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The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: a platform for intercultural dialogue

Recommendation 2249 (2023)

Author(s):
Parliamentary Assembly
Origin
Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 3 March 2023 (see Doc. 15710, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Andries Gryffroy).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution 2488 (2023) “The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe: a platform for intercultural dialogue”, underlines the importance of heritage as a resource for human development and as a tool to enhance cultural diversity and promote intercultural dialogue.
2. Moreover, the Assembly considers that the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme offers an excellent platform to promote open exchanges based on mutual understanding between individuals and groups of different origins, cultures, religions and languages; and that it is an effective means to promote conflict prevention and strengthen democratic values and democratic practices in Europe.
3. The significant rise in the number of certified cultural routes (there are now 48) is a clear indication of the success of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme. However, the accomplishment also lies in the capacity of each route to sustain its activity, partnerships and relevance in the long term and to ensure quality and share experience, strategies and tools through regular exchanges and development of joint projects within the route itself and in co-operation with other thematically or geographically related cultural routes.
4. The Assembly considers that the Council of Europe and the European Commission should enhance their co-operation to support this activity and develop targeted European Union funding programmes for cultural routes based on clearly established criteria, including the promotion of democratic values and the implementation of the key principles of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on the Value of Cultural Heritage for Society (CETS No. 199, the “Faro Convention”) at both local and European levels.
5. Accordingly, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers together with the member States that are Parties to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and in co-operation with the European Union:
5.1 increase the resources and reinforce the capacity of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and provide more support to cultural routes in their development and co-ordination of activities;
5.2 undertake a strategic reflection concerning the overall aims and framework of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme to ensure that quality standards accompany the rapid increase in the number of certified cultural routes;
5.3 consider reviewing the certification process and extending the certification cycle to five years in order to guarantee quality and at the same time reduce the administrative burden related to the process of certification;
5.4 develop a common, quality-based label for cultural routes, similar to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage label, to accompany visually the transformation of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme into a strong, collective and dynamic network, easily recognisable to visitors throughout Europe;
5.5 develop targeted joint programmes with the European Union for certified cultural routes that promote sustainable development, democracy and human rights, and enhance co-operation with the European Commission and its European Heritage Label initiative.