13/Dec/2019

Galicia, Andalucía, Extremadura and Castilla y León will transfer the responsibility for creating a National Plan of the Ways of Saint James to globally promote the Jacobean routes to the central Government

  • The four Autonomous Communites have agreed to work together to enable coordinated planning for the development of this route
  • They emphasise the need to include Galicia and Andalucia in the Silver Way’s candidacy, led by Extremadura, for the Indicative List of Spanish Candidates to become World Heritage Sites.
  • They transferred the decision to request Extremadura and Andalucía’s inclusion in the Council of St James, because only Autonomous Communities through which World Heritage routes pass form part of this body.

Santiago de Compostela 13 December 2019

The Autonomous Communities of Galicia, Andalucía, Extremadura and Castilla y León agreed today, after the Meeting of the Silver Way’s Autonomous Communities, to transfer the need to create a National Plan for the Ways of Saint James for the global promotion of the Jacobean routes and connection with the successive Holy Years to the central Government.

During the ceremony, the president of the Xunta recalled that the Silver Way was created "by the feet of countless walkers" of all imaginable backgrounds, who left us this legacy of understanding and collaboration, "and today, we are here to protect and value it," he said, specifying that the exceptional relevance of the Silver Way explains why both Extremadura and Andalucía have been included in the Council of St James, "and that Galicia, for its part, is included in the World Heritage Site candidacy".

Throughout his talk, Feijóo emphasised that, although we refer to the "Way" in the singular, many "Ways" lead to Santiago; numerous branches that represent the incomparable diversity of pilgrimages. In this regard, he argued that the Jacobean routes are a metaphor for Spain, which has incorporated and continues to incorporates various contributions that lead to "the free and fraternal nation that we want to preserve, above politics".

"Andalucía, Extremadura, Castilla y León and Galicia belong to the friendly Autonomous communitites, friendly but demanding when this is required, and willing to collaborate on common tasks," he indicated.

"The Galicians, Extremadurans, Andalucians and Catilla-Leonians are not alone, nor do we want to be. We spent centuries fighting a loneliness that seemed imposed by geography. This struggle produced the Way of Saint James", he said, stressing that the Autonomous Communities represented in this act have always showed a beneficial multilateralism in different fields such as depopulation, health or infrastructure.

The Galician government’s president concluded by insisting that this meeting reflected an inclusive, cooperative and supportive vision of autonomy, "which is most faithful to the vocation arising from Spain of the Autonomous governments".

In this way, and in front of those from one side or the other who would say otherwise, Feijoo argued that the model works well, despite all the difficulties inherent in a complex institutional fabric. He highlighted that a Spain made up of Autonomous Communities made it possible for our identities to not be excluded, but rather add together.

Other agreements adopted

During the event, the four Autonomous Communities’ directors of culture revealed other agreements adopted during the meeting, which included the decision to cooperate on coordinated planning for the development of this route. This also included the need to include Galicia and Andalucía in the Silver Way's candidacy, led by Extremadura, which is currently on the Indicative List of Spanish candidates for World Heritage Sites. Until now, only Extremadura and Castilla y León were part of this candidacy.

And, finally, the decision was taken to request the Council of St James to include Extremadura and Andalucía, because only Communities with World Heritage routes are currently included in this body.