The Colmar Forum, 22- 23 November 2012


The 25th anniversary edition of the Cultural Routes Advisory Forum was hosted by France. The Agence de Développement Touristique de Haute Alsace ensured the practical organisation of the event alongside the Institute. The 130 participants represented the 24 certified routes and new projects, member states of the Enlarged Partial Agreement, other international organisations (EU, UNESCO, UNWTO, OECD), NGOs, local and regional authorities, academics and professionals in the cultural tourism sector.


The Forum achieved some great results, adopted in the “Colmar Declaration”, marking 25 years of existence of the Council of Europe’s cultural routes programme and setting out clear goals for the future. The presentations of new projects at the forum were inspiring and discussions in the four workshops on international cooperation, governance, new technologies and methodologies and regional development all produced very concrete outcomes.


The routes elected a representative – Antonio Barone from the Phoenicians Route – who was tasked with organising a meeting to establish areas for common strategies and requesting observer status with the programme’s statutory bodies. The European Commission consolidated its partnership with the Council of Europe and the OECD, UNESCO and UNWTO pledged to share knowledge and experience and to work together on relevant topics. The universities already involved in training and capacity-building with the Institute decided to set up a network of Council of Europe cultural routes studies, and regional development good practices will be put together in a corpus of experiences and systematically promoted within the Council of Europe’s programme.


The Colmar Declaration will serve as a roadmap for the future work with and for cultural routes.