On 6 and 7 September, the first Routes4U meeting for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) took place in Oslo, Norway. More than 50 participants from national and regional institution belonging to EUSBSR, as well as representatives of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe crossing the EU macro-region, participated to identify the regional needs of the Baltic Sea Region in the framework of the Routes4U Project.
Frida BLOMGREN, State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture opened the Routes4U meeting. She underlined the historical cooperation of Norway with countries of the Baltic Sea Region (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden) and that “This joining of forces illustrates the emphasis put on cultural cooperation, regional and sustainable development by the two organizations [Council of Europe and European Union] ”. The importance of cultural democracy and cooperation among countries was also reinforced during the intervention of Stefano Dominioni, Executive Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, Council of Europe:
“Among our difficulties within the European context of today, and among our divisions and historical differences, we share values, we share history, we share traditions, we share cultures. And that is what we should celebrate”
Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas during the workshops consecrated to "Regional development through cultural tourism", " Social participation in the regionalization and Europeanization of cultural heritage " and " Marketing strategies for the promotion and visibility of cultural heritage". They were respectively moderated by Tomasz DUDA, Phd Lecturer, Department of Tourism and Recreation, University of Szczecin (Poland), Łucja PIEKARSKA - DURAJ, Assistant Professor, UNESCO Chair on Education about the Holocaust, Jagiellonian University (Poland) and Pellervo KOKKONEN, Director of Tourism Development, Savonlinna Development Services Ltd (Finland).
During the plenary session, representatives of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (The Hansa, the Routes of Saint Olav Ways, the Viking Routes, the European Cemeteries Route and the European Routes of Megalithic Culture) presented their activities in the Baltic Sea Region. As well, proposals for new "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" (The Iron Curtain Trail), extension of existing certified Cultural Route and new themes for Cultural Routes (Saint Olav Waterways and Alvar Aalto Route of Modern Architecture) were presented.
Recommendations and future steps to be taken will be soon made available in the webpage of the meeting (see below).