European Ramblers Association
The European Ramblers’ Association (ERA) was founded in Germany in 1969. Today, this umbrella organisation comprises 59 walking organisations from 34 European countries (+4 organisations from Israel, USA and Morocco as observers). These organisations have a total of 3 million individual members.
Most of the member organisations have long experience in organising and creating conditions to facilitate walking (waymarking, construction of huts etc.) and in arranging activities for the members. Some of them have been in existence for more than one hundred years (the oldest for more than 150 years).
The ERA’s aims are:
- furthering walking and mountaineering activities in Europe
- creating and waymarking 12 European long-distance paths, protecting these and other European paths and safeguarding their continued existence
- understanding and protecting the countryside and promoting the principles of sustainable development
- supporting a knowledge of European history and culture and the protection of its heritage
- strengthening the consciousness of people that physical activity is one of the basic conditions for a healthy life
- seeking to preserve the right of free access to nature; this aim being secondary to the protection of the natural environment.
- strengthening mutual understanding among people through cross-border cooperation and organising pan-European events
In 2000–2001, ERA organised the first pan-European event - EURORANDO 2001. This event is now a tradition, with ERA organizing it every 5 years. Next time it will be in 2016. Since 2004, ERA has organised a "European Walking Day" when cross border walks take place, as well