The Council of Europe announced that on March 30, 2021, Ukraine officially joined the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA).
"Cultural routes" is one of the ways of European cultural cooperation. The target of the Council of Europe initiative is to show the integration of culture and heritage into a single whole and to jointly promote and popularize European culture and heritage. The agreement aims to create a common cultural space by promoting European identity and affiliation through awareness of cultural heritage. All this is happening thanks to transnational routes, which are thematically connected," said Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko, commenting on the event.
According to the Minister, the political aspect is also critical, because it allows us to become a leader in the formation of certain cultural routes: "Now we are in the middle of the European context, and therefore have a voice and influence on the shaping of narrative about these routes".
As for the economic effect, according to Oleksandr Tkachenko, first of all, local communities and tourist organizations would benefit from that.
On February 16, 2021, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Law of Ukraine "On Ukraine's Accession to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes". The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed this law on March 15, 2021.
Accession to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes is a practical implementation of the provisions of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.
The parties to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes are 34 countries, the partners are the European Union and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The Council of Europe's Cultural Routes Certificate has been awarded to 40 European cultural routes through more than 50 countries. Only 3 European cultural routes pass through the territory of Ukraine.