The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) was established to demonstrate how different countries and cultures of Europe contribute to a shared cultural heritage. The cultural routes help to communicate Council of Europe values at grass-roots level, promoting human rights, cultural democracy, cultural diversity, mutual understanding and exchanges across boundaries. They also contribute to sustainable local development, with positive effects on the attractiveness of territories and employment.
The EPA helps to develop cultural route projects, supports them with a certificate, and carries out regular evaluations of certified routes. They cover a wide range of cultural themes, from art and architecture, landscape and religious heritage, to major figures of European history, music and literature.
The EPA works with European networks responsible for managing the cultural routes, composed of over 3 000 members, including local and regional authorities, museums, cultural institutions, universities and other local stakeholders. It is implemented with the support of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, established in 1998 and funded by the government of Luxembourg.
NGOs are invited to work with the office of the European Cultural Routes in Luxembourg and even become participatory members of the Enlarged Agreement on the European Cultural Routes, the intergovernmental steering body for the organisation.