6th Cultural Routes Annual Advisory Forum

Vilnius, Lithuania, 26-27 October 2016

Expanding the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: challenges and opportunities

The 6th Annual Advisory Forum was co-organised by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA), the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania and the Department of Cultural Heritage under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, and the European Institute of Cultural Routes in Luxembourg.

The 6th Annual Advisory Forum looked at the recent expansion of the Programme, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. Main themes of two days of workshops and interactive debates were “Expanding the geographic coverage and launching new partnerships” and “Developing new themes and practices” for the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme. The Forum discussed trends and challenges in relation to Cultural Routes, providing a platform for sharing experiences, reviewing progress, analysing professional practices, launching new initiatives and developing partnerships across Europe and beyond.

An award ceremony for the Fortified Towns of the Greater Region, the 32nd Cultural Route of the Council of Europe certified in 2016, and the signature of a Memorandum of Co-operation between the Council of Europe and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) were among the highlights of the event.

The Forum’s conclusions from the exchanges held during the two thematic workshops were incorporated in the “Vilnius Roadmap”, which set out guidelines for future activities of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme. Their follow-up were examined at the next Advisory Forum in Lucca (7th Cultural Routes Annual Advisory Forum, Lucca, Italy, 27-29 September 2017), on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme.

The 2016 Annual Advisory Forum was attended by more than 200 participants from over 30 countries, representatives from Member states and Observers to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, representatives of the certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, candidate projects and International Organisations (European Union, UNWTO, ICOMOS), NGOs, local and regional authorities, academics and professionals in the cultural tourism sector.