European Maritime Heritage (EMH) is a non-governmental organization for private owners of traditional ships, as well as for maritime museums and other interested bodies. It was founded in 1995 in Rotterdam.
The objectives of EMH exclude any pursuit of profit, and are to encourage mutual cooperation between the extensive community of organisations in Europe, including museums, involved in keeping maritime heritage alive, to act as a conduit for the flow of advice and assistance between such organisations to contribute to the mutual understanding of different maritime cultures and increase public awareness of those cultures, by organising a triennial congress, to identify and promote historic water-borne links between European regions, publicising the role of waterways as a cultural bridge between the nations, to study and resolve common problems identified in the course of preserving and operating traditional craft in Europe and to provide official organisations of the European Union with a representative and consultative service on all aspects of preserving and operating historic boats and vessels
EMH has co-authored the famous Barcelona Charter as a guideline for the restoration of historic vessels and initiated the creation of the Wilhelmshaven Memorandum of Understanding for the international travel on traditional ships in European waters.
Today, EMH plays an important rule as the main European stakeholder association for the entire maritime heritage world.
EMH is a member of the INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF MARITIME MUSEUMS and the ASSOCIATION OF THE MARITIME MUSEUMS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN, and is an approved organization of the EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR DRAWING UP STANDARDS IN THE FIELD OF INLAND NAVIGATION (CESNI).