Within the framework of the campaign "Europe, a
common Heritage", the European Institute of Cultural Routes and the
European Centre for Culture organised an international seminar on
the topic of the "Cultural values of European citizenship".
This conference was held in October 2000 in
Santiago de Compostella, a symbolic place for the cultural routes,
since the first route, elected in 1987, was launched there, giving
birth to the programme.
a continuous enterprise
This seminar was based on the experience of the
Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, on the actions developed
within the framework of the campaign "Europe, a common heritage"
and on the tri-national sessions organised by the European Centres
for Culture. It had to be regarded as a stage in the common
enterprise undertaken for several years by the Institute and the
Centre in St Jean d' Angély. The two partners indeed decided
to continue this enterprise, which aims at sharing their experience
concerning the educational and cultural meetings of young Europeans
based on awakening the cultural dimensions of citizenship. It is a
question of facilitating an active and plural reading of the common
heritage of Europe.
Participants of the seminar. Photo MTP
The Cultural Routes programme, since its origin,
has accumulated an active practice of citizenship,
- through discovery and through its European course, individual
and collective, starting from large axes of communication,
historical routes and broad structuring topics;
- through establishing an active and plural reading of the
history - and memory - of Europe;
- through search for a European interpretation of the common
- through multicultural artistic practice.
The European Institute of Cultural Routes has had
the initiative for many projects of cultural co-operation proposing
the cultural values of European citizenship and it keeps
contributing to the birth of new co-operations. These actions, too
little known, must be continued and renewed, but it is also
necessary to keep reconsidering and reinventing them. The existing
networks must be reinforced and intensified because they are the
future for research and practice of European citizenship.
It is necessary to give European the key and the
means to create their European citizenship and to this end it is
necessary to help them discover or rediscover these value, to make
these cultural values alive and comprehensible, in order to build a
citizenship in the absence of collective representation. "It is
man's perception of the territory in which he lives and works that
fully nourishes the will to share the values of citizenship to
build Europe, to exchange a common heritage beyond limits imposed
by national, even regional or ethnic spirit" Marie-Louise
Gräffin Von Plessen.
Reflection on the approaches and practices
The seminar of Santiago de Compostella brought
together intellectuals, science experts, pedagogues, directors of
museums, historical sites or memorials, and artists from all
Europe, so that they present their mutual experience and try to
answer together the definition of approaches and practices and of
the most relevant sets of themes likely to propose a reading of
European values from the perspective of citizenship.
Participants of the seminar. Photo MTP
Four broad topics were selected for this meeting,
with an aim to carry out an examination of the places and tools of
mediation and transmission of the cultural values of European
citizenship. They are: "symbols and symbolic actions", "creation as
practice of citizenship", "active transmission of European
citizenship", and "information/formation". Each topic has its
specificity, but each is also crossed by an ensemble of problems
that touch on the fundamental concepts.
This seminar was a success, in that it joined
together elements of theoretical reflection, resituated the
enterprise of the routes based on the analysis of concepts and on
research of the approaches that aim at the transmission of the
cultural values of European citizenship. It was a double success,
since it thus brought closer to the Institute a range of experts
who appreciated this search for an active pedagogy and who since
then have been working with the Institute, and because it was a
laboratory of theoretical and practical ideas.