By means of a journey through space and time, the Council of Europe Cultural Routes highlight Europe’s common values and cultural heritage.
Launched in 1987, the Cultural Routes programme reflects the Council of Europe ideals by fostering a better understanding of Europe’s cultural diversity and European history. The Cultural Routes are a channel for intercultural and interreligious dialogue. They are also a means for improving quality of life and a source of social and economic development. The Cultural Routes give pride of place to cultural tourism which is a key resource for sustainable development.
In December 2010, the Council of Europe established an Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA) to enable closer co-operation between states particularly interested in the development of cultural routes. It also outlined the objectives and criteria for the allocation of the Council of Europe Cultural Route label (CM/Res(2010)52). To date, the Programme includes 24 Cultural Routes.
The European Institute of Cultural Routes, a specialised body based in Luxembourg, supports the programme, which also benefits from joint programmes with the European Union.