European Commission Appoints New Members to European Heritage Label’s Selection Panel

European Heritage Label
The European Heritage Label panel has added four new experts. Image: EHL

The European Commission has chosen four experts to join the selection panel for the European Heritage Label. These 16 experts have a deep understanding of European history, culture, and heritage and have held important positions in universities and the cultural heritage field. After announcing a search for new members in 2022, four new experts will join the panel.

The European Heritage Label is a special recognition given to important historical sites in Europe. To ensure these sites are properly evaluated and monitored, a selection panel is needed. The panel consists of 13 experts who are chosen by the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council, and the Committee of the Regions.

Tasks ahead

The main task of the selection panel is to choose which sites should receive the European Heritage Label and to keep an eye on them. They carefully assess the sites based on specific criteria to make sure they are of high quality and truly represent European heritage.

The four newly appointed experts will take the place of the previous panel members, whose time on the panel ended in December 2022. After announcing their search for new panel members in December 2022, the European Commission received applications from 161 people. From this group, they selected the new members, making sure to have a good balance of experts from different regions.

The following experts

  • Riin Alatalu is an Associate Professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She has experience as the Chairwoman of the Heritage Conservation Council Education and is a member of the Board of ICOMOS International.
  • Gábor Sonkoly is from Hungary and was the previous Chair of the European Heritage Label panel. He is currently the Vice Director of the History Institute at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest and also manages the TEMA+ Erasmus Mundus Master program.
  • Anne Marie Thiesse is a specialist in the cultural history of contemporary Europe. She leads a research team called “Cultural Transfers” at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and has been a visiting professor at various universities.
  • Koenraad Van Balen is from Belgium and is the director of the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation at the University of Leuven. The UNESCO Chair has recognized him for his work on preserving and maintaining monuments and sites.

With the addition of these experts, the European Heritage Label’s selection panel hopes to continue its work of protecting and appointing Europe’s cultural heritage. Their diverse backgrounds and deep knowledge of European history should contribute to identifying and honouring sites of great value.

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