On 10-11 April, the Governing Board of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA) approved the certification of the 'Iron Curtain Trail' amongst five new “Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe”, bringing the programme to 38 certified routes.

The certification of the Iron Curtain Trail as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe has been one of the targets of the Cult-RInG Interreg Europe project, by project partners Vidzeme Tourism Association (VTA) in Latvia, the lead partner Regional Development Fund of Central Macedonia on behalf of the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece, supported by advisory partner European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN).  The Iron Curtain Trail Cultural Routes is an action in the 2 action plans of Vidzeme and Central Macedonia Regions effectively is completed ahead of schedule.

The Iron Curtain trail is a cycling route that stretches from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea coast, covering over 10,400 kilometres in 20 countries, both EU (14) and non-EU (6) states. The trail seeks to commemorate the political division of Europe to West and East before 1989 and promotes collective memory, cycling tourism, cultural and heritage tourism, and sustainable development. The network currently involves members in 12 countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey.

Within the Cult-RInG project, the Iron Curtain Trail spans the whole of the Latvian coastline through Vidzeme Region in North Latvia as well as the Greek-Bulgarian border in Central Macedonia in northern Greece.

The Cult-RInG partnership is proud to have contributed towards the certification of iron Curtain Trail as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe! This process started at the first interregional Workshop held in Riga, Latvia, in November 2017 with the participation of Mr Michel Cramer MEP, the creator of the Iron Curtain Trail. The process was furthered by a meeting between M. Cramer, ECTN, VTA, and ECF at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin in March 2018 and by ECF presentation at the Cult-RInG project 3rd Workshop in Pafos, Cyprus, in October 2018 (also in the frame of European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, for which ECTN has been selected by the European Commission DG EAC as a stakeholder). The Cult-RInG partnership is committed to actively supporting the Iron Curtain Trail Cultural Route in the coming years, amongst 9 other European Cultural Routes, both certified and candidate for Council of Europe certification.

More information: http://www.eurovelo13.com/

Michael Cramer MEP (Gernay, Greens), speaking about the Iron Curtain Trail at the Cult-RinG 1st Workshop in Riga, Latvia, November 2017