Routes4U project organized its first meeting for the EUSBSR in Oslo, Norway on September 6-7 2018. The meeting focused on increasing the visibility of the Baltic Sea region’s cultural heritage, something that is very valuable but not as known as it could be.

During the meeting, it became clear that the role of culture should not be underestimated. The term cultural diplomacy was often used to refer how our shared values and heritage bring us together, and can be seen as building blocks for cooperation. In fact, the Routes4U project is based on this idea: the cultural routes cross borders, and promote multicultural European heritage that is still something shared. Routes4U also promotes the benefit of the citizens, and places human rights in its core: cultural rights are human rights. Due to this demand, there are no routes in some European countries, but dialogue is still maintained, and changes to the situation are followed.

Cultural routes are also an important way to cooperate and maintain cooperation despite the political tensions. For example, in the Baltic Sea region culture route Hansa has many active cities participating from Russia, and with activities such as Hansa, Russia is part of the Baltic Sea region cooperation.

When it comes to furthering macro-regional involvement in Routes4U new routes could be one solution. The Baltic Sea region is unique and each country has interesting sights that should be made more visible.

HA Neighbours also had the chance to interview Routes4U Senior Project Officer Costanze Metzger. Watch the video to learn more how Routes4U can enhance the cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.


Routes4U Project is a joint programme between the European Commission (Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy – DG REGIO) and the Council of Europe (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes – EPA). The project aims at strengthening regional development through the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe in the four EU macro-regions.

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