The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) established in 2010 seeks to reinforce the potential of Cultural Routes for cultural cooperation, sustainable territorial development and social cohesion, with a particular focus on themes of symbolic importance for European unity, history, culture and values and the discovery of less well-known destinations.
The EPA helps to strengthen the democratic dimension of cultural exchange and tourism through the involvement of grassroots networks and associations, local and regional authorities, universities and professional organisations. It contributes to the preservation of a diverse heritage through theme-based and alternative tourist itineraries and cultural projects.
The EPA on Cultural Routes follows the Council of Europe’s policy guidelines, decides the programme strategy and awards “Council of Europe Cultural Route” certification. It is open to member and non-member states of the Council of Europe aiming at providing political support for national, regional and local initiatives to promote culture and tourism. As of January 2017, the EPA had 27 Member States.
The headquarters of the EPA is located in Luxembourg, thanks to the involvement of the Ministry of Culture of Luxembourg in favour of this programme.
Cultural Routes Evaluation Cycle 2016-2017
The regular evaluation cycle started on 30 September 2016. This year four Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe will be subject to regular evaluation:
- European Mozart Ways
- The Saint Martin of Tours Route
- The Huguenot and Waldensian trail
- The European Route of Megalithic Culture
Cultural Routes Evaluation Cycle 2015-2016
Eight Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe were under regular evaluation during the 2015-2016 cycle: