European Heritage Label Network

Europe’s Cultural Heritage

The EU Commission understood Europe’s cultural heritage as a shared source of remembrance, understanding, identity, dialogue, cohesion, and creativity. Therefore, a broad spectrum of resources, inherited from the past in all forms and aspects, is encompassed. Following categories of Cultural heritage are considered:

  • Tangible
    • Built Cultural Heritage
    • Historic landscapes
    • Cultural Operation (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums)
    • Works of art
  • Intangible
    • Songs
    • Customs / traditions
    • Traditional knowledge
    • Craft techniques, etc.
  • Digital
    • born-digital and
    • digitised

Our sister project INCREAS (coordinated also by the Burghauptmannschaft Österreich) is defining the sector of Cultural Heritage. Further details will be available on

As members of the Cultural Heritage sector, we need to trust on having a huge contribution to European economy. Even, it is not always seen as such. The network of the EHL sites is also there to strengthen this trust between our members and to promote the economic power of Cultural Heritage!

European Policies

Policy-making regarding Cultural Heritage is primarily the responsibility of Member States, regional and local authorities. The EU is committed to safeguarding and enhancing Europe’s cultural heritage. This happens due to common policies and programmes:

European Actions

Cultural Heritage is on the agenda of the EU Commission, not only since the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. There are some activities on EU level to promote European Cultural Heritage, like:

  • European Heritage Label
  • Funded EU project related to Cultural Heritage
  • Platform “Creative Unite”

For the upcoming years the EU Commission defined six political priorities, which Cultural Heritage sites (not only EHL sites) should consider in their work:

  • A European Green Deal: striving to be the first climate-neutral continent
  • A Europe fit for the digital age: empowering people with a new generation of technologies
  • An economy that works for people: working for social fairness and prosperity
  • A stronger Europe in the world: Europe to strive for more by strengthening our unique brand of responsible global leadership
  • Promoting our European way of life: building a Union of equality in which we all have the same access to opportunities
  • A new push for European democracy: nurturing, protecting and strengthening our democracy

Details to these priorities you will find here

Economic Power

Cultural heritage is an important resource for economic growth, employment, and social cohesion. It helps revitalise urban and rural areas and promote sustainable tourism. In the European Union, over 300,000 people are employed in the cultural heritage sector and 7.8 million jobs are indirectly linked to heritage (e.g. hospitality, interpretation and security).

However, it is still difficult to identify the share of the GDP (Gross domestic product) for Cultural Heritage. There are some studies:

 The European Heritage Alliance have launched a manifesto to highlight the economic and social impact of Cultural Heritage.