EUROPEAN INSTITUTE OF CULTURAL ROUTES
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One of the missions entrusted to the Institute by the Council of Europe consists in receiving and pursuing new proposals for cultural routes, as well as ensuring the work of instruction until they are submitted for approval to the Advisory Committee.

In 1998 the Institute prepared a very complete report on this subject, updated every year. It comprises all proposals (historical and as they compare to selection criteria) and research on the regrouping of the themes. It can be consulted in the database.

stages

New proposals can be sent to the Council of Europe, or directly to the Institute. Firstly, they are evaluated according to the criteria stipulated in the Regulations; they are then organised with the help of project carriers, including the territories concerned. The instruction work that follows is often complex and lengthy.

Consequently, the European values carried by the project are researched and reinforced through the constitution of an accompanying scientific Committee. In general, it is necessary to seek new partners allowing for the European widening of the networks.

But it is especially a question of examining the possibility of organisation starting from the theme of pilot operations likely to be used as models and concrete examples for conventions, resolutions, recommendations and programmes of the Council of Europe. Lastly, the Institute must make sure that project carriers wish to develop their long-term actions and thus have the possibilities to finance them, because the Institute will be able to intervene financially only on the work of analysis and networking and not by investing in projects.

Once the file is complete, it is presented to the Advisory Committee, which expresses an opinion. This opinion can result in total rejection, a request for expansion, or a positive opinion. A report is transmitted to the qualified Committees of the Council of Europe, which proceed to the final election of a new topic. The Advisory Committee also asks the Institute to pursue, on the basis of its recommendations, a classification depending on the proposals' state of progress in four categories:

  1. Routes ready for election
  2. Priority routes for election in the coming two years (these first two categories are the object of a more detailed analysis, of distribution during meetings of complementary documents and sometimes of the intervention of their promoters)
  3. Routes in preparation
  4. Routes on standby. This classification was used for the presentation of documents included in the database.

a daily work

The Institute has to face new proposals every day. The institution of old proposals can accelerate or, on the contrary, slow down according to circumstances in the evolution of the often fragile networks of dissemination. Some even disappear, unable to find new partners or the financing necessary for their activity. One must note on this subject that the financings of the European networks constituted a priori to answer to invitations of the European Union, and not a posteriori, according to a common prospect, continue to bring proposals to the Institute at a time when questions of redefinition arise and when subsidies from the Commission are depleted.

Moreover, this work of formation, which can appear quite complex from the outside, requires on behalf of the Institute a constant effort of information of and explanation to the carriers of projects. This work is facilitated when certain governments give the Institute the possibility to hold information meetings, as was the case with many revivals during shows or meetings devoted to cultural routes and tourism.

The Institute also prepares a synthetic document on the procedure, which will has been translated in the languages of the countries part to the cultural Convention. But the Institute will proposes information and formation seminars on the methodology of the cultural routes of the Council of Europe for government experts, project carriers, and the information centres of the Council of Europe. Such a work should be better relayed in the areas of Europe if the creation of resource centres becomes a reality.

temporary mention

Under the Regulation, the possibility is open for temporary election of certain proposals, depending on the favourable opinion of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe. Thus, for example, the Route of the Brabançon Altarpieces (Route of the sculpted altarpiece panels painted in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries) was registered in the third category "Within the framework of the Routes of the Council of Europe" for the ensemble of activities in Belgium related to "Brussels 2000 European Capital of Culture". Such a route or such an action is always likely to acquire final inscription, after its European broadening.

 
 
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