‘La Légion d’Honneur’ Europa Nostra’s Secretary General



Europa Nostra’s Secretary General Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović awarded the highest French distinction,
‘La Légion d’Honneur’

Read here the full press release in French

On behalf of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, the Ambassador of France to Serbia, Pierre Cochard, presented the distinction of the national order of the Legion of Honour, in the rank of Knight (‘Chevalière’), to Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, at a memorable ceremony held on 21 October 2022 at the Residence of France in Belgrade in the presence of a high-level delegation of Europa Nostra from various European countries. ‘La Légion d’Honneur’, the highest distinction conferred by the French Republic, was awarded to Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović for her “unreserved commitment to the preservation of heritage in Serbia and more widely in Europe, in close collaboration with France” and for her “dedication and commitment to the cultural dimension of the European project”.

In his address, the Ambassador of France to Serbia paid tribute to Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović. “Welcoming you to this embassy has a very special meaning: this building is a masterpiece of Belgrade’s heritage and its facade is inspired by that of the Palace of the Légion d’Honneur in Paris, located on the banks of the Seine. With you, dear Sneška, the Seine has never been so close to the Sava and the Danube. Your itinerary is indeed that of a convinced European. (…) It is your exceptional journey at the service of European integration through culture, based on the conviction that heritage is our common good, that France rewards today,” stated Pierre Cochard.

Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, ‘La Légion d’Honneur’ has been rewarding the outstanding merits of citizens and designating them as “models of French civil service” for 220 years.

In her acceptance speech, Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, affirmed:“I am deeply honoured with this high distinction granted by the President of the French Republic. I owe it to my family, my teachers and so many extraordinary people with whom I have had the privilege to work for 30 years promoting the mission of Europa Nostra.”“I have deep respect and admiration for President Macron’s vision and determination to strengthen the feeling of belonging to a large European family through more ambitious European policy and action in favour of our shared cultural heritage.”“I receive the Légion d’Honneur with gratitude but also with great humility and, above all, with a deep sense of responsibility. We all know that the ideals, the values and the wonderful cultural heritage which constitute the soul and the “raison d’être” of our Europe, are today seriously threatened, in too many places in Europe, especially in Ukraine, but also in Serbia.”She concluded by saying “My life’s mission is far from complete. France, Serbia and Our Europe can count on me to continue – until the last breath – to defend and celebrate a Europe of Values and a Europe of Culture”.In addition to the large number of family, friends and colleagues of Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, the ceremony at the Residence of France was attended by Emanuele Giaufret, Ambassador of the European Union to Serbia. Maestro Prof. Ljubiša Jovanović, renowned flute player and Artistic Ambassador of Europa Nostra in Serbia performed the famous solo piece for flute – the Syrinx by the French composer Claude Debussy as a musical tribute to Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović.A high-level delegation of Europa Nostra from different European countries attended the award-giving ceremony. It was led by Denis de Kergorlay (France), Honorary President of Europa Nostra and President of the Cercle de l’Union Interallié, who is himself ‘Chevalier de l’ordre de la Légion d’Honneur’. Other members of the delegation were the Board members Laurent Lévi-Strauss (France) and Prof. Paolo Vitti (Italy); the Council members Jorge Chaminé (France), Uwe Koch (Germany) and Jimmy Jamar (Belgium); the former Vice-President Marques de Santa Cruz (Spain); three representatives of Europa Nostra’s large membership in Greece, Louisa Anastopoulou, Prof. Fani Malouchou-Tufano and Ioana Mikrou; and the Dutch Life member Harry Bodifée; as well as Nada Hosking representing Europa Nostra’s partner organisation from the USA, the Global Heritage Trust. Europa Nostra Serbia was represented by its President, Prof. Irina Subotić, its Secretary General, Vesna Marjanović, who is also a newly elected member of the Europa Nostra Council, and its Board members.The delegation of Europa Nostra and Europa Nostra Serbia, with invited guests from Belgrade, also participated in the events held in Belgrade on 20-22 October 2022 by Europa Nostra to mark this special occasion, namely the European Conversation on the Strategic Value of Cultural Heritage, the Chamber Music Concert offered by Maestro Prof. Ljubiša Jovanović and a string quartet composed of his special guests, as well as the visits to museums and historic sites in Belgrade, including the Belgrade Fortress, which was included on the 2020 List of 7 Most Endangered sites in Europe.Full Press Release (in English & French)Acceptance speech (in English, French & Serbian)Photos of the ceremonyBiography of Sneška Quaedvlieg-MihailovićMedia ArticlesExtended interview with Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović – online version and printed version – published on 2 November 2022 by CorD Magazine, a monthly publication produced in Belgrade (in English)
Extended television interview with Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović broadcast on 24 October 2022 by Radio-Television of Vojvodina (in Serbian)

