OUR VALUES AND PURPOSES
EMYA was founded in 1977 on the principles of supporting, encouraging, awarding and showcasing excellence and innovation in the museum field, particularly in the areas conceptualised by Kenneth Hudson as ‘public quality’.
The European Museum Forum (EMF) provides the legal and organisational framework for the annual European Museum of the Year Award scheme (EMYA).
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.
EMYA works within the overall framework of Council of Europe values with a commitment to promote citizenship, democracy and human rights, and sustainability, bridging cultures and social and political borders.
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 quality, innovation and creativity across the vast differences in scale, funding, obligations and contexts of museums in Europe.
The two main awards, the EMYA and the Council of Europe Museum Prize, have been awarded continuously since 1977. The EMYA award scheme responds to long term societal changes as well as current urgent social issues, and reflects the challenges, obligations and opportunities which museums face in the 21st century.
The EMYA awards frame and embed professional qualities within a set of social, humanitarian and sustainable values. The highly structured judging process roots the assessment of quality firmly in the actual, specific and concrete museum experience of each candidate for the awards and ensures the ability to discern professional quality, innovation and creativity across the vast differences in traditions, contexts and obligations, in museum types, scales and sources and size of funding.