The 12th Annual Advisory Forum on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe took place in Łódź, Poland on 20-22 September, organised by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) and the European Institute of Cultural Routes, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. The Forum was held under the honorary patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Andrzej DUDA.
Mr. Bjørn BERGE, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, took part in the Official Opening Ceremony, along with Mr. Waldemar BUDA, Minister, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Republic of Poland; Ms. Małgorzata MOSKWA-WODNICKA, Deputy Mayor of Łódź and Ambassador Patrick ENGLEBERG, Chair of the EPA Statutory Committee, to welcome the over 300 Forum participants.
The Forum was attended by many Representatives of the 40 member States of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe and Representatives of the 47 certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, as well as representatives of international organizations, Observers to the EPA such as UNWTO, UNESCO, ERA, academics from the Cultural Routes University Networks and tourism professionals.
The theme of the 2023 Annual Advisory Forum was devoted to “Cultural Routes: the social and creative dimensions of cultural heritage in a post-industrial context”. Held at EC1 – City of Culture, an ancient power station from the 19th century of the city of Łódź, since revitalised for cultural and educational purposes, like many of the city’s prominent industrial complexes. Participants enjoyed visiting some of the city’s most important industrial heritage sites during their stay.
Through a rich programme of panels, interventions and meetings, the event provided a platform for bringing together the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe main stakeholders. 60 Forum programme speakers from Europe and beyond took the floor during the 3-day event.
The Opening Ceremony was the occasion to welcome the three new member States that joined the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe in 2023: the Republic of Moldova, the Czech Republic and the Republic of Malta. Moreover, the newest Cultural Route “Transhumance trails” was awarded the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe certification following certification during the 2022-2023 certification cycle.
9 Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe also saw their certification renewed following the 2022-2023 certification cycle: the Viking Route, the European Route of Jewish Heritage, VIA REGIA, TRANSROMANICA, the European Routes of Emperor Charles V, the Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route, the European Route of Industrial Heritage, the Le Corbusier Destinations : Architectural Promenades and Liberation Route Europe.
The continued success of the Forum was reflected in the additional presence of Ministers and high-level Representatives of the Council of Europe, the host country, member States and International Organisations, including: Ms. Urszula ŚLĄZAK, Chair of the EPA Governing Board; Ms. Meltem ÖNHON, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Türkiye, Vice-Chair of the EPA Governing Board; Ambassador Patrick ENGELBERG, Chair of the EPA Statutory Committee, Council of Europe; Mr. Andrzej GUT-MOSTOWY, State Secretary, Prime Minister’s Plenipotentiary for the Polish Brand Promotion, Ministry of Sport and Tourism, Republic of Poland; Mr. Rimantas MIKAITIS, Vice Minister of Culture, Republic of Lithuania; Mr. Ondřej CHRÁST, Deputy Minister of Culture, Czech Republic; Mr. Andrei CHISTOL, State Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Republic of Moldova; Mr. Alex FARRUGIA, Director, Ministry for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, Republic of Malta; Ambassador Vasyl ZVARYCH, Ambassador of Ukraine to Republic of Poland; Mr. Piotr MICHAŁOWSKI, Co-Chairman of the European Network of Cultural Centres, Independent Expert for the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe programme; Mrs. Katarzyna ZALASIŃSKA, Director, National Institute of Cultural Heritage, Poland; Mr. Krzysztof ZYMAN, Executive Secretary, EUR-OPA Major Hazard Agreement, Council of Europe; Mr. Peter DEBRINE, Sustainable tourism expert, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris; Mr. Andries GRYFFROY, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Belgium; Mr. Julien VUILLEUMIER, Scientific collaborator, Federal Office for Culture OFC, Switzerland, EPA Governing Board Council of Europe; Mr. Sergio ORTEGA MUNOZ, Head of European Programs Service, Ministry of Culture and Sports of Spain, EPA Bureau member, Governing Board Council of Europe; Mr. Alfredas JOMANTAS, Head of Division of International Department of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture of Lithuania, EPA Governing Board Council of Europe; Mrs. Astghik MARABYAN, Head of Department of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Armenia, EPA Governing Board Council of Europe; Mrs. Olga WIŚNIEWSKA, Senior Advisor, Arts Council Norway, EPA Governing Board Council of Europe; Prof. Mariela MODEVA, Advisor to the Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Bulgaria; Mrs. Ksenija KECA, Libertas International University of Zagreb, Croatia; Mr. Máté VINCZE, Deputy State Secretary, State Secretariat for Culture, Ministry of Culture and Innovation, Hungary; Mrs. Eszter CSONKA-TAKÁCS, Director, Hungarian Open-Air Museum, Directorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Hungary, EPA Bureau member Council of Europe and Mr. Dénes EŐRY, Mayor of the City of Visegrád, Hungary.
A dedicated webpage on the 12th Annual Advisory Forum on the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, its streaming videos, pictures and presentations can be found here.
Source: Council of Europe