After the election and integration of a new theme in the programme, various routes or itineraries are
implemented. Since 2004, the Secretariat has chosen a definition which links the notion of route
to a concrete trans-border or trans-European route, path or trail, or a series of regional trails
working together on the same theme and under the umbrella of a common organisation.
The Secretariat, after the proposal of the Advisory Committee and the positive decision of the Committee
in charge within the Council of Europe can assign to the itinerary three categories of certifications.
The proposals which correspond to the first category of certifications « Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe » should :
be organised within a pan-European theme
propose for this theme a diversity of projects in various
European territories and be based on long term co-operations in various fields
be implemented through active networks which create co-operation between regions
and countries and gather interdisciplinary skills.
The proposals which correspond to the second category of certifications « Cultural Route of the Council of Europe » should :
be organised within a European theme which is limited as concerns history and geography ;
implement projects linked to one or more fields ;
gather various operators within networks.
A third category exists for projects which:
are linked to one theme of the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe ;
implement an initiative linked to one field ;
correspond to events or punctual actions.
The certification which corresponds to this category is “In the frame of the Cultural
Routes of the Council of Europe” in front of the name of the event or action. It is awarded directly by the Secretariat.
The operators responsible of the routes are awarded at an official ceremony organised by the Council of
Europe. The first one took place on 16 June 2004 in the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg in the presence
of Maud De Boer-Buquicchio Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
Deputy Secretary General said: "Over centuries, we have used the journey of mankind's progress,
to bring meaning to the notion of time and space and to make a positive impact on our world. We have
used these elements in responding to the challenges of our environment. With the resources at our
disposal, we have created societies where culture, invention and enterprise are acclaimed. The dreams
of just one man or woman have often brought joy to millions. Travel has widened our understanding of
Europe and brought Europe into our homes. With exchange has come the understanding that we are united
by a common heritage, with shared cultural roots that give meaning to our sense of European identity."