The Action Plan for Central Macedonia, Greece, was approved in early 2019 and has been under implementation during Phase 2 in 2019.
Progress in the AP implementation is as follows by Action:
▪ Action 1: Development of an application to the Council of Europe (CoE) for the certification of a new Interregional Cultural Route (CR) “In the footsteps of St. Paul, the Apostle of the nations”, as a candidate CR of the CoE, jointly with partners Lazio Region IT, Pafos CY and ECTN (advisory partner), based on the experience of other partners with pilgrimage routes, such as Lazio in central Italy with Via Francigena, Vastra Gotaland region with St Olav Ways and CIM Alto Minho with St James Way in north Portugal.
The following steps for the certification process were initiated:
- Definition of subject that promotes common European values, in terms of the relevant legacy in the Pafos region.
- Determination of relevant geographical, cultural, historical and natural heritage features in Cyprus.
- Drafts of articles of association for the establishment of the required legal body (possibly based in Cyprus, as a limited company by guarantee).
- Coordination of joint actions to encourage cultural cooperation with the other partners.
- Contribution to the drafting of the application form to the CoE.
The interregional CR runs across Region of Central Macedonia from Amfipolis to Methoni with several points of interest , historical and scientific justified as ancient city of Philipoi which was his first stop during his walk in Greece, the stand of St Paul in Apollonia where he preached thw old church of Moni Vlatadon in Thessaloniki, and the stand in the city of Veroia where he preached as well. The route expands in other regions of Greece as well, but in central Macedonia is some of the most important points which are related with the ancient road of Egnatia, the extension of via Appia in the east Europe. This is an important part of the whole CR starting from Cyprus through Greece and Italy ending up in Rome, Lazio region.
▪ Action 2: Joining the ‘Iter Vitis’ Cultural Route of the Council of Europe for promotion of wine tourism, based on good practice transfer from partner CIM Alto Minho PT.
Region of Central Macedonia applied to join Iter Vitis association as a member. All the necessary decisions taken and the Regional Development Fund on behalf Region of Central Macedonia, secure the fund. Discussions will follow with Iter Vitis for promoting wine tourism in the region.
▪ Action 3: FACILITATION OF THE PROCEDURE FOR THE SHAPING OF THE GREEK SECTION OF THE IRON CURTAIN TRAIL IN THE REGIONAL UNIT OF SERRES
The Region of Central Macedonia supported partner VTA to certify the Euro Velo 13 – Iron Curtain trail as the official CR of the CoE.
On 2 Oct, 2019 the official Certification Ceremony for 5 new CRs of the CoE took place during the 9th Cultural Routes Annual Advisory Forum at the Astra Museum in Sibiu, Romania where “Iron Curtain Trail”, together with four other routes obtained the certification in 2019.