Invited by Mr Christophe Moreux, director of territorial policies (AFCCRE) and Mrs. Sybille Diterich, in charge of Europe, International Relations and Cooperation (DERIC) at the regional delegation in Brussels, Beatrice Barras, head of SCOP Ardelaine, shared her experience regarding her participation in the COOPROUTE project to 180 participants as part of a day organized by the Region "Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes on the EUROPEAN PROGRAMS TOURIST projects.
As a touristic site with a couple of museums, a library-café, a shop and a welcoming 20,000 visitors annually restaurant, the SCOP Ardelaine has enthusiastically participated in this cooperative network which connects the whole of Europe: indeed COOPROUTE allows to have a website with references of cooperatives welcoming visitors, and promoting tourism and the cooperative culture (www.cooproute.coop).
Thus it is possible to organize exchanges with cooperatives fom other countries, by travelling or receiving visitors interested in museums, touristic sites, as well as the cooperative nature of the project. A real European network so at to value and transfer the cooperative culture and model!
The project COOPROUTE / European road of cooperative culture / was initiated by CECOP and financed by European funds. It has had some success in Italy, UK, Spain, Portugal, Estonia, Malta, Germany, Ireland ... The destinations are varied : museums, historic and natural sites, hostels, shops or restaurants. There are also cooperatives of producers who preserve local arts and crafts, and agricultural products using traditional techniques. It is intended to be recognized by the Council of Europe as the European cultural route.
In France, there are only three participating cooperatives and it is urgent to quickly reach the number of ten so as to ensure the continuation of this project. SCOP Ardelaine encourages other cooperatives to get on the road.