Since 1987, more than 30 transnational networks certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" provide a wealth of leisure and educational activities for all citizens across Europe and beyond. They cover a range of different themes, such as architecture, cultural landscape, gastronomy or major figures of European art, music and literature. The certification 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.
In line with the Faro Convention (Council of Europe, 2005), the Cultural Routes programme underscores how much local people and their affinity with their region is essential to understand the cultural identity of the sites, thus encouraging sustainable local development, in particular of less-known destinations.
The Routes4U Project is a joint programme between the Council of Europe (Directorate General of Democracy – EPA on Cultural Routes) and the European Union (European Commission – DG REGIO). Through the implementation of activities such as a mapping exercise, guidelines and tools for the management and implementation of Cultural Routes at the regional and local level, Routes4U Project contributes to regional development through the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and to the strengthening of the identity of the Adriatic-Ionian, the Alpine, the Baltic Sea and the Danube macro-regional strategies. Furthermore, according to the priorities of each macro-region, projects eligible to the certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” will be identified in view of further development.
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.
More information: www.coe.int/routes4u