Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe
The jury of the 13th edition of the Carlos V European Award has decided to grant the award to the initiative of the “The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe” for its work promoting European values related with cultural diversity, the respect for the respective identities, the intercultural dialogue, and the exchange and knowledge about the countries and its History.
The jury also underlined the work that the Routes do fostering cooperation in research and development; enhancement of memory, history and European heritage; cultural and educational exchanges for young Europeans; contemporary cultural and artistic practice; and the cultural tourism.
Likewise, the jury has considered the image and the position of Europe that the Cultural Routes project beyond the European borders and its relations with the rest of the world.
The jury also highlighted that it is a project involving different actors at different levels among them governments and countries, international institutions, regions, municipalities, organizations from the civil society, associations, museums, foundations, universities, companies and thousands of citizens, including the express participation of young people. Thus the CULTURAL ITINERARIES OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE contribute in this way to the process of European integration through history, culture, heritage and active citizenship, and in addition contribute to social, cultural, economic and sustainable local, national and European development.
The Cultural Routes programme was launched by the Council of Europe in 1987 with the Declaration of Santiago de Compostela. The programme intends to demonstrate, by means of a journey through space and time, how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe contributes to a shared cultural heritage (1).
The programme is made up now of 38 certified cultural routes, with more than 1600 members, which cross 61 countries in four continents. The routes provide a wealth of leisure and educational activities for all citizens across Europe and beyond, with members coming from the Mediterranean basin and the African, American and Asian continents. The routes develop through their activities key resources for responsible tourism and sustainable development. They cover a range of different themes, from architecture and landscape to religious influences, from gastronomy and intangible heritage to the major figures of European art, music and literature. Spain is one of the programme’s privileged settings, with 21 routes across the country. Emperor Charles V’s route, based in Cuacos de Yuste, includes over 80 members in 11 countries in Europe, Africa and America and is a certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 2015.
The certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” is a guarantee of excellence. The networks implement innovative activities and projects pertaining to five main priority fields of action: 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. Through its programme, the Council of Europe offers a model for transnational cultural and tourism management and allows synergies between national, regional and local authorities and a wide range of associations and socio-economic actors.
The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe are an invitation to travel and to discover the rich and diverse heritage of Europe by bringing people and places together in networks of shared history and heritage. They put into practice the values of the Council of Europe: human rights, cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual exchanges across borders, and they build bridges among countries, regions, local authorities and citizens through common and shared projects across the European Union and beyond, which reinforce Europe’s image outside the continent and its relations with the rest of the world.
(1) Source: https://www.coe.int/en/web/cultural-routes/about