Aranjuez (Spain), the UNESCO cultural landscape site located near Madrid, hosted this year’s V. Cultural Routes Advisory Forum, on 29-30 October. The 2015 Council of Europe Cultural Routes Advisory Forum was co-organised by the Ministry for Education, Culture and Sport of Spain, the Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) and the European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR).

The theme of the 2015 Forum was “Networking for culture and heritage. The Council of Europe’s Cultural Routes: making transnational connections work”. Over the two days of the Forum the following themes were explored: cooperation with and role of international organisations; democracy and cultural routes: cross-cutting participation at local, regional and international levels; experiences in tourism promotion of cultural routes; young people’s role and involvement in cultural heritage preservation.

The Forum was attended by representatives of the Council of Europe’s 33 certified routes and candidate projects from all over Europe, representatives from member states of the EPA, international organisations (European Union, UN World Tourism Organization, International Council on Monuments and Sites), NGOs, local and regional authorities, universities and professionals in the cultural tourism sector. EuroClio was also present at the Forum, represented by its Ambassador Denis Detling.

Within the presentation “Historiana in the context of ensuring access of all to history and culture” Ambassador Denis Detling promoted EuroClio as possible stakeholder and partner of European Cultural Routes and EuroClio programme Historiana. As an online tool that promotes EuroClio values in practice and at the same time ensures access of all to history and culture Historiana offers possible future synergies with European Cultural Routes. The presentation aroused interest promising good future cooperation between EuroClio and Cultural Routes.

The annual Council of Europe Cultural Routes Advisory Forum is the most important and significant event of the Cultural Routes programme. The forum discusses trends and challenges in relation to Cultural Routes and provides a platform for sharing experiences, reviewing progress with the implementation of Cultural Routes, debates on new professional practices, the launch of new initiatives and the development of partnerships. Participants are cultural routes managers, candidate projects, representatives of other international organisations and ministries, academics, experts and tourism professionals.