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Europeana Foundation

The Europeana Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation that operates the Europeana platform and contributes to other digital initiatives that put cultural heritage to good use in the world. Our work helps to develop an open, knowledgeable and creative society. 

Access to cultural heritage is vital to humankind - to our knowledge and understanding of who we are, where we’ve come from and what we can become. At the Europeana Foundation we work to democratise access to culture - digitally - so that everyone in our society is empowered to embrace diversity and flourish.

We do this collaboratively. We cross borders - and where necessary, break them down. Our range of projects and partnerships create positive change in and around the cultural heritage sector through new shared services, models and frameworks that contribute to the digital transformation and sustainability of our diverse sector. 

We promote the use of digital technology that makes cultural heritage online accessible, traceable and trustworthy, which in turn means people can explore it, use it and learn from it with confidence. 

We ensure our work is relevant to the world we live in - and the world we want to build - by aligning it with UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Europeana Foundation and a consortium of 23 partners are tasked by the European Commission to run the Europeana platform, in close collaboration with the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum and the Europeana Network Association. 

The Europeana Foundation employs approximately 60 staff members representing around 20 different nationalities based in our main office in The Hague. The organisation is led by Harry Verwayen, Executive Director, and steered by a Governing Board of 20 experts from cultural and scientific heritage organisations across Europe chaired by Elisabeth Niggemann

Governing Board

Europeana Foundation Board Members meet five times a year to set strategy and policy, and review plans against goals and objectives. Members are legally and financially responsible for the activities of the Foundation and help to ensure that all of the Foundation's activities are running in the best way possible. Their participation on the board is voluntary and unpaid. The board is also responsible for appointing the Executive Director who will carry out the work set out in the Europeana strategy. 

The board includes: 

  • Two members appointed by and representing the founding members sit on the board for two years.

  • Six members appointed by the Europeana Network Association from its Management Board sit on the board for two years.

  • Four members appointed by the Governing Board as representatives of European associations of content holders sit on the board for two years.

  • Five members appointed by the Governing Board as representatives of fields of expertise required to deliver the Europeana strategy sit on the board for two years.

  • Three members as representatives of the European Union member countries holding the Presidency of the Council: the preceding, sitting and succeeding presidencies. This rotates every six months and each member sits on the Governing Board for 18 months.

All issues are put to the vote. The board appoints the Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer from amongst its members by majority vote.

The observers are usually former members of the board or external experts who are appointed to attend all the meetings and provide insight, although they do not have voting rights. All observers must receive nomination and approval from the majority of board members.

Members

Observers

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Documents related to the governance of the Europeana Foundation

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