Conditions for obtaining the “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certification

Some criteria must be met by postulants in order to be considered as candidates for the "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" certification awarded by the Governing Board of the EPA:

  • Defining a theme representative of European values and common to at least 3 countries of Europe;
  • Identifying heritage elements shaped by the geographical as well as cultural, historical and natural features of the different regions;
  • Creating a European network with legal status bringing together the sites and the stakeholders which are part of the Route;
  • Co-ordinating common actions to encourage different kinds of cultural co-operation, also the scientific level stimulating social debate on its theme, propose to European citizens an interpretation of their common history and shared heritage and provoke a series of coherent activities for young Europeans coming from different cultures and backgrounds and finally encourage cultural tourism and sustainable cultural development;
  • Creating common visibility to allow the identification of the items part of the Route, ensuring recognisability and coherence across Europe.

In order to be eligible for certification, candidate networks must follow the criteria described in CM/Res(2013)67 revising the rules for the award of the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe certification.

Two main bodies are involved in the certification process:

  • The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) is supported by member States, mainly represented by Ministries of Culture, Tourism and Foreign Affairs. The EPA takes the final decision on the award certification every year during its April's meeting.
  • The European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR), the technical agency set up as part of a political agreement between the Council of Europe and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, supports the EPA's evaluation process. EICR carries out the first assessment of the application and the follow-up of the independent experts' reports.

Evaluation of candidate networks applying for the "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" certification

Each year, networks wishing to apply for the "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" certification can do so by requiring an application to the EPA Secretariat.

An evaluation cycle last approximately 10 months, from the call for applications (June - Year 0) to the notification regarding the decision on the certification's award (May - Year +1).

 

Early June (Year 0)

  • Call for applications for certification as “Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe” posted on the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe website.

Mid-September (Year 0)

  • Deadline for submitting the application form for certification.

October (Year 0)

  • Analysis of the submitted documentation by the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR).
  • Selection by the EPA Secretariat of the independent experts in charge of drafting the evaluation reports.

October - Decemeber (Year 0)

  • Independent expert review and contact with Cultural Route management in order to verify the documentation submitted and prepare the evaluation report.
  • Field visit along the route by the independent expert and meeting with the Cultural Route management.
  • Preparation of evaluation report by the independent expert.

End of December (Year 0)

  • Deadline for submission of the evaluation reports by the independent experts.

January (Year +1)

  • Examination of the evaluation report by the EPA Secretariat with the support of the EICR and drafting of recommendations to the Bureau of the EPA Governing Board.

February (Year +1)

  • Examination of the evaluation report by the Bureau of the EPA Governing Board, experts audition where necessary and drafting of recommendations to the EPA Governing Board.

March (Year +1)

  • Sending of expert reports to candidate networks along with any requests for further information from the EPA Bureau.
  • Invitation to present the Cultural Route during the EPA Governing Board April meeting in Luxembourg.

April (Year +1)

  • Examination by the EPA Governing Board of the evaluation reports and the recommendations made by the EICR and EPA Bureau.
  • Audition of the selected projects at the EPA Governing Board meeting in Luxembourg.
  • Decision by the EPA Governing Board concerning the certification.

May (Year +1)

  • Notification letter by the EPA Executive Secretary to the auditioned candidates concerning the results of their application for certification of their network as “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe”.

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