Europa Nostra at 60: anniversary messages from our members, partners and friends

60 years ago, on 29 November 1963, Europa Nostra was founded at the Council of Europe premises in Paris with just 11 founding member organisations. Today we have evolved into Europe’s largest civil society network dedicated to cultural and natural heritage, amplifying the voices of over 300 organisations across Europe and beyond.

We are happy to share a heartfelt collection of anniversary messages received from our dear members, partners, and friends. Among these many messages, we wish to proudly acknowledge a special message which we have received from Emmanuel Macron, President of France, and also a fantastic illustration by the world-renowned French cartoonist, Jean Plantu (see below).

60th anniversary gift to Europa Nostra from the world-renowned French cartoonist Plantu, winner of the Helena Vaz da Silva European Award 2016. © Plantu – all right reserved

 

Messages from our Institutional Partners

 

European Commission

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth
“We are celebrating the creation of Europe’s largest heritage network, Europa Nostra, which was founded on this day 60 years ago.
60 years of experience in the field of cultural heritage, 60 years of growth as an organisation, 60 years of openness beyond the heritage community. 60 years of bringing people together. Over these six decades, Europa Nostra has helped bring societal challenges to the top of the political agenda and demonstrated that culture and cultural heritage have an important role to play.
The EU and Europa Nostra have had a long and fruitful partnership, during which we have been proud to support and finance many of Europa Nostra’s projects. (…) Thank you and happy anniversary!”

Excerpt from the congratulatory message sent on the occasion of the 60th anniversary event held on 29 November 2023 in Paris

Celebration of 60 years of Europa Nostra and French winners of Awards 2023

 

European Investment Bank (EIB)

Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the EIB
“Cultural heritage is a major factor in defining Europe’s place in the world and its attractiveness as a place to live, work and visit. For the past 60 years Europa Nostra has been “the voice” of Europe’s cultural heritage, safeguarding this irreplaceable repository of knowledge and valuable resource for economic growth, employment and social cohesion.
As Vice-President of the EIB, the EU’s Bank, I am proud that Europa Nostra has been our partner, through the EIB Institute, for the 7 Most Endangered programme celebrating this year its own 10th anniversary. Together let’s continue to protect our common wealth, our inheritance from previous generations of Europeans and our legacy for those to come. Happy Anniversary Europa Nostra!”

Europe’s 7 Most Endangered Heritage Sites 2023

European Parliament

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament

Video message sent on the occasion of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2023 in Venice, which marked the 60th anniversary of Europa Nostra

 

Francisco Millán Mon, MEP and President of the Intergroup ‘European Cultural Heritage, Ways of St James and other European Cultural Routes’
“I would like to thank Europa Nostra for its relentless work in the protection, conservation and promotion of European cultural heritage. A heritage that highlights the deep cultural and spiritual links that unite European peoples across national borders and often demonstrates a basic cultural community.
Europe has the richest cultural heritage in the world. (…) It is the duty of all Europeans to take care of this rich heritage. Europa Nostra represents the European civil society that is aware of and committed to act as advocate of this treasure. (…) I wish that the next sixty years will continue to witness the valuable work that Europa Nostra does for European cultural heritage. ”

 


 

 

Messages from our Members 

listed alphabetically by country and organisation

Austria

Austrian Historic Houses Association

Alexander Kottulinsky, President
“Congratulations on the 60th anniversary of Europa Nostra! Since its founding on 29 November 1963, the organisation has consistently made a significant contribution to the protection and promotion of cultural heritage in Europe. This impressive milestone is not just a celebration of the past but also a recognition of the ongoing dedication and impact of Europa Nostra. May the future be marked by continued success and inspiring moments. Your commitment to preserving cultural heritage is admirable and serves as an inspiration to us all. Warmest congratulations on this significant milestone!”

Croatia

European Heritage Association

Professor Tomislav S. Šola, Chair – The Best in Heritage
“Both politics and business now recognise heritage as a mighty lever of soft power and a subtle ingredient of development. Europa Nostra, always important in civil society’s heritage sector, underwent a significant shift under its Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, evolving from a somewhat elitist organisation to a vibrant cultural heritage hub, both inspiring and representing excellence. There can hardly be any organisation other than Europa Nostra that, by caring for cultural heritage, better reflects the cultural aspirations of the European Union.”

