We are facing an exceptional situation that is going to seriously affect us all beyond the health consequences, which are of course the priority right now. To avoid them we must all follow all the health and behavioural recommendations made by the authorities.
The members of the Routes of Emperor Charles V are cancelling all their activities, as a logical consequence of following the recommendations received the competent authorities. These are responsible measures that aim to contain and tackle the virus so that things do not get worse and we can return to normal as soon as possible. Common sense calls for responsibility and patience -a great deal of patience- because the cultural and tourism sector will be one of the most affected by this crisis.
On our side, in addition to following the measures, recommendations and restrictions made by the government and public authorities at different levels, we will take advantage of this period to reflect and think in the medium and long term about how the routes can help, once the health crisis is over: to make the territories even more cohesive, to get to know each other better and to develop a sense of shared responsibility for the culture and history that unite us (extremely necessary in a global and interconnected world). Similarly, our aim will also be to help restore the economic normality that is being seriously affected, by fostering quality and a unique cultural and historical tourism.
In our social media we will launch positive messages, and we will continue to promote the cultural and historical richness of the places and spots linked to the figure of the Emperor within the Routes of Emperor Charles V. We should aim at keeping culture and history present in our lives, even in the most difficult moments.... We can invite citizens to read about the history of Charles V, to see our summer courses online, to visit us virtually, to learn about the Emperor's lif,e or to interact with us opening new debates...We should keep doing what we already do in our social networks. This will allow us to be still present once the barriers to mobility are lifted and the virus is contained.
I also invite you to send us your ideas of initiatives to be carried out in this respect, as a kind of brainstorming, so that we can contribute from the Network of the Routes of Emperor Charles V both to face this crisis and to develop new projects and initiatives. We should mostly look for the opportunities offered by this situation (such as a greater digital offer, ideas to promote the development of cooperation activities among the members- which will be very necessary to be able to continue carrying out our activities- and any other that may come to mind). We are here to listen to you.
In relation to the Governing Board Meeting to be held in Brou (France) in April, we cannot commit or plan any activity in the short term due to the current situation. We will find a later date- agreed with Brou's members- once the coronavirus crisis has been solved. In the meantime, we will do our best to move forward for taking decisions and we will find alternative procedures, such as virtual meetings if necessary, or e-mail exchanges (to assure all opinions and positions are stated in writing).
Finally, I would like to wish you all the best for this period, and above all, that your health and that of your loved ones will not be affected. Be careful, follow the health recommendations, and take care of yourself. See you again soon on the road...
A warm greeting and hug to all,
Miguel Ángel Martín Ramos
President of the Cooperation Network of the Routes of Emperor Charles V