European Heritage Label Network
22 sites now newly bear the EHL label since 2020, awarded by the EU Commission to historic sites that have fundamental significance for the EU and its values. On June 13, 2022, the new sites were awarded with the label in a festive event.
Of course, previous EHL sites were also present at the event to warmly welcome the “newcomers”. The network of EHL sites exists since 2013 and has a legal basis with the Association of European Heritage Label Sites since 2021. Therefore, a representative of the association was also present at this year’s Award Ceremony in Brussels. In a short presentation the Association of European Heritage Label Sites was introduced, with the goal to integrate the new EHL sites into the association. Thus, the still young association should become the centre hub for future activities of the network.
On the second day of the event, a network meeting of the EHL sites took place. The EHL network project EHL@N, which ended in February this year, was presented and products of the same, such as the Comic Book, were very well received. In various workshops, topics such as Audience Development, Sustainability and New European Bauhaus, were discussed, while the new EHL sites familiarised with the network’s activities.
Regarding the soon to be published call for yet another network project, there will be an online meeting in early August 2022, where the target direction of the new network project, with topics such as the EU Digitalization Directive, will be discussed.
The EHL@N network is approaching the end of the project period. Which, of course, only affects the project itself. The network will of course remain in existence. For this reason, in April 2021 already the NPO EHL@N – Association of Sites Awarded the European Heritage Label was founded, which will take care of relevant issues in the future. Further project applications to improve the funding of the network are also considered on an ongoing basis.
You can also view the available project results of the network any time.
The winning photos of the photo competition, for example, can be found on the website. The “Comic Book” and the “Value Stories” of the EHL sites will be available on the EHL@N website in early 2022.
On 12 October 2021, the activities to date and the results of the 2020 monitoring process were presented at the EHL Networking Day. The results of a survey on training needs and quality standards of EHL sites were also discussed at the 6th EHL Networking Day. The aim was and is of course to continuously improve the performance of all EHL sites.
This also serves to strengthen the fundamental EHL values based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, cultural and linguistic diversity, tolerance and solidarity. They are all represented by the European Heritage Label and the sites awarded with it.
The EHL@Network is working on several products, such as a comic book and a presentation folder, with high pressure. The winners of the photo competition can be admired on the website.
On 12 October 2021, the previous activities and the results of the 2020 monitoring process will be presented at the EHL Networking Day. Two working groups have conducted a survey on training needs and quality standards of EHL sites, the results of which will be presented at the 6th EHL Networking Day. The aim is of course to continuously improve the organisational capacity of all EHL sites.
This also serves to strengthen the fundamental EHL values based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, cultural and linguistic diversity, tolerance and solidarity. All of these are represented by the European Heritage Label and the sites awarded with it.
The “Comic Book” and the “Value Stories” of the EHL sites will be available on the EHL@N website from autumn.
Of course, the project partners continue to work on a series of webinars to help EHL sites better implement the monitoring findings. These webinars are open to all EHL sites.
This ensures the maintenance of the label and enables EHL sites to use the monitoring to improve their services.
Within almost ten years, the EU Commission has awarded the EHL Heritage Label to 48 historic sites in Europe. And new ones are added every year.
The Imperial Palace Vienna is carrying the EHL label since 2016 and has taken important steps to be able to retain this award.
In addition to an internationally noticed guidance system, a visitors centre has been opened and a high degree of barrier-free access has been made possible.
Other important things in the pipeline are the implementation of a CI (Corporate Identity) for the Imperial Palace Vienna and site development measures for this largest coherent historical secular complex in Europe.
A very important point in the further development of the EHL site Imperial Palace Vienna is the membership in the newly created association “EHL@N – Association of European Heritage Label Sites”, which will support and promote the cooperation of EHL sites in the future. After its foundation in 2021, the Imperial Palace Vienna – represented by BHOe – became the first full member of this non-profit association.
After the end of the EHL network project EHL@N, the association will so to speak take over the management of network activities. And thus the task of strengthening the network and offering support as well as assistance to the members, thus all current and future EHL sites.
