As a result of Brexit, Britain has been stripped of hosting the European Capital of Culture in 2023. Plans for the UK to host a Capital of Culture in 2023 were announced in 2014 – before the EU referendum. Although a number of non-EU countries have been invited to host the event, in the past this will not be the case for the UK. So the wrath of Europe begins. The decision is final.
“We disagree with the European Commission’s stance” – DCMS
Hungary and Britain were jointly awarded the honour which will take place in five years time. However, the executive arm of the EU commission, stated they had sent a letter to the British culture ministry last week saying that it was no longer possible.
In a statement from the DCMS the official word was; “We disagree with the European Commission’s stance and are deeply disappointed that it has waited until after UK cities have submitted their final bids before communicating this new position to us.”
A European Commission spokeswoman said; “As one of the many concrete consequences of its decision to leave the European Union by 29 March 2019, the UK cannot host the European Capital of Culture in 2023,”
Five places had already bid to hold the title in 2023 – Dundee, Nottingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Belfast/Derry. Some spent over £1m in hope of succeeding.
A commissioner said; “Given that the UK will have left the EU by 29 March 2019, they will therefore be unable to host the European Capital of Culture in 2023, we believe it makes common sense to discontinue the selection process now.” Explaining why non-EU cities including EEA (European Economic Area) countries Istanbul in Turkey, Stavanger in Norway and Novi Sad in Serbia all named European Capitals of Culture. British officials have said it will not be part of the EEA after it leaves the EU, rendering the UK disqualified.
The EU started the European Capital of Culture scheme in 1985, and currently names two cities a year. The current holders are Aarhus in Denmark and Paphos in Cyprus.
So what’s next? …. We predict the Eurovision Song Contest!