Natura 2000 is the centerpiece of the European Union nature & biodiversity policy. Is the largest network of protected areas in the world. The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe's most valuable and threatened species and habitats.
The first European Heritage Label award ceremony took place on 8 April, 2014 in Brussels.
The award highlights heritage sites that celebrate and symbolise European integration, ideals and history. These sites can be monuments, natural or archaeological or industrial sites, cultural landscapes, places of remembrance, or cultural goods and objects and intangible heritage associated with a place.
The four sites awarded from the 2013 pre-selection are:
• Park Carnuntum, Austria: located in the east of Austria, Carnuntum was an important Roman settlement on the Danube at a crossing point of trade routes erected in the middle of the 1st century AD. Basic urban structures of a Roman city were reconstructed and today a museum with educational programmes is hosted by the park.
• Great Guild Hall, Estonia: an example of typical Hanseatic architecture built in 1410, the hall is a public building in which countless trade and social exchanges have taken place since the Middle Ages. Today, the hall hosts the Estonian History Museum which presents Estonian history in its European context.
• Camp Westerbork, the Netherlands: in the north-east of the Netherlands, the camp is connected to crucial themes in European history such as occupation, persecution, migration, decolonisation and multiculturalism as it served as a refugee camp for Jews persecuted by the Nazis until 1942, a transit camp from which Jews, Roma and Sinti were deported, a prison for Dutch nationals suspected of collaborating with the Nazis and the host of people returning to the Netherlands from the former Dutch colony of the East Indies. Today a museum and monuments of remembrance can be found on the site of the former camp.
• Peace Palace, The Hague, the Netherlands: before the palace opened in 1913, The Hague was host to the First World Peace Conference in 1899 – the culmination of the 19th century peace movement nurtured by many European intellectuals. Today the palace is the seat of many judicial institutions and embodies the values of peace and justice.
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