European Museum Forum

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The Purpose of the European Museum Forum

"This network, I would say, now represents a selection of the most progressive museums thinking in Europe…"
- Peter Schieder, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 2002-2004

The European Museum Forum (EMF) provides the legal and organizational framework for the annual European Museum of the Year Award scheme (EMYA). EMF/EMYA is dedicated to promoting excellence in innovation and public quality in museum practice, encouraging networking and exchange of ideas and sustainable best practices within the sector.

EMF/EMYA works within an overall framework of a commitment to citizenship, democracy and human rights, to bridging cultures and social and political borders, and to sustainability. The different awards within the EMYA scheme reflect, represent, and emphasize different aspects and dimensions of these values.

The highly structured judging process ensures the ability to discern professional quality, innovation and creativity across the vast differences in scale, funding, obligations and contexts of museums in Europe.

  • EMF recognises the value of public engagement of museums and fosters excellence through a scheme of annual awards of which the European Museum of the Year Award and the Council of Europe Museum Prize are the main awards.
  • Museums considered for the awards are judged in accordance with clear criteria set by EMF, in a process of independent peer review.
  • EMF stimulates networking and develops projects to foster exchange of information and good relations between museum professionals and museum volunteers and supporters.
  • EMF works through dialogue and consultation with internationally experienced members of the European museum sector and operates under a system of regular renewal and succession-planning to ensure that the organisation always reflects the needs and aspirations of the contemporary European museum community.