The European Federation of the Saint James Way celebrated its tenth anniversary on 30 June at a meeting hosted by the Federação Portuguesa do Caminho de Santiago and the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. The event highlighted a decade of activities promoting and publicising the Camino de Santiago throughout Europe, and introduced to the public the digital tools which have been developed as part of the European project Creative Loci Iacobi, financed by the Council of Europe via the COSME programme.
The celebration also included the Portuguese Federation joining its European counterpart. The municipality of Vila Pouca de Aguiar had been the only representative of Portugal, so this action also marked the addition of a second Portuguese entity in the European Federation, this time at the national level, and the possibility of including the rest of the Portuguese Ways under the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, which currently applies only to the Inland Way (Viseu – Chaves).
A decade of activities promoting and publicising the Camino de Santiago throughout Europe
The event was attended by representatives of the European delegations, as well as the Portuguese delegation: Poland (current chairs of the FECS): Piotr Całbecki, Marcin Drogorób, Jacek Gajewski; Lithuania: Algis Kašėta, Gintarė Jociunskaitė, Dainius Varnas; France: Clemence Damians; Spain: Galicia – Laura María González-Dopeso Portela; Asturias – Pablo León Gasalla; Netherlands: Manon Luijten.
The Region of Cantabria also participated through the Camino Lebaniego Foundation, whose incorporation had been approved in the General Assembly the previous day.
Alongside the European delegations, the main regional and national entities relating to St James’ Way were guests at the ceremony, as of course were all the current members of the Portuguese Federation of the Saint James Way.
This event was organised by the European Federation of the Saint James Way, the Portuguese Federation of the Saint James Way, and the Town Council of Vila Nova de Gaia, and was held in the historic Cavas Ferreira.