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.
The Governing Board of the Institute met on 15 February, just before the meeting of the EPA Bureau, both of which took place in Luxembourg. As well as evaluations, the Bureau discussed, inter alia, the 2012 Advisory Forum and a proposal from France to hold the event in Colmar, and requested texts to be prepared on the added value of the Council of Europe cultural routes and of membership of the partial agreement, to be printed in future information brochures.
On 22 February Brussels the Action Plan for the Council of Europe/European Commission Joint Programme was adopted at a meeting with the Tourism Unit of DG Enterprise. The following day I participated with Eleonora Berti in a meeting of the NECSTouR regional network, attended by representatives of regions and the European Commission and organised by the Puglia Region, on
"Creative Industries", followed by a meeting of the NECSTouR Taskforce on Cultural Routes we organised at the Council of Europe’s Brussels Office.
I then travelled to Brno (Czech Republic) for the 10th Anniversary General Assembly of the Mozart Ways on 24-25 February. This was a great opportunity to understand how a route network functions, and the occasion for me to meet and discuss with some of the people who work together to make our routes a reality. I would like to thank once again the Town of Brno for organising the two-day meeting and the President and Secretary of the Mozart Ways, Marja Marino and Gerhard Spitz.