Enlarged Partial Agreement of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: partners
The European Union works to preserve Europe's shared cultural heritage and help make it accessible to all. It also supports and promotes the arts and creative industries in Europe.
The Council of Europe has co-operated with the European Commission in the context of Joint Programmes. The Joint Programme enables a broad range of visibility and communication initiatives to be carried out as a complement to EPA’s statutory activities. The Council of Europe / European Commission Joint Programme establishes biennial cooperation with the EU on the basis of shared cultural, economic, social and environmental development objectives in Europe. An action programme based on the Cultural Routes supports the European cultural tourism strategy.
The main objectives of the programmes with DG-GROW (Directorate general for internal Market, Industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs) were to increase Europe’s visibility as a tourist destination and contribute to the touristic visibility and quality of European Cultural Routes certified by the Council of Europe or preparing for certification.
- The 2015-17 Joint-Programme aimed at increase Europe’s visibility as a tourist destination as well as of its diverse destinations and to contribute to the touristic visibility and quality of European Cultural Routes certified by the Council of Europe or preparing for certification.
- The 2013-2014 Joint Programme aimed at enhancing promotional activities and marketing of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, as well as the mapping of Cultural Routes, and the capacity building for Cultural Routes managers.
- The 2011-2013 Joint-Programme objectives were capacity building for Cultural Routes managers and reinforcing the common visibility. This programme served, in particular, to produce a manual of routes management in cooperation with academics, and to organise a training seminar - a “Cultural Routes summer school” for routes management.
- From 2010 to 2011, a study on European Cultural Routes impacts on SMEs innovation and competitiveness was launched aiming to provide insights on the effects produced by the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme on SMEs performance, network and cluster development.
The European Parliament
At the European Parliament, intergroups can be formed by Members from any political group and any committee, with a view to holding informal exchanges of views on particular subjects and promoting contact between Members and civil society. Since 2014, the intergroup “Development of European Tourism, Cultural Heritage, Ways of Saint James and other European Cultural Routes” is dedicated to the Cultural Routes: it is actually chaired by MEP Francisco Millan Mon.
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. UNWTO offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
UNWTO’s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
On September 2016, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, and the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Mr. Taleb Rifai, signed a two-year Memorandum of Cooperation to strengthen synergies and joint actions between the two International Organisations.
The objective of the Memorandum is to enhance cooperation between UNWTO and the Council of Europe within the framework of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA), promote and foster close collaboration in the field of sustainable cultural tourism development and identify initiatives to enhance the visibility of the two International Organisations at international, national and regional levels. UNWTO is Observer to EPA since 2015.
This collaboration already counts its pioneer project: the Phoenicians’ Route Cultural Tourism Programme, a joint programme contributing to the development of a new model of sustainable and inclusive tourism, designed to provide a more authentic, community-based experience along three Cultural Route Tourism Itineraries developed.