On Thursday 28 September, the European Association of the Via Francigena ways took part in the working and consultation day on the Via Francigena with the French Departments that are crossed by the Via Francigena.
Representatives from Haute-Saône, Haute-Marne, Doubs, Aube, Cabbalr and the FFR were present at the event. The meeting was organised by the Haute-Saône at the instigation of its president Yves Krattinger and took place in Champlitte, the municipality hosting the headquarters of the European Association of the Via Francigena ways in France since 2017.
After initial greetings by Mayor Patrice Colinet and an introduction by President Krattinger, who opened the proceedings, speakers included Martine Gautheron, EAVF Vice-president, Jacques Chevin, EAVF manager for the development of the VF in France, Didier Depauw and Christophe Bolot, respectively Councillor and Director of the Communauté d’Agglomération Béthune-Bruay, Artois-Lys Romane, and finally Jean-Jacques Sombsthay, Vice-president of the Haute-Saône.
The French departments, on the initiative of the Haute-Saône department and in cooperation with EAVF, have started to work on the structure of a permanent ‘Route Committee’ (following the example of the ‘Voie Bleue’ cycle route) aimed at coordinating activities to develop and animate the route from Calais to Jougne. Among the objectives are also those of improving hospitality for pilgrims, producing the new FFR guidebook, reinforcing signposting and maintenance, investing in the promotion of the Route in view of 2024 which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the European certification of the Via Francigena. Without forgetting the UNESCO heritage and candidacy.
During the meeting, Director Luca Bruschi and European Projects Manager Elena Dubinina also intervened for EAVF.