Cultural routes of the Council of Europe
CULTURAL ROUTES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE
The Council of Europe, founded in 1949, is the most “European” organization of the union which brings together 47 member states. Among the objectives and values of the Council of Europe, the achievement and support of the value of unity between member states and its citizens is of great importance. Human rights, democracy and legality are among the principles underlying the policies and programs of this body.
The Cultural Routes program was launched by the Council of Europe in 1987 (by the Declaration of Santiago de Compostela), with the aim of demonstrating that the roots of the European identity can be the foundation of a shared citizenship. After the establishment of the European Institute of Cultural Routes in 1998 and the adoption of the Convention on European Landscapes, in 2005 the Council of Europe gives life to the Convention for the Values of Cultural Heritage for the Society. In 2010, thirteen member states signed the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA).
Cultural routes are, in fact, part of the cultural program of the Council of Europe aimed at enhancing the heritage of each member state and creating networks and links that reinforce the feeling of belonging to a common European cultural heritage and put into practice the values of the Council of Europe: human rights, cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual exchanges across borders.
The Cultural Routes aim to promote the richness and diversity of European cultures and nations, translating shared European values into something tangible, in which the diversity is a positive value.
The cultural routes of the Council of Europe therefore constitute a cultural, educational and tourist cooperation project aimed at developing and promoting an itinerary or a series of itineraries based on a historical, cultural thematic path or linked to a personality or to a phenomenon of transnational importance and of particular significance for the understanding and respect of common European values.
The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe are an invitation to travel and to discover the rich and diverse heritage of Europe by bringing people and places together in networks of shared history and heritage.
Over 30 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe provide a wealth of leisure and educational activities for all citizens across Europe and beyond and are key resources for responsible tourism and sustainable development. They cover a range of different themes, from architecture and landscape to religious influences, from gastronomy and intangible heritage to the major figures of European art, music and literature.
The certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” is a guarantee of excellence. The networks implement innovative activities and projects pertaining to five main priority fields of action: co-operation in research and development; enhancement of memory, history and European heritage; cultural and educational exchanges for young Europeans; contemporary cultural and artistic practice; cultural tourism and sustainable cultural development.