How to be certified
The certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” is a guarantee of excellence. Once a year, the certification is awarded to legally constituted networks focussing on a European theme and implementing activities in at least three Council of Europe member States.
The certification gives visibility to European initiatives which bring to life Council of Europe values, such as cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual exchanges across borders. Through the Cultural Routes programme, the Council of Europe offers a model for transnational networks working on the promotion of European heritage. The Cultural Routes bring together, to name only a few, heritage sites, universities, national, regional and local authorities and socio-economic actors such as SMEs and tour operators.
Developing a Cultural Route requires to:
Defining a theme
The theme must represent European values and be common to at least three countries in Europe.
It must be illustrative of European memory, history and heritage and contribute to an interpretation of the diversity of present-day Europe.
Identifying heritage elements
In co-ordination with their scientific committee, project initiators should identify the elements of tangible and intangible heritage linked with the route’s theme and define a common narrative for the sites recognised as part of the route.
Creating a European network
A European network with legal status, bringing together the sites and the stakeholders, needs to be established, either in the form of an association or a federation of associations, with members in at least three Council of Europe member states.
Each network has to work in a democratic and participatory way with respect to its management, research and programme of activities. The Route’s initiators must ensure that the association responsible for managing the cultural route is organisationally and financially viable.
Coordinating common actions
The Route has to encourage cultural co-operation and stimulate scientific and social debate around its theme.
The Cultural Routes must be active in five priority fields of action, including :
- co-operation in research and development;
- enhancement of memory, history and European heritage;
- cultural and educational exchanges for young Europeans;
- contemporary cultural and artistic practice;
- cultural tourism and sustainable cultural development.
Creating common visibility
To ensure visibility across Europe, each route is required to create a visibility charter with a common logo designed for the route.
Following certification, both the “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” logo and the Cultural Route’s own logo designed for the route must appear on all of its signs and communication materials.
The rules for the award of the certification as “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” are defined in the Committee of Ministers CM/Res(2013)67.
Only networks that deal with a European theme (I), comply with the priority fields of actions (II) and are presented by a single network (III) will be considered for certification.
Fields of action
Key steps after being awarded certification:
Certified Routes must submit an annual programme of activities and an annual report to the EPA.
Every three years, certified Cultural Routes are required to submit a comprehensive report to enable the Governing Board of the EPA to evaluate the route’s activities in order to ascertain whether it continues to satisfy the certification criteria.
The Route’s visual identity and the certification logo should be used consistently by all members and for all network activities.
Representatives of the Cultural Routes are expected to actively participate in events and training courses organised within the Cultural Routes Programme, including the Annual Advisory Forum and the Training Academy.
The certified Cultural Routes are expected to share all information relevant to the implementation of activities and development of the routes, as well as to promote the Cultural Routes to the wider public.