Programme Cultural Routes Advisory Forum 2018 (21st September 2018)


Established in 2010, the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) follows the Council of Europe’s policy guidelines, decides the programme strategy and awards the “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certification. It is opened to member and non-member States of the Council of Europe, aiming at providing political support for national, regional and local initiatives to promote European citizenship through cultural heritage and sustainable tourism. The Secretariat of the EPA is located at the European Institute of Cultural Routes in Luxembourg.

Committee of Ministers Resolution Res(2013)66 confirming the establishment of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes mentions the organisation of an annual “Advisory Forum”, which makes this event the most important and significant of the Cultural Routes programme of activities as it is the single specific activity referred to in the EPA statutory texts. The Forum provides an opportunity for the networks managing and implementing Council of Europe Cultural Routes across Europe to meet and exchange with representatives at all levels of public authority, from local and regional government to foreign and specialised ministries, as well as other International Organisations working in the field of cultural heritage and cultural tourism. The successive forums have seen an encouraging development of this mission, and the Görlitz Forum will certainly build on previous experiences to achieve further visibility and progress of the programme.

The theme of the Görlitz Forum will be “Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe connecting cultural values, heritage sites and citizens: strategies and synergies in a global perspective”. The 2018 Görlitz Forum will be the opportunity to consider peoples’ related themes representative of European history and exchanges (migration routes, trade and merchants routes, religious heritage, etc.) through the potential synergies between the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme and other International Organisations cultural programmes (Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, UNESCO World Heritage sites, UNESCO World Heritage Journeys, European Heritage Label, European Heritage Days, European Capital Cities of Culture, UNWTO) against the background of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. The Görlitz Forum aims to provide strategies for stronger collaborations between existing international programmes working towards strengthened perspectives on European and global cultural heritage promotion and preservation.

The Forum will be the opportunity for both plenary sessions where eminent figures from International Organisations in the field of cultural heritage will have an opportunity to present their work (Council of Europe: Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes Programme, European Heritage Days; European Union: European Heritage Label, European Year of Cultural Heritage; UNESCO: World Heritage Centre and World Heritage Journeys, UNWTO). Discussions will enable to explore potential synergies, such as joint Cultural Routes and UNESCO World Heritage desks, joint EU funding applications between the Cultural Routes Programme and the UNESCO and UNWTO, and cross-programmes universities endowed chairs.

The Görlitz Roadmap to be prepared during the Forum discussions, and adopted at the close of the event will aim to become the reference guideline document for future synergies between the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme and other major international cultural heritage programmes.