This way an even higher profile is achieved and the EHL sites work together to improve their brand image.
If you are a representative of an EHL site, you can become a member of the association right here.
The EHL@N network is becoming more publicly known since March 2021. A photo competition has been organised and the winners are presented online. In a public voting the best pictures have been selected and can now be admired on the website. The aim of the competition was to promote the fundamental EHL values, which are based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, cultural and linguistic diversity, tolerance and solidarity. They are all represented by the European Heritage Label and the sites awarded with it. The images are each accompanied by a personal story, related to the site and the values associated with it.
The consortium is currently developing a “Comic Book” that will be available from autumn 2021. At the same time, the EHL sites prepare their “Value Stories”, i.e. the history of each site in relation to the values it represents. You will soon find these “Value Stories” on the EHL@N website.
Of course, the project partners will continue to work on a series of webinars, with the help of which EHL sites can better implement the findings of the monitoring process. All EHL sites will be able to take part in these webinars.
This ensures the retention of the label and the EHL sites can utilise the monitoring for improvement of their offer and their services.
The network is becoming more publicly known in March 2021. A website of its own went online recently and a photo competition was held. The aim of the competition is to promote the fundamental EHL values, which are based on the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, cultural and linguistic diversity, tolerance and solidarity. They are all represented by the European Heritage Label and the sites awarded with the same. The subject of the competition focuses on all kinds of activities that promote European cultural heritage, such as events that take place in EHL sites. The images must be accompanied by a personal story related to the site and the values associated with it.
The jury will select the best 20 photos in each age group by mid-April. After that, the European public can vote for their favorites until the beginning of May. The winners will be announced on May 9, 2021.
Since EHL sites are regularly monitored – usually every five years – the network will offer support for this in the future. The project partners are developing a series of webinars with the help of which EHL sites can better implement the findings of this monitoring. The webinars will be available to all EHL sites. This ensures the keeping of the label and all EHL sites can use the monitoring to improve their offer and their services.
The network’s project work also had to be adapted to Covid19 and so an online meeting took place at the beginning of July. The consortium has panned the EHL Network Day on 13 October 2020 in detail and took part in the event mainly online. Online access also made it possible for other sites, e.g. the newly awarded, national coordinators and representatives of the EU Commission to be able to participate. Through the use of interactive online tools, the participants could actively contribute.
Furthermore, the details for a photo competition, which will be held in January and February 2021, have been finalised. The programme and some presentations of the EHL Network Day are available here. The extensive strategy paper that the partners have already commented on, was the basis for an in-depth discussion on creating an EHL brand. Concrete marketing activities to strengthen the brand are now derived from this. Another important topic of the symposium in Vienna was the repeated presentation of the “Communication Toolbox for EHL sites”, which refers to a common brand design (corporate design) and the consistent use of the EHL brand logo.
Brands create images in people’s minds and the more positive they are, the more likely people are to be interested in the “products” – in case of EHL, the services of the sites.
The network’s project work has also suffered from the limitations of the past few weeks. A planned meeting in Lublin had to be postponed to 2021, instead there will be an online meeting in early July. The consortium plans to extend the project duration in order to be able to manage all tasks. Lots of ideas from the October meeting are now being worked out in detail. Since the meeting in Olomouc in February, the ideas gathered have been turned into work plans and the first steps were taken. Due to Corona planning was on hold and partners now have to adjust their plans.
The consortium will soon have a close look at an extensive strategy paper on branding, which forms the basis for the conception and development of branding activities.
Branding is an essential part of the project application. In order to create a strong brand, it is necessary to gain clarity about your own basic values, to have common goals and to create a common brand image. This is exactly the goal of the EHL@N brand strategy.
What is important here is a common brand design (corporate design) and the consistent use of the EHL brand logo.
Brands create images in the minds of people and the more positive they are, the more likely addressees are to become interested in the “products” – in the case of EHL these are the achievements of the bearers.
This strengthens the EHL locations as well as the whole of Europe, for which the sites ultimately stand. They are important for all citizens of the European Union and form a solid basis for a truly united Europe.
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