Tuesday, 11 September 2018 11:09

First Routes4U meeting for the EUSBSR emphasised the importance of shared heritage

Written by  Let's communicate!

Routes4U project organized its first meeting for the EUSBSR in Oslo, Norway on September 6-7 2018. The meeting gathered together actors from almost all of the Baltic Sea region countries, and based on the discussions was an appreciated and much needed opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences.


The aim of Routes4U project is to improve the visibility of Cultural Routes of the macro-regions, and through this contribute to regional development. Routes4U is a civil society run programme, and celebrates diversity and multicultural European heritage. Despite our differences, we still share values and history, and these can be seen as building blocks that brings us together. Since a cultural route does not limit just to one country but crosses borders, it is an excellent way to promote what we have in common. In addition, Routes4U places human rights and democratic citizenship in the core of its work, as culture rights are human rights.

When it comes to macro-regions, their involvement can be improved by introducing new cultural routes. Routes4U can also increase the visibility of the cultural heritage of different regions. For example, the heritage of the Baltic Sea region is rich but not as visible as it could be. Each region is unique, and the Baltic Sea region uniqueness should be made use of!

But how to make most of the unique cultural heritage? On the first day of the meeting, this topic was discussed in parallel workshops from different points of view: how to develop regions through cultural tourism, how to strengthen cultural cooperation and civil society and how to market and increase the visibility of cultural heritage.

Even if this was the first Routes4U meeting for the EUSBSR, Odd Godal from the European Commission brought up in his keynote speech that cultural heritage is in many ways part of the Strategy, such as PA Culture and PA Tourism that could be of interest for Routes4U. In addition, BalticRIM, a flagship under PA Culture is a concrete example of the work to improve the Baltic Sea region heritage. One way for Routes4U to become more engaged with the EUSBSR could be by applying for a flagship status.

It is also worth pointing out how those working with cultural routes mentioned that routes are and important way to keep EUSBSR neighbouring countries such as Russia along in the Baltic Sea region cooperation.

Sharing knowledge and information will continue, and in March 2019 cultural routes actors can gather in Finland for the second Routes4U meeting for the EUSBSR!


Routes4U Project is a joint programme between the European Commission (Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy – DG REGIO) and the Council of Europe (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes – EPA). The project aims at strengthening regional development through the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe in the four EU macro-regions.


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