Letter N° 2 - March 2012

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Dear Routes managers and teams,


A lot has happened in the 6 short weeks since my last letter, so here’s an update on recent activities and upcoming events.

The last stages in a wide-ranging evaluation process


No less than 25 assessments of compliance with Committee of Ministers Resolution Res(2010)52 were examined by the Bureau of the Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA) at its meeting on 15-16 February. 12 routes were presented for approval of their networks, 9 for regular evaluation and 4 new proposals were considered for certification. During discussions, the Bureau confirmed that certification as a Council of Europe cultural route should reflect excellence in all the five main areas identified in the Resolution, and the members looked for exemplary application of the requirements in all the diversity of their activities. Its conclusions were based on both assessment of information submitted to the Institute and on reports drafted by thirteen independent experts.


I communicated the Bureau’s decisions and recommendations to the routes concerned on 8 March. These recommendations will be transmitted to the Partial Agreement’s Governing Board for decision on 12 April, and then confirmed on 15 May by the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Culture, Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP).


The four new proposals examined by the Bureau are invited to present their projects to the Governing Board on 12 April.

About the EPA

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.

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Visits and meetings

On 8 February I met the partners of the "Union française des Itinéraires culturels" (UFIC) in Paris, where I was impressed by the commitment and conviction of members and by what was quite a challenging discussion about the present and future of the programme. It was interesting to hear opinions and expectations from the perspective of routes themselves. The UFIC model, bringing cultural routes together nationally, is a potentially useful governance structure enabling the pooling of resources and energies and the exchange of experiences, as well as creating a focused interlocutor for contacts with the different ministries. (more...

Save the date!

The Institute has begun work with its academic partners and professionals on a manual for cultural routes managers in the framework of the Joint Programme with the Commission. It will consist of one or two volumes giving guidelines and models from theory to practice. The manual will be presented during a training session "summer school" in Strasbourg on 2-9 September, at the Council of Europe’s European Youth Centre.


Each route will be invited to send a participant to the session from among its active members, and discussions, workshops and new tools will be published on the website. It will also be a good opportunity for routes to gain first-hand knowledge of the Council of Europe’s different sectors of activity. We’ll keep you informed of progress with the arrangements, and will very soon be asking for your own opinion on your priorities and needs for training and capacity-building. Suggestions are already welcome!

What is your route doing in 2012?

Some of you have already replied to my request for a calendar of activities in 2012, quite a few others have still to do so. I remind you that evaluating your route depends on knowing about your activities! In the next few days I’ll be asking you for your logos in printing quality, and sending you the texts published in 2010 by the Council of Europe in loose folders for your updates. This new material will be ready for publishing after 16 May, once final decisions on the evaluations have been taken, so that the folders are as up-to-date as possible and include the new routes certified.

The Enlarged Partial Agreement


At least ten countries are still in different stages of progress towards accession, from simple expressions of interest to a request just received from Germany to attend as an observer, with a view to full membership in 2013. We all hope for new accessions this year, which will increase the political scope of the programme and the budget of contributions.

European Commission event: "Crossroads of Europe: Cultural and religious routes"

As you may know, the European Commission is organising a mini-fair on cultural and religious routes on 7-10 June in Pavia (Italy). The focus will be pilgrimage routes, especially those which pass through Pavia and its surrounding region. The Commission has entrusted the Institute with coordination of participation by interested Council of Europe Cultural Routes not directly invited as pilgrimage routes. We will be grouped in a large exhibition space devoted to showcasing the Council of Europe’s programme, and will also participate in seminars and discussions during the fair. This will be one of the important events of 2012, and should facilitate contacts with all the actors involved, including the public for cultural tourism. Please contact the Institute if you would like to participate in the fair, describing which visibility materials you are ready to send and if you would like to be present. We’ll keep you informed as plans are developed.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Penelope Denu

Executive Secretary, Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes

Director, European Institute of Cultural Routes

©Council of Europe 2012 | Contact us