Brexit and being European Capital of Culture 2023

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Should one of Dundee’s finest – Desperate Dan – go to Brussels and demand the money spent on the city’s application back as it is due to EU ineptitude that they didn’t tell the city in advance that it couldn’t apply?

Brexit means we leave the EU in 2019. Or maybe not because there might be a transition period. But by 2023 we should be out.

So why did five UK cities think that they could enter the European Capital of Culture 2023 competition?

One reason is that the UK government has the entry forms on its website and still does. Another is that that the EU website still says that the competitions for the 2023 titles have been launched in the United Kingdom and Hungary.

Cities like Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes, and a combined bid from Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane were shortlisted after the October deadline and promptly went ahead in spending tax-payers money in the belief that they could still be one of the lucky cities in 2023.

It may surprise some of you to learn that both the EU and UK government were aware of the Brexit vote so why didn’t they stop the competition earlier.

Did the EU think that the UK would change its mind? Did the UK think that since the prize was called the European rather than EU City of Culture that UK cities could still apply?

It was only in the last twenty-four hours that EU officials decided to let everyone know that any UK city would be ineligible. How helpful of those officials to let those cities spend our money and then suggest ineligibility!  And still not post it on their website.

Had the cities enquired as to eligibility? If they had and they have written proof that all was fine and dandy then I would hope they would produce it. If not then perhaps those espousing their cities enter would like to cough up the funds themselves and replace the tax-payers money spent so far.

According to the BBC, a spokesperson for the EU office in Scotland said, “Given that the UK will have left the EU by 29 March 2019, and therefore be unable to host the European Capital of Culture in 2023, we believe it makes common sense to discontinue the selection process now.” The BBC also records the comment of the Department of Culture etc as  “The DCMS said it “disagreed” with the European Commission’s stance and was “deeply disappointed” that the Commission had waited until the UK cities had submitted their bids before “communicating this new position to us”. There is nothing on the government website to confirm this.

Don’t you just approve of a “common sense” approach that decides to let everyone know the interpretation of the rules long after the closing date has passed and money has been spent?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , , , , , ,