Be careful if you’re not flying your EU flag – you just might get slapped with a hefty fine. Brussels has been imposing fines of almost £500,000 on all sorts of institutions from councils and museums to universities and businesses. That’s because they’ve breached the EU rule that they must display the EU symbols if they’ve received grant money.
Fines are Ridiculous
UK government minister Eric Pickles says the idea is ridiculous. As he explained, “It defies common sense that the EU can hammer public bodies with huge fines for merely not flying their flag…The end result is British taxpayers’ money being wasted on design guidelines, form-filling and millions of pounds of red tape. These fines should be axed.”
Strict Flag-Flying Rules
Brussels has very strict rules about displaying the EU flag and logo when any organization receives money. Many projects have actually had to accept that they would display the flag permanently with a plaque in a prominent location.
Many organizations have been fined for not following the rules. One company, Advantage West Midlands, was fined £201,801 for not putting the EU logo on their publicity materials; the Birmingham Chambers of Commerce was fined £77,609 for not using the EU logo on an event, and using their own brand logo instead.
And the list continues. Other companies that have been