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European Cultural Routes - Transfer Experiences, Share Solutions (CERTESS)
Start date: Dec 31, 2011, End date: Nov 29, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

CERTESS project aims at setting up a common methodological framework on how to develop, manage and enhance European Cultural Routes (ECRs), by utilising reference development and governance instruments targeted to foster sustainable cultural tourism.Most of ECRs identified to date, and regions intersected by them, lack in fact comprehensive methodologies, governance instruments, innovative ideas to implement effective strategies at regional level, with a range of local initiatives that are casually scattered along the route and its associated territory, have no critical mass, do not involve a systematic approach and have poor coherence.Best Practices (BPs) tackle initiatives on ECRs, from local micro-level to higher decision making, to (a) identify, structure & add value to local cultural & natural heritage assets, (b) develop & adopt well-suited governance tools, (c) promote local enterprises & products along the routes by adopting innovative immaterial services including ITC.CERTESS partnership includes 11 regional actors from 10 countries (including 4 New Member Countries & 2 islands) all active in ECR development under the coordinating knowledge-repository role of the European Institute of Cultural Routes as Lead Partner.Project activities consist of:A) Transfer of experience (identify, document, check on site, select BPs | design BP transfer to suit needs & contexts of partner regions | arrange for tutoring activities by BP transfer to recipient regions).B) Policy development (identify and adapt governance instruments at regional level involving local stakeholders | draw multi-sectoral governance instruments (policy) within a local Route Implementation Plan to be officially acknowledged as a regional strategic programme to promote a specific ECR.Each Plan shall include: ECR development policy; adoption of reference BPs; support to public-private initiatives; dissemination to other ECR regions; action financing; design of route governance.Sound project management is secured by adopting quality management tools and a multi-faceted communication plan. CERTESS project results shall be reflected in a common knowledge-base platform to ensure project durability and to act as ECRs reference at regional level with regard to policies and innovative solutions for cultural tourism, to facilitate ECRs interlinking at all levels among regions and to effectively contribute to the image of “Europe first cultural tourism destination in the world”.Project partner regions will have the possibility to integrate NECSTOUR network of regions and to cooperate on a long term basis by exchanging experiences with other EU regions and by benefitting of the results already achieved or being achieved in other Interreg projects.Other EU institutions involved in ECRs will attend project activities as a pool of observers to give their feedback to the project and to reflect its results afterwards at EU level. Achievements: Project activities started in early April 2012, after final negotiations with the Programme Authority in the period January-March 2012 and conclusion of the Subsidy Contract on 30 March. Partners attended the Initial Conference and Kick-Off Meeting on 7-8 May in Luxembourg. During the meeting a series of presentations were given by the project partners (on project content-related activities, experience and expectations) and by the coordination team on start-up activities, project quality management system, finance, good practice identification and collection, governance tools and instruments plus initial arrangements for setting up Stakeholders Tables at regional level in each partner area. The project Glossary prepared by LP was circulated to the partners in March and approved. The one-day Workshop n° 1 was hosted in La Valletta by the Department for Local Government, Malta on 28 June 2012. The Good Practice template and an example of a Good Practice were presented and discussed by the partners. The template was approved for collection by the partners of at least 30 GPs in the following Semester. A presentation on Governance tools in relation to the Council of Europe Partial Agreement concerning the certification of Cultural Routes of European interest was also provided during the Workshop. Concerning communication, the logo of the project was selected by the partners and adopted. Preparation work regarding the project brochure, to be printed in Semester 2, 2012, was undertaken. A Newsletter was edited dated 30 June 2012 and circulated afterwards, including versions in 5 partner languages. The project management team attended three seminars organised by JTS, respectively in January (Copenhagen - 2 persons), and June (Dublin & Barcelona - 1 person). A project paper was prepared , after CERTESS having been shortlisted for presentation during the international Euromed Conference in Cyprus to take place on 29 October 2012. The Short Paper is to be presented by the project coordinator during the Conference and included in the Conference Proceedings.

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