Via Francigena

Cultural routes at the centre of European politics for territorial development

Picture of Redazione AEVF
Redazione AEVF

In June the report of the theme of “Towards an EU strategy for international cultural relations” (2016/2240(INI)) was presented to the European Parliament of Strasburg.  The cultural routes of the Council of Europe are suggested as a model for the development of territories.


The report was presented by the speakers Elmar Brok and Silvia Costa through the commission for foreign affairs and the commission of culture.  The member of the European Parliament Silvia Costa has since 2009, the year in which she was elected as a member of the European Parliament, been working hard to support the European cultural programmes, with particular attention for the cultural routes and the Via Francigena.

The report on the new strategy of the Union contains lines of significant direction which: long-term plans of action and a programme of mobility and international exchange; forecast of a dedicated balance sheet; the development of cultural tourism and inclusion of culture in all bilateral agreements; the establishment of an international programme of mobility and of an artist in residence for young artists and professionals of European culture. 

We are going in the direction that needs culture as the fourth autonomous pillar and transverse of sustainable development, without which societies cannot regenerate, do not create obvious innovation or relations.” said Costa after the presentation.

The same Cultural Commission was declared as the 2018 Year of European Cultural Heritage.  A first, concrete opportunity for the promotion of cultural, material, immaterial and digital heritage, as the central element of the international aspect of the European Union.

The cultural routes of the Council of Europe represent a core for the development of cross-border projects; become an important tool for strengthening cultural relations between countries, in order to promote the fundamental values of cultural diversity, intercultural diversity and sustainable territorial development of less known cultural destinations, simultaneously preserving their cultural heritage.   

The programme, which in 2017 celebrated 30 years and which in Lucca on the 27th-29th September has organised its annual Forum, is strongly supporting the European cultural routes as an occasion of development, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, cohesion and tolerance.  The success of this programme depends more and more of the ability to network and advertise the territories, from the institutions to the local communities, favouring the inclusion of culture (in all its forms) in the politics of territorial development.  

The Via Francigena, alongside the Route of Santiago, is one of the 32 certified routes of the Council of Europe.  


Luca Bruschi