The certification “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” is a guarantee of excellence. Every year, the certification is awarded to legally constituted networks, working on a European theme and implementing activities in at least three Council of Europe member States.

The certification gives visibility to European initiatives which bring to life the Council of Europe values, such as cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and mutual exchanges across borders. Through the Cultural Routes programme, the Council of Europe offers a model for transnational networks working on European heritage promotion. The Cultural Routes bring together, among others, heritage sites, universities, national, regional and local authorities and socio-economic actors such as SMEs and tour operators.

Download the guidelines (pdf): What is a Cultural Route and how to become one


The development of a Cultural Route requests to:

  1. Define a theme that is representative for European values and common to several European countries;
  2. Identify heritage elements, that can be tangible and intangible;
  3. Create a network with a legal status, involving at least three European countries;
  4. Coordinate common activities in the main field of actions (see certification's criteria below);
  5. Ensure a common visibility and coherence of the project across Europe.


The rules for the award of the “Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” certification are defined in the Committee of Ministers  Resolution CM/Res(2013)67.

You will find below a summary of the certification criteria, which may be granted to projects that deal with a European theme (I), comply with the priority fields of actions (II) and are presented by a single network (III).

Certification cycle

Every year, applications are submitted in view of obtaining the certification. A cycle last approximately ten months, from the call for applications (July - Year 1) to the notification regarding the decision on the certification's award (May - Year 2).

Two main bodies are involved in the certification process. The European Institute of Cultural Routes (EICR), the technical agency set up as part of a political agreement between the Council of Europe and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, carries out the first assessment of the application and the follow-up of the independent experts' reports. The Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) is supported by member states, mainly represented by Ministries of Culture, Tourism and Foreign Affairs. The EPA takes the final decision on the award certification every year during its April's meeting. 

Are you ready to be certified?

Do you want to test if you are ready to be certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe"? Take the quiz below!

If you successfully answer the questions, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Does your project has a legal status and is financially viable?

(Such as an association or federation)
  1. Yes
  2. No
Close Great, that's indispensable to be eligible for certification as it will ensure the democratic and long term implementation of the activities.
Close Unfortunately, you are not eligible. The legal status and the financial viability are essential to ensure the democratic organisation of your network and the long term implementation of your activities.

How many countries are involved in your project?

(number of countries represented in your members' network)
  1. 1
  2. 3 or more
Close The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe are transnational networks of at least three countries.
Close You are eligible for certification with at least three members belonging to a Council of Europe member States (see list).

Is your project working on the promotion of European heritage?

  1. Yes
  2. No
Close If you have successfully answered the other questions, you might be eligible!
Close Unfortunately, you are not eligible. All networks certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe" must highlight what brings us together through our European heritage.

Is your project based on research carried out into the European theme chosen?

  1. Yes
  2. No
Close Perfect! Don't forget that the conceptual framework of your project must be accepted by the different network partners.
Close Unfortunately, you are not eligible as the "theme must be researched and developed by groups of multidisciplinary experts (...) ensure that the activities and projects which illustrate it are based on consensus" ((Resolution CM/Res(2013)67, I. 2)

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