President Tedeschi, informed during the last Executive Board meeting. The nomination of Martine Gautheron and Lucia Baracchini strengthens the commitment of the Via Francigena in France and confirms the role of the Tuscan region.
Martine Gautheron, managing director of the municipality of Champlitte (Borgogna region/Franca Contea), and Lucia Baracchini, mayor of Pontremoli (region of Tuscany), were nominated by the President, Massimo Tedeschi, among the six Vice Presidents of the European Association of the Vie Francigene. The nomination was announced during the Executive Board meeting on Wednesday 11th July in Milan, at the headquarters of the region of Lombardy. The two new Vice Presidents work alongside the Vice President Vicar, Francesco Ferrari, and the other two Vice Presidents in office, Velia Coffey (City of Canterbury) and Gaetan Tornay (region of Lower Valais), nominated during the General Assembly in Fidenza the 30th April 2016. The Executive Board then approved the proposal of co-option among their members representing the municipality of Altopascio (Tuscany).
The origins of the Vice Presidents underlines the international nature of the European Association of the Vie Francigene, the body, made responsible by the Council of Europe, for the development of the route in the four countries crossed: England, France, Switzerland and Italy, as well as its future expansion to the South of Italy. “Martine Gautheron and Lucia Baracchini, women of great character and great dedication, whom I thank from the heart, will contribute towards boosting the progress of the activities of the Via Francigena. With regards to the French territory, since the signing of the agreement with the municipality of Champlitte and the opening of the operational headquarters, August 2016, a good eleven French municipalities have joined the EAVF. We will therefore continue to invest energy in helping local communities and associations to raise awareness and increase the growth of the European route”, underlined President Tedeschi.
Other points examined by the Executive Board were: the state of the art of the route in Switzerland and France; the signage and maintenance of the Italian tract; preliminary analysis of the candidacy of the Via Francigena as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; implementation of the Via Francigena towards Santa Maria di Leuca; European, national and regional projects and notices. Subsequently, the proposal of the APP of the Francigena was discussed among the representatives of the seven Italian regions, to be realised by the end of the year.
Lastly, the pilot project “I love Francigena” was presented, realised in collaboration with the EAVF and the region of Lombardy, for the maintenance, signage, animation and promotion of the Lombard section of the route, in collaboration with local communities and associations. This is an excellent practice which should be spread among all the regions of Europe along the Francigena.