European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022

Europa Nostra

Between 25 and 27 September, in impressive heritage locations of the World Heritage City of Prague – from the Czech Museum of Music to the Art Nouveau Residence of the Mayor of Prague and from the Neo-Renaissance Žofín Palace to the stunning State Opera, we celebrated the winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2022, we discussed the most pressing concerns of the heritage ecosystem, and we have mobilised Europe’s heritage sector to jointly act for a more peaceful, beautiful and sustainable future.

The Prague Summit brought together heritage stakeholders, policy-makers at all levels of governance, civil society organisations as well as heritage enthusiasts from all across Europe and beyond. It also provided a space and platform to emerging heritage professionals and students who took part in The Future is Heritage Summit, a four-day capacity-building and intergenerational event. 

The European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022 culminated with the publication of the document below:


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Read here the full press release in the languages related to the winners

The Hague / Brussels, 30 June 2022

The European Commission and Europa Nostra have just announced the 2022 winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, funded by the EU Creative Europe programme. This year, which marks the 20th anniversary of Europe’s most prestigious Awards in the heritage field, 30 outstanding heritage achievements from 18 European countries have been awarded in five categories. These categories are in line with the latest developments and priorities related to heritage policy and practice in Europe.

The winners will be celebrated on 26 September in Prague at the European Heritage Awards Ceremony, to be held at the recently restored State Opera and co-hosted by the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and Europa Nostra’s Executive President, Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger.

Reacting to the announcement of the 2022 winners, the European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, stated: “I warmly congratulate all the winners of this year’s European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards for the exceptional quality of their work and their openness to innovation. 2022 is a special year as we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage, which has become the most prominent award for the European heritage community. Many of the awarded initiatives demonstrate the enormous interest and engagement of young people for our heritage, our history, and our cultural identity, which is particularly relevant in this European Year of Youth. A special thought goes to the two Ukrainian laureates. Creative Europe, which is co-funding the Awards, stands for promoting culture and creativity in building inclusive and cohesive societies founded on our core European values.”

Europa Nostra’s Executive President, Prof. Dr. Hermann Parzinger, said: “This year’s Award winners are powerful examples of how our heritage reconnects us with nature, helps create a sense of belonging and place, and is an integral building block in developing a circular economy that supports a sustainable and inclusive way of life. I congratulate these exceptional winners – professionals and enthusiasts alike – for their essential and commendable work”.

Watch the videos

JOINT PRESS RELEASE  European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022

The Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic Martin Baxa met the Secretary General of Europa Nostra Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović at the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament in Prague on Thursday 2 June 2022. The friendly meeting was an opportunity for both parties to get to know each other, discuss the possibilities of deepening cooperation in the field of cultural heritage as well as the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2022 that will be held in Prague on 25-27 September.

Read the press release here… 

Athens will host Europa Nostra Heritage Hub for South Eastern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean

A strategic partnership between the Municipality of Athens, Europa Nostra – the pan-European federation of cultural heritage organisations – and ELLINIKI ETAIRIA – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ELLET) was established yesterday. Following the decision of Europa Nostra – which is based in The Hague and in Brussels – Athens becomes, after Krakow, the second city in Europe where a Europa Nostra Heritage Hub is being established; a decision that upgrades and consolidates the key role of Greece in the field of cultural heritage as well as its protection and promotion. Mehr………

New President of Europa Nostra

Cecilia Bartoli, world-famous opera star, appointed as new President of Europa Nostra

On 20 May 2022, the General Assembly of Europa Nostra – the European Voice of Civil Society Committed to Cultural and Natural Heritage – has unanimously appointed Cecilia Bartoli, the world-renowned opera star, as the new President of the organisation, for an initial mandate of five years. Europa Nostra is the largest and most representative heritage network in Europe, collaborating closely with the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other international bodies.

