Strasbourg Declaration of the European Ramblers Association by tyndale


									ERA EWV – FERP

                   Strasbourg Declaration of the European Ramblers' Association

Conscious of the common European cultural background, to which peoples of all kinds speaking many languages
have contributed, the 53 member-organisations from 26 countries that are united in the European Ramblers'
Association (ERA) declare their belief in a free, democratic Europe.

Europe is nothing new; Europe has been rediscovered. Wars have been fought in Europe for over a thousand years.
But in reality, a Europe of common interests has evolved over millennia and reaches back much further than the
Europe of wars. The intellectual and cultural unity of Europe reaches back into a much more remote past.

Today's world needs the power and imagination of a united Europe. We must not allow ourselves to relapse into the
aberrations of nationalism and the devastation they have caused. To do this we need a fair, international
reconciliation of interests. We need to be willing and able to work with each other constructively across national
frontiers. And we need the will to show an awareness and understanding of each others cultures. "Cultural Europe"
is built upon the productive diversity of regional and national traditions, languages, political cultures and artistic
symbolism, and we have reason to be proud of this.

We believe in a "Citizens' Europe" and are eager to make our contribution to achieving it. The "Europe of the
Institutions" urgently needs to identify with its citizens to achieve this Europe. The construction of a new "Common
House of Europe" will only succeed if the people of Europe understand the process of integration to be a historical
necessity and see this above all as an opportunity.

In addition to the power of conviction, we also need a "Democratisation of the Institutes".

The member-organisations of the European Ramblers' Association have much to contribute to the successful
unification of Europe:

•   Rambling brings together people of different nationalities and all ages.

•   Rambling "knows no frontiers": we ramble along ways and paths, some of which have linked the continent for
    centuries, and in all kinds of environments.

•   Ramblers treasure the cultural diversity of Europe, they respect and care for its cultural heritage, and seek to
    preserve this for future generations.

•   Ramblers love the regional, topographical, ecological, and environmental differences to be found in the
    landscapes of Europe. They impart knowledge about them and are always eager to protect the environment. At
    the same time they are aware that our ecosystems know no national frontiers.

•   Rambling is already a major contributor to the European ecotourist industry and has the potential to be a major
    force in the regeneration of rural areas and economies.

Our member-organisations, some of which have pursued these goals for more than 100 years, are partners and allies
for all who want a free democratic Europe.
The member-organisations of the ERA have joined together to pursue the following goals as laid down in its

a) To pursue rambling and mountain climbing, to promote landscape conservation and to protect natural and man-
made environments,

b) To create and waymark long-distance European walking routes, to protect them and other international paths and
to secure their continued existence.

c) To protect and further develop rights and traditions when crossing borders in European countries and to cultivate
the European cultural heritage.

d) To defend the retention of the right of access to the open countryside and to make every effort to achieve this
wherever it is not guaranteed at present The primary objectives of nature conservation remain unaffected.

e) To seek for and actively promote greater understanding between the peoples and individuals of Europe.

f) To represent the interests of the member-organisations in international organisations such as the European Union,
the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Tourist Association

To be able to pursue these goals permanently and successfully, the ERA member- organisations need recognition of
their work and the support of the European institutions.

In particular, they expect their efforts to secure rights of access to all public and private paths in the open
countryside to be encouraged and uniformly acknowledged throughout Europe. The ERA member-organisations
recognize that the historical backgrounds and traditions of European countries make it difficult to achieve a far-
reaching right of access but they will nevertheless work towards achieving a European wide right of access, subject
to safeguards for the environment and other legitimate interests.

At the very least we must guarantee that more private paths and roads are made accessible for ramblers. It goes
without saying that rights of ownership and privacy and the needs of nature conservation take priority. In return, the
member-organisations are prepared to promote the waymarking of such routes as being in the public interest and
also rules which ensure that ramblers on such paths "walk with insight".

A European Charter must grant associations and organisations, whose voluntary socio-political work is
indispensable if Europe is to grow together, an appropriate standing and recognition. lt must secure their existence
and adequately promote their work for the common good.

This also requires harmonisation wherever possible of the different situations that prevail in the individual member

Over five million individual members of the member-organiasations united under the umbrella of the European
Ramblers' Association also consider themselves as being a Citizens' Movement, and are therefore eager to make
their contribution to the political Europe of the Institutions in the sense of a "Citizens' Europe".

Strasbourg 28 September 2001.

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