Peace Palace

European Heritage Label


In 2013, the Peace Palace received the European Heritage Label from the European Commission. The European Heritage Label marks heritage sites that have been important in the history of Europe and through the ideals they represent, have played a part in the creation of unity. The Peace Palacem embodying the ideals of peace and international jurisdiction, has been selected by the European Commission as such a place. The wish to settle international conflicts with the help of law and justice can be traced back to European history and traditions.

The original concept of the European Heritage Label was first proposed in 2005 by the then French minister of Culture, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. The proposal formed part of a response to the growing gap between the European Union and its citizens, especially young people. Its aim was to identify and designate sites that have played a key role in building and uniting Europe and to promote them in a European context rather than only in a national one.

The European Heritage Label was finally established in 2011 by Decision 1194/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. The general objectives of the Decision are to strengthen European citizens’ sense of belonging to the European Union, in particular that of young people. These sites celebrate and symbolize European ideals, values, cultural heritage, history, intercultural dialogue and integration. They also offer valuable educational activities, especially for young people.

There are currently 48 sites in Europe that carry the European Heritage Label. In the Netherlands, besides the Peace Palace, they are Camp Westerbork, the Maastricht Treaty and the Colonies of Benevolence.

This map shows an overview of all sites that have received the label so far.