SINN Féin MEP Martina Anderson has met with European Commission officials to discuss allowing the joint bid from Derry and Strabane District Council and Belfast City Council for the European City of Culture title to continue.
Speaking after the meeting, Martina Anderson said:
“The decision by the EU Commission in November that the joint bid from Derry and Strabane District Council and Belfast City Council for the European City of Culture 2023 title is ineligible because of Brexit is premature.
“I met today with officials from the EU Commission to explain why this ruling should not apply to the north of Ireland as the Brexit negotiations have already acknowledged that the north is unique and will require a unique solution to the challenge of Brexit.
“I made it clear to the Commission officials that not only did the majority of people in the north vote to remain in the EU, but that the majority of political parties in Ireland are seeking special status for the north within the EU.
“Special status would allow us to remain in the single market and customs union and would also mean that application from the north for the European City of Culture title would still be eligible.
“I told the Commission officials that, given the EU’s stated position of protecting the Good Friday Agreement, it would send a very strong signal to the people of the North if this bid was allowed to proceed.”