On Wednesday, 1 June 2022, an email was received from the Executive Secretary of the Enlarged Partial Agreements of the Council of Europe and Director of the Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes Institute, Stefano Dominioni, announcing the official certification of the “Historic Cafés Route”.
Thus, a long process that started in 2014 finally achieved its ultimate goal: the establishment of the “Historic Cafés Route” (originally EHICA) which culminated in the last 2 years in the creation of the relevant file for certification and the presentation of the Route in Luxembourg, on May 5, 2022. The certification came after the presentation made before the 35 member states of the Council of Europe, in Luxembourg, by George Loverdos, HCR Route Manager and Maria Mystakidou, Communication Officer. It is worth noting that this entire endeavor started in 2014, with the establishment of the “Historic Café Route” (then EHICA).
After the announcement of the certification by the Council of Europe, the Founder and President of the Historic Cafés Route, Vassilis Stathakis, stressed that, “The certification by the CoE conferred recognition to our efforts over the years. The Historic Cafés Route is an innovative themed route that could potentially spread around the world. And it brings to the forefront the Historic Cafés, carriers of intangible and tangible cultural heritage, custodians of history, international places of artistic, cultural and political dissemination, places where daily life “flows” while shaping the character of Europe, and of the world. I am gratified and delighted by the successful outcome and am personally committed to the continued dynamic development of the Route .”
The certification essentially validates and strengthens the effort for the promotion and defense of Historical Cafés as key players in the development of local and global history, bodies that maintain and strengthen bonds of cultural heritage.
This success, a guarantee of excellence, gives HCR a new impetus to achieve not only its primary goal, the thematic integration of Historic Cafés in the wider European area, but also its ultimate goal of bringing together the peoples of the wider region and highlighting common problems and common cultural heritage through local differences.
Thus, the certification by the Council of Europe is a guarantee that the Historic Cafés Route fully adheres to the principles of the Council of Europe, while at the same time approaching cities, regions, peoples and individuals, through dialogue, a common past and the creation of a common future.