The Cultural Routes programme was launched by the Council of Europe in 1987. Its objective was to demonstrate, by means of a journey through space and time, how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe contributes to a shared cultural heritage.
The Cultural Routes certified by the Council of Europe put into practice the fundamental principles of the Council of Europe: human rights, cultural democracy, cultural diversity and identity, dialogue, mutual exchange and enrichment across boundaries and centuries.
ENLARGED PARTIAL AGREEMENT
In December 2010, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Resolution CM/Res(2010)53, establishing, for an initial period of three years, an Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) which has been confirmed on 2013 by Resolution CM/Res(2013)66, to enable closer co-operation between states particularly interested in the development of Cultural Routes. The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes seeks to reinforce the potential of Cultural Routes for cultural co-operation, sustainable territorial development and social cohesion, with a particular focus on themes of symbolic importance for European unity, history, culture and values and the discovery of less well-known destinations.
The Governing Board of EPA awards the certification "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" and carries out regular evaluation of certified routes in conformity with Committee of Ministers Resolution CM/Res(2013)67, establishing the rules for the award of the certification.
EPA Member States
Cultural Routes by country
Greece is a member-state of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes since 2011 and participates in the EPA Governing Board through the Directorate of International Relations and EU of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The Routes of the Olive Tree and the Historic Cafés Route are Greece-based Routes, whereas routes crossing the country include: Phoenicians' Route, European Mozart Ways, Iter Vitis Route, European Cemeteries Route, European Route of Historic Thermal Towns, Destination Napoleon, Impressionisms Routes, European Route of Industrial Heritage, Iron Curtain Trail, European Route of Historic Gardens, Liberation Route Europe, Cyril and Methodius Route, Aeneas Route and European Fairy Tale Route. In addition, we are seeking to strengthen Greek presence in existing Routes, as well as to explore the potential for submitting new proposals of Greek interest.
EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF CULTURAL ROUTES
A technical body and resource centre, the European Institute of Cultural Routes - EICR, was set up in 1998 in partnership with the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for operational purposes and is since 2011 the seat of the EPA. The role of the EICR is to oversee the 3-year evaluation cycle of certified Cultural Routes, examine applications from new projects, monitor activities in the field, and co-ordinate the work of partner organisations.
ANNUAL ADVISORY FORUM
The Advisory Forum is the most significant event of the Cultural Routes programme of activities, as it is the single specific activity referred to in the EPA statutory texts. The Forum brings together representatives of cultural routes operators, networks, international heritage and tourism organisations and platforms, local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, Chambers of Commerce, foundations and other donor organisations, professional organisations in the field of tourism, heritage and culture or other relevant bodies, in order to discuss trends and challenges in relation to cultural routes and provide a platform for the exchange of experience, review of progress with the implementation of cultural routes, the launch of new initiatives and the development of partnerships. The first two Cultural Routes Fora took place in Delphi, Greece, in 2006 and 2010 respectively, prior to the establishment of the EPA.
The 11th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe took place in Chania (Crete), Greece on 5-7 October 22, focusing on the safeguard of European Values, Heritage and Dialogue. More information on the Forum, which was a remarkable success, can be found on the CoE Press Release, as well as on the dedicated Forum webpage.
"Routes4U" (2017-2020) is a joint programme between the Council of Europe (DG Democracy) and the European Union (EC, DG Regional and Urban Policy). The programme aims to contribute to the sustainable and resourceful development in the four EU macro-regions through the Cultural Routes of theCouncil of Europe with further development of cultural and tourism industries in the region, strengthening the participation of the civil society and local stakeholders. The Routes4U Project is the first of its kind, allowing synergies between two transnational programmes of two international organisations, namely the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme and the EU macro-regional strategies, including EUSAIR (EU Strategy for Adriatic Ionian Region). In the framework of EUSAIR, specific actions for the promotion and dissemination of Cultural Routes of Greek interest were realized, namely the Olive Tree Route and the Roman Emperors Route (under development).
Further information about the Routes4U Programme
Olive Tree Routes
Greece You Will Want To Stay Forever
Greece Does Have a Winter
The Restoration of the Acropolis
Conference on the Future of Europe
The return of the Parthenon Marbles
Archaeological Museums & Collections in Greece
Intangible Cultural Heritage
Archaeological Resources Fund