The EAVF participates in the 3rd EUSALP Annual Forum

The European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), represented by Elena Dubinina, participated in the 3rd  EUSALP Annual Forum, which took place on 28 - 29 November 2019 in Palazzo Lombardia, the headquarters of the Lombardy region, Milan.

The event brought together high-level stakeholders, such as Giuseppe Conte, Italian Prime-Minister, Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombardy region, Francesco Boccia, Italian Minister for Regional Affairs and autonomies, Jacqueline Gourault, French Minister for Territorial Cohesion Policy and Marie-Marguerite Dufay, President of the Bourgone – Franche – Compté Region.

The participants of the Forum, acting in the Alpine macro - region from the local to the European level, reconfirmed their commitment to the Strategy and to explore new windows of opportunities. The event also gave an opportunity to present the results of the initiatives carried out during the year of the Italian Presidency, and to discuss on the way forward preparing for the following French Presidency in 2020.

The Alpine macro-region area is composed of territories with contrasted demographic, social and economic trends and a great cultural and linguistic diversity. This diversity goes along with a great variety of governance systems and traditions and calls for cooperation. The 7 regions of the Via Francigena are in the Alpine macro-region: French Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Swiss Valles and Vaud, Italian Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardy and Liguria.

The EAVF presented the results of its project in the Alpine area, which was developed in the framework of the Routes4U joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Commission at the B2B on Cultural Routes conducted during the Forum. The project is focused on strengthening the economic impact of the Via Francigena via reinforcing the network of tourist offices, preparing tailor-made tourist packages and development of the information panels. The EAVF also shared its success strategies and economic benefits to local communities and member states. During the B2B on Cultural Routes, Constanze Metzger, Routes4U Senior Manager, presented the programme, while Ksenija Keča, Routes4U expert for EUSALP, gave an overwiev of the Cultural Routes Feasibility Study for the Alpine macro-region. 

The Forum highlighted the necessity to work together on the climate change issues, development of circular economy and investing into the sustainable development. The EAVF – the carrier network of the Via Francigena is an excellent example of the bottom-up organization implementing these goals on the ground.

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