Under the title “No culture trail but no giving up either – Network with Hubertusburg Castle wants to continue peace work” the German Newspaper “Oschatzer Allgemeine Zeitung” recently published an article by Ms.Jana Brechlin, in which she analyzed the candidacy of the Places of Peace Route for the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe and reflects the views of several members of the Hubertusburg Castle Friendship Association and the Mayor of Wermsdorf ( Germany), Mr. Matthias Müller, on this whole process.
Here is the full text of that article:
“After a year and a half of effort and hope, it’s now clear that Places of Peace Route will not be certified as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. At least not yet.
Representatives from a total of eleven European places where peace treaties were signed jointly launched the application. The Hubertusburg Castle Friendship Association had also taken part in this, after all the Hubertusburg Peace was ratified here in 1763 – a final point under the Seven Years’ War. The Places of Peace Network wanted to connect such places in a total of eight countries on a cultural route.
In February an expert was therefore in Wermsdorf to examine the applications of Hubertusburg, Altranstädt and Bautzen – the three German members. “Maria Gravari-Barbas made it clear, however, that “I don’t decide on this, but pass on my report to the representatives of the Commission, which will then make proposals on certification to the Council of Europe”.
The European Network of Places of Peace (ENPP) was one of eight candidates to make it to the final round of certification. There, however, it came to an end that there was no recognition as a European Cultural Route. But there was no trace of hangover: “Even though we were not designated as a European Cultural Route this year, the Executive Board and the members see in this overall process a great recognition of the many years of successful work of our organisation” it says of the network.
The candidacy process had had a lot of good things. Thus, a separate website was created, on which the route and the individual locations are presented. In addition, the public perception of the places of peace had increased significantly.
Wermsdorf’s mayor Matthias Müller (CDU) also underlines this. “Hubertusburg and the other places of peace have become more conscious again – and that alone is important,” he said. Nevertheless, it was a pity that certification had not been achieved. “I find that regrettable, because a lot of work was put into the application.”
The network itself relies on these efforts having a far-reaching effect. In this way, both the network and those involved in the peace route would continue to work. In addition, the scientific advisory board of Places of Peace Route, in which experts on history and cultural tourism from all participating countries are involved, has been set up in recent months. “Our candidacy has even helped to further develop the Council of Europe’s procedure for evaluating cultural itineraries” the association is proud of.
Ideas on how to network even better in the future have also already been presented in Wermsdorf. As an example, Ulf Müller cited the possibility of offering events specifically for young people. Wolfgang Köhler, chairman of Hubertusburg Castle Friendship Association, assured the audience that they had already many years of local experience in this regard and referred to the biennial competitions for the Youth Peace Prize: “We notice again and again that the topic is very close to the hearts of young people and it is exciting to see how young people look at peace” he had made clear at the presentation.
During the whole time of the application for cultural route, there had been active cooperation in the Places of Peace network and broad support. Ulf Müller of the network’s board of directors emphasized that we want to thank everyone for this. “Many developments here in Hubertusburg give us the courage to be optimistic and to continue” he looked ahead. One would not stop with the work begun, only because it did not work now with the certification to the culture route. So the recognition could be examined in the future possibly also by other European certificates.
Wermsdorf’s Mayor would like to use the support of a Brussels party colleague to do this. “I would suggest to get our MEP Peter Jahr on board as well” says Matthias Müller. He could certainly help to remedy any weaknesses in the application and thus increase the chances that the joint route with Hubertusburg Castle and other European places of peace will still be recognised as a cultural route after all. For Müller is convinced that nothing has changed in the significance of this: “Peace is more important for us today than ever. That is why it is necessary to make use of every opportunity to focus on the topic.“