The idea of Pan-European Festival Marathons was an initiative of the Russian Parliamentary European club in 2013 as a cultural project to show unity of the Big Europe. The motto of these Marathons is “For Europe without dividing lines”.
Festival Marathons were held under the aegis of the Council of the Federation of the Russian Federation, with the support of UNESCO, Federal agency “Rossotrudnichestvo”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture of Russia, administrations of the regions of Russia with the organizational support of the Russian parliamentary “Euro-Asian Dialogue” and European club.
The First Marathon was held in June, 2014 and was timed to the Year of Culture in Russia. It started in Perm, not far from the border between Europe and Asia. During two weeks of the Marathon its participants visited Riga (Cultural Capital of the EU-2014), Prague, Vienna (Russian cultural seasons), Bratislava, Valetta, London (Russian-British Culture year), and Lisbon, with Moscow as a final destination. The events of the Marathon were broadcasted through the special site in the Internet.
The second Marathon was timed to the Russian Year of Literature and started at the end of May, 2015 in Vladivostok, then moved to Moscow, Hamburg, Milano (within EXPO-2015), Portu, Paris (Conference in UNESCO), Mons (Cultural Capital of the EU-2015), and was finished in Perm.
Many international conferences and round tables, exhibitions, presentations, competitions, concerts and festivals were organized during both Marathons. Total number of participants were over 40 000 people from more than 50 countries. More than 20 meetings of Russian MPs with their colleagues from the European Parliament and parliaments of many European countries, city administrations were held.
It is proved that such form of international interaction as cultural marathons is highly effective and it will be reasonable to hold Festival Marathon once in two years.
It is planned to hold the Third Festival Marathon in April, 2017.