaake calls for fostering an online dialogue between citizens on European cultural diversity and heritage. "For the label to have added value, it has to be known by as many people as possible", she added.
Notes: The original concept of the Label emerged in 2005 as one of the responses to the growing gap between the European Union and its citizens. Restarting the project as an EU scheme would improve coordination among Member States, help to define and implement transparent criteria for selecting and increase the quality and expected economic return for awarding the EHL. The financial envelope allocated for the programme implementation is set at EUR 1.350.000 from 1.1.2011 to 31.12.2013.