Greece

Mariolopoulos – Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences

Christos Zerefos, Secretary General of Academy of Athens, President of Mariolopouos – Kanaginis Foundation for the Environmental Sciences
“Europa Nostra has always been at the forefront of the protection of our cultural heritage. The activities resulted in spectacular achievements in recognising and boosting the importance of the Academy of Athens initiative, to protect our cultural and natural heritage from the manmade climate crisis. It is a privilege for us, who have been awarded and recognised by Europa Nostra, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Europa Nostra. My very best wishes to continue the achievements of such an international organisation of great importance to humanity and to the generations to come.”

Europa Nostra 60th Anniversary Wishes

Portugal

Fórum Cidadania LX

Paulo Ferrero and Miguel de Sepúlveda Velloso
“Europa Nostra has been a cornerstone and an example as a multinational organisation dedicated to the safeguarding of Europe’s rich heritage. Through different programmes this aim has been reached. We underline the importance of the 7 Most Endangered Programme. As newcomers, we are more than happy in doing our share to contribute to our common goal: caring for Europe’s cultural diversity. Being a member of Europa Nostra is already crucial in our daily struggle to preserve and to cherish Lisbon’s immense legacy.”

Romania

The “Heritage for the Future” Cultural Association

Sorina Neascu
“Over the years, Europa Nostra has been a beacon of cultural pride, fostering understanding and appreciation for our shared history. We applaud the recent turn and effort to bridge climate change resilience to cultural heritage past lessons and good practices.
This is why we like to think you resemble the oldest known oak in Romania that has witnessed approximately 9 centuries of events. May your cultural branches continue to grow for generations to come! Happy 60th Anniversary!”

The oldest known oak in Romania. Photo: “Heritage for the Future” Cultural Association

 

Switzerland

The Centre for Cultural Heritage NIKE

“Our cultural heritage gives us roots, creates identity and community beyond national borders. Values that are more important than ever as cultural heritage continues to be threatened by the madness of wars, but also by climate change or simply recklessness and ignorance – even in Europe. The protection and preservation of cultural heritage is more urgent than ever. This makes organisations that are committed to fighting for cultural heritage across borders all the more important.
As a national network of Swiss cultural heritage organisations, the Centre for Cultural Heritage NIKE would like to congratulate Europa Nostra on its 60th anniversary!”

The Netherlands

Het Nationale Park De Hoge Veluwe

Seger van Voorst tot Voorst, Managing-director
“The foundation Het Nationale Park De Hoge Veluwe congratulates Europa Nostra on its 60 years of great dedication to defend the cause of heritage and its role as an essential and dynamic component of European identity. De Hoge Veluwe National Park is a privately-owned land property and an independent Foundation that preserves the inheritance of the Kröller-Müller couple in the widest sense of the word. De Hoge Veluwe National Park Foundation is a proud member of Europa Nostra and supports its effort to give shape and voice to an ever-growing citizens’ movement to support cultural and natural heritage across Europe.”

Netherlands, Hoenderlo, National Park Hoge Veluwe. Jachtslot Hubertus

 

United Kingdom

Oxford Preservation Trust

Debbie Dance, Director
“Oxford Preservation Trust are first recorded as members of Europa Nostra in our 1970 Annual Report. We are delighted to have supported our colleagues and friends in the excellent work that you do for fifty + years and thank you for your valuable work as you approach your 60th anniversary. The coming together of friendships across heritage should know no boundaries.”

The National Trust

The International National Trusts Network (INTO)

Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair, and Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General of INTO
“The National Trust was a founding member of Europa Nostra back in 1963 and it’s an honour to celebrate your sixtieth birthday this year! Your work to promote cultural heritage, highlighting the impacts of climate change and the need to develop intercultural understanding remains as important today as it was then. We are proud to be your partners and look forward to ever closer cooperation and friendship over the coming sixty years!”