Cecilia Bartoli in the historic centre of Rimini, Italy
Cecilia Bartoli in the historic centre of Rimini, Italy. © Emanuele Scorcelletti

Hermann Parzinger, Executive-President of Europa Nostra, who chaired today’s session of the General Assembly, conveyed the pride and joy of Europa Nostra’s membership towards the organisation’s new President. “We are so grateful for Cecilia Bartoli’s readiness to become our new President. We could not have found a better successor to our outgoing President, Plácido Domingo, to help us steer Europa Nostra to new heights. We admire her sublime voice, her artistic originality and audacity, her dedication to combining art with imaginative thinking, creativity with scientific research, tradition with innovation, her tireless work and professionalism as singer and artistic director, her passion for Europe’s priceless cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, and, of course, her warm and charismatic personality. ​​With all these qualities, Cecilia Bartoli will be a shining light providing guidance and inspiration to our action which is focused on the pursuit of a more sustainable, inclusive, beautiful and peaceful future of our Europe”.

Accepting her appointment, Cecilia Bartoli stated: “As a European citizen and someone who has dedicated most of my life to cultural heritage, I feel extremely privileged to have been appointed President of Europa Nostra, and accept this honour with greatest pride! I am also delighted to pursue the work of the previous President, Plácido Domingo. Let me stress that I fully subscribe to Europa Nostra’s claim that ‘cultural heritage is vital for our economy, our society, our culture, our environment, our well-being and for the future of Europe,’ and that we, as European citizens, ‘must take full responsibility for transmitting this heritage to future generations.’ I am looking forward to the coming years with Europa Nostra, its network and projects. It is an organisation which inspires me and enriches my work, and I am looking forward to contributing to the implementation of its objectives at the service of Europe’s invaluable heritage.

If, like myself, you were born in a magnificent historic city like Rome, you are probably more aware of the incredible significance of cultural heritage for the emergence of great architecture, literature, music or art, since you are exposed to its beauties every day, as soon as you go out into the street. Italy’s magnificent landscapes – its islands, mountains and plains, its villages and towns, its fearsome volcanoes, its rugged coastlines and shiny white beaches, its ancient vineyards, olive groves and canals, the endless shades of blue in its lakes and surrounding seas, all of this composes my invaluable heritage, to which I am dearly committed, just as much as our handicraft and folklore, or our modern achievements, such as our exquisite cooking, speedy railways, elegant fashion and legendary films. My heritage profoundly marked my thinking, my feelings and my personality, before even becoming conscious of it. Over the years, I was fortunate to add additional, mostly European, cultural layers to my original one: Spanish, French, Swiss, Austrian, and many more. They made me see the immense value of our heritage, which in Europe is so utterly diverse but at the same time so profoundly connected. Heritage is culture and recollection. Without an awareness of our heritage, culture would disappear, and with it our identity”, added Cecilia Bartoli.

Plácido Domingo, who was the previous President of Europa Nostra for a period of 10 years and who continues to support Europa Nostra as Honorary President, reacted enthusiastically to Bartoli’s appointment. “She is a great artist who personifies Europa Nostra’s mission and values. Europa Nostra will continue to flourish under her inspiring, creative and energetic leadership. I wish her every success at the helm of this wonderful organisation of which I had the privilege and joy of being the President and which will always remain close to my heart. I look forward to congratulating her in person on 6 June in Salzburg, when we shall be performing together at the Gala concert closing the Salzburg Whitsun Festival of which Cecilia Bartoli is the acclaimed Artistic Director”.

Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary General of Europa Nostra, also paid tribute to the incoming President of Europa Nostra: “The entire Europa Nostra team and I are delighted to welcome Cecilia Bartoli as our new President. She is an iconic artistic ambassador of Europe’s cultural heritage who radiates a contagious positive energy and generously shares her art and passion with younger generations. Under her enthusiastic leadership, we shall further amplify the resonance and impact of Europa Nostra’s voice for the benefit of safeguarding and promoting Europe’s shared heritage and shared values.”

Biography of Cecilia Bartoli


Born in Rome, Cecilia is the daughter of singing teacher Silvana Bazzoni. In 1987, she gave her debut as Rossini’s Rosina in “The Barber of Seville” in her hometown. What followed was the spectacular beginning of an international career. Within a very short time, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert von Karajan and Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s interest was drawn towards the young artist. Since those days, she received many further invitations, from the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, the Metropolitan Opera of New York, London’s Royal Opera House, from concert halls and festivals all over Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. For 30 years she has been performing regularly at Zurich’s Opera House. Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Philharmonie de Paris, Vienna’s Musikverein, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and the Berlin Philharmonic Hall are some of the regular stops on her annual concert tours.

In 1988, Cecilia signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca Records. The “Vivaldi-Album”, published in 1999, as the result of a fascinating expedition through the virtually unknown scores of Vivaldi’s operas, established her reputation as the Indiana Jones of current music history. The “Vivaldi-Album” is the first in a series of elaborate concept albums, in which Cecilia sheds a new light on various topics from the baroque and belcanto periods. Other successful titles are “Opera proibita”, “Maria”, “Sacrificium”, “Mission”, “St Petersburg” and “Farinelli”. 2021 saw the release of her latest album in this series, entitled “Unreleased”. More than 12 million video and audio products sold make Cecilia Bartoli the most successful classical artist of our time.

Since 2012, Cecilia has been serving as the artistic director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival, where her contract was recently extended until 2026. Salzburg has become the perfect creative outlet for her talent for combining artistic excellence with conceptual thinking. Moreover, it has turned into a key location for her stage work: Cecilia’s debut as Norma in 2013 was a milestone in her career. In 2019, she played the lead role in Handel’s opera Alcina in a production described by reviewers as “a godsend for musical theatre”. The programme of 2022 is dedicated to “Sevilla” with a scenic new production of Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”.

For many years, Cecilia has been actively involved in historically informed performances. Since 2016, she has regularly worked with Les Musiciens du Prince – Monaco. This orchestra was formed on her initiative and was granted the generous patronage of the princely family of Monaco. Since their foundation, the Musiciens du Prince and Artistic Director Cecilia Bartoli are acclaimed and joyfully welcomed by the public and the international press.

In 2018, the Cecilia Bartoli – Music Foundation created a new record label, “mentored by Bartoli” with its first release “Contrabandista”, the first solo album of Mexican tenor Javier Camarena. Amongst others, this project aims at bringing classical music to a wider audience and at collaborating with talented young musicians.

Cecilia Bartoli is director designate of the Opéra de Monte-Carlo and takes up this position in January 2023, as the first woman in the history of the opera house.

Five Grammys, more than a dozen Echos and Brit Awards, the Polar Music Prize, the Léonie-Sonning-Music Prize, the Herbert von Karajan Prize and many other honours provide evidence of Cecilia Bartoli’s important role in the history of music.

About Europa Nostra

Europa Nostra is the European voice of civil society committed to safeguarding and promoting cultural and natural heritage. It is a pan-European federation of heritage NGOs, supported by a wide network of public bodies, private companies and individuals, covering more than 40 countries. Founded in 1963, it is today recognised as the largest and the most representative heritage network in Europe.

Europa Nostra campaigns to save Europe’s endangered monuments, sites and landscapes, in particular through the 7 Most Endangered Programme. It celebrates excellence through the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. Europa Nostra actively contributes to the definition and implementation of European strategies and policies related to heritage, through a participatory dialogue with European Institutions and the coordination of the European Heritage Alliance. Europa Nostra is among the official partners of the New European Bauhaus initiative developed by the European Commission, and has recently been elected as the Regional Co-Chair of the Climate Heritage Network for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

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