The 14th European Archaeological Heritage Prize has been awarded to Professor Willem J.H. Willems, Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology, University of Leiden.

Professor Willem J.H. Willems is a distinguished and internationally respected scholar in the field of Roman archaeology and archaeological heritage. His contribution to Dutch, European and world heritage has been of major importance. Willem Willems played a central role in the internationalisation, integration, consolidation, and modernization of archaeological heritage policies and practices in Europe during the last 30 years. He has held numerous major positions in his own country.

These included, among others: the position as director of the Dutch State Archaeological Service, State Archaeologist of the Netherlands, and Inspector General for Archaeology at the Netherlands Ministry of Culture. He was one of the initiators and authors of the Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage of Europe. He was one of the founders and the President of the European Association of Archaeologists as well as the founding President of the Europae Archaeologiae Consilium. He is currently a co-President of the ICOMOS Committee for Archaeological Heritage Management. He also serves as an expert in the nominations of World Heritage Sites.

Professor Willems has been awarded numerous prestigious distinctions in recognition of the uniqueness of his contribution.

The reason for adding the European Heritage Prize to an already ample collection of distinctions is that with his work Willem Willems has significantly contributed to widening of the perspective of European archaeology and heritage management. It is a widened perspective that not only helps us transgress the internal European borders, but also positions European archaeology and heritage in a wider global context.