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Europe's ‘Cultural Routes’: a platform for promoting cohesion and intercultural dialogue

Andries Gryffroy (Belgium, NR)

The PACE Standing Committee, meeting in The Hague, called on member States to join the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, which allows for the concrete implementation of Council of Europe policies on the value of heritage for promoting cohesive societies, intercultural dialogue and the right to access to culture.

Adopting a resolution based on the report by Andries Gryffroy (Belgium, NR), PACE recommended that national strategies involving all levels of governance be put in place to share the knowledge of the Council of Europe ‘Cultural Routes’ programme (created in 1987) and, more specifically, to promote the 48 certified Cultural Routes.

According to the adopted text, States should encourage a diversity of views on history, with a wide range of heritage sites illustrating ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious diversity. PACE also called on local and regional authorities to promote artistic projects as a creative means to address sensitivities associated with dissonant heritage.

Finally, PACE invited the European Union to co-operate with the Council of Europe to support the Cultural Routes Programme, and to develop targeted European funding programmes for cultural routes.