The National Trust

René Olivieri, Chair
“Europa Nostra’s commitment to preserving and promoting cultural heritage across Europe (and beyond!) is truly commendable. Here’s to many more years of safeguarding endangered monuments, sites and landscapes; celebrating excellence through your impactful award scheme; and representing the sector to the European institutions. (…)
We continue to work towards many of the same goals around bringing people, nature and culture together to protect heritage but also to play an important role in climate action; the development of civil society; supporting intercultural understanding and (sadly, increasingly) the role of heritage in peacebuilding.
To all our friends at Europa Nostra – We are proud to be your partners and to celebrate together your many successes over the years, your resilience and tireless efforts to protect and preserve Europe’s built, cultural and natural heritage. We wish you all the very best for the next sixty years!”

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)

Matthew Slocombe, Director
“The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), in the UK and Republic of Ireland, offers wholehearted congratulations to Europa Nostra on reaching its 60th anniversary. At nearly 150 years old itself, the SPAB can claim to be one of Europe’s oldest heritage bodies, and we are proud to be part of Europa Nostra. We are also proud to have won two Europa Nostra Awards in the past. Europa Nostra does fantastic work in championing endangered heritage across Europe and in bringing together a community of like-minded organisations across the continent.”

 

Messages from our Partners

European Travel Commission

 
Europa Nostra 60th Anniversary Wishes

 

Messages from our European Heritage Hub Partners 

Centro Nacional de Cultura

Europa Nostra’s country representation and an affiliated partner of the European Heritage Hub project
Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins, Member of the Board

“I warmly congratulate Europa Nostra’s on its birthday. Being the voice of cultural heritage in Europe for 60 years is a responsibility, all the more important in these uncertain and dangerous times.

We are talking about an initiative that mobilises citizens from 50 countries and more than 150 civil society organisations. To speak of cultural heritage, according to the Council of Europe’s 2005 Faro Convention, is not to speak of the past, but of a living reality that includes tangible heritage (monuments, documents), intangible heritage (traditions, practices, languages), natural heritage, landscapes, digital heritage and contemporary creation. Europa Nostra therefore has an increasingly important role to play, because protecting heritage, especially endangered heritage, means preserving a culture of peace and defending a society in which sustainable development is achieved. This is not a separate issue from respect for human rights.

Congratulations and thank you for everything. Your extraordinary work is fundamental!”

ESACH

Happy Birthday, Europa Nostra! 🎉 Here’s to many more years steering the cultural heritage policy and keeping the cultural flame burning bright. Cheers to growth and greatness! ESACH 🎈✌️

Eurocities

Celebrating six decades of diverse accomplishments, we applaud Europa Nostra for all the passion, efficiency, and relevance with which it stands for European heritage, and the cooperation it inspires. We are proud to partner with Europa Nostra and look forward to all future collaborations. All the best wishes for another successful decade!

Europeana

On behalf of the Europeana Foundation, we wish Europa Nostra a very happy 60th anniversary! On this special occasion, we look back on the journey we have taken together, and forward with excitement to the future. 

Our long-standing partnership with Europa Nostra is rooted in our shared commitment to a Europe powered by cultural heritage. Our collaboration within the European Heritage Alliance stands as proof of the power of working together towards common goals and advocating for the vital role of cultural heritage in shaping Europe’s future.

Through the Time Machine Project, we’ve explored how digital technologies are opening up new, exciting possibilities to catalyse the work of our sector. We proudly joined forces at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Europe Day Webinar and Manifesto, and I have been proud to serve as a member of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards Jury, reinforcing our shared commitment to upholding quality in the heritage sector.

Through the  European Heritage Hub and the common European data space for cultural heritage, we are thrilled to enter a new chapter of our work to advance a heritage-led transformation of Europe, together.

Here’s to sixty years of extraordinary accomplishments and transformative partnerships!

Harry Verwayen, General Director of the Europeana Foundation

ICELI

Warmest congratulations from ICLEI Europe on reaching the incredible milestone of your 60th anniversary! As fellow members of the Cultural Heritage Expert Group within the European Commission and ambitious partners of the European Heritage Hub, it fills us with pride to witness the remarkable journey and contributions that Europa Nostra has made to preserving and promoting our shared cultural heritage. As we celebrate this significant milestone, let us reflect on the achievements, cherish the memories, and look ahead with optimism toward continued collaboration and shared goals in the realm of cultural heritage preservation and promotion.

Europa Nostra 60th Anniversary

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