The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) established in 2010 seeks to reinforce the potential of Cultural Routes for cultural cooperation, 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. 

The EPA helps to strengthen the democratic dimension of cultural exchange and tourism through the involvement of grassroots networks and associations, local and regional authorities, universities and professional organisations. It contributes to the preservation of a diverse heritage through theme-based and alternative tourist itineraries and cultural projects.

The EPA on Cultural Routes follows the Council of Europe’s policy guidelines, decides the programme strategy and awards “Council of Europe Cultural Route” certification.  It is open to member and non-member States of the Council of Europe aiming at providing political support for national, regional and local initiatives to promote culture and tourism.  The complete list of EPA Member States can be found here.

The Enlarged Partial Agreement comprises two statutory bodies.

  1. The Governing Board of the EPA is composed of representatives from ministries of member States and awards the certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe”. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the European Commission, UNWTO, UNESCO and the OECD participate in its work.
  2. The Statutory Committee of the EPA is composed of representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs and adopts the EPA’s annual budget.

A major event is the Annual Advisory Forum, which brings together representatives of Cultural Routes, national bodies, networks and international heritage and tourism organisations.

According to the Committee of Ministers Resolution CM/Res(2013)66 article 1, the aim of the EPA is as follows:

The Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA) shall contribute to the promotion of European identity and citizenship through knowledge and awareness of Europe’s common heritage, and the development of cultural links and dialogue within Europe as well as with other countries and regions. It shall seek to shape a shared cultural space through the development of cultural routes aiming to foster awareness-raising about heritage, education, networking, quality and sustainable cross-border tourism and other related activities.

The EPA shall contribute to reinforcing 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. It shall strengthen the democratic dimension of cultural exchange and tourism through the involvement of grassroots networks and associations, local and regional authorities, universities and professional organisations. It shall contribute to the preservation of a diverse heritage through theme-based and alternative tourist itineraries and cultural projects.

 

The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes is based on two Resolutions from the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe: 

 Resolution CM/Res(2013)66 confirming the establishment of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA)  Resolution CM/Res(2013)67 revising the rules for the award of the "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" certification
certification logo certification logo

 GET THE LATEST UPDATES

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up