Press release - 953(2010)

A new impetus for the Council of Europe Cultural Routes

Strasbourg, 10.12.2010 - The Council of Europe Cultural Routes initiative has been given a new impetus by the decision to create an Enlarged Partial Agreement1. The Agreement will allow Council of Europe member states, as well as other interested countries, to join efforts in developing thematic trans-national cultural routes as tools for cultural co-operation, quality tourism and regional development. The new structure will increase the resources available for the setting up and promotion of cultural routes and thus enhance their visibility and their social, cultural and economic impact.

The solid partnership with the European Commission already established in this field, will be reinforced in the framework of the new Agreement. Cultural Routes are expected to become an important element of the European Tourism Strategy and in particular for cultural tourism – tourism which is sustainable, ethical and social, because it builds on local knowledge, skills and heritage assets, and which Europe as a destination for a quality cultural experience.

The seat of the Agreement will be in Luxembourg, which hosts and funds the European Cultural Routes Institute, the technical body supporting the development of cultural routes. Greece offered to host the annual Cultural Routes Advisory Forum foreseen by the statute of the Agreement.

The Council of Europe Cultural Routes link local heritage to wider movements of ideas and encourage collaborative grassroots initiatives which give European citizens the sense of ownership and pride in their heritage as an element of common European heritage. Twenty-nine Cultural Routes have received the Council of Europe certification2 to date and many others are in preparation.


Irena Guidikova, Head of Division, Cultural Policy, Diversity and Dialogue, Council of Europe, Tel. +33 3 88 41 32 19 ;

Giuseppe Zaffuto, Media Relations Division, Tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04 ;

1 Partial Agreements are a particular form of co-operation within the Council of Europe, which allows those member States that so wish to take part in a specific programme or field of action in which they are particularly interested and for which they provide targeted funding.

2 The Saint Martin of Tours Route, European Mozart Ways, The Heinrich Schickhardt Route, The Route of Don Quixote, The Phoenicians’ Route, The Via Carolingia, Transromanica - the Romanesque Routes of European Heritage, The Via Regia, The Santiago De Compostela Pilgrim Routes, The Via Francigena, The Saint Michael Ways, The Route of Saint Olav Ways, The Cluniac Sites in Europe, The European Route of Cistercian abbeys, The Vikings Route, the Hansa, The Pyrenean Iron Route, The European Iron Trail in Central Europe, Parks and Gardens, The Vauban and Wenzel Routes, The Routes of El Legado of Andalusi, The Route of the Castilian language, The European Route of Jewish Heritage, The European Routes of Migration Heritage, The Routes of the Olive Tree, The Iter Vitis Route, Prehistoric Rock Art Trail, European Cemeteries Route, European Route of Historical Thermal Towns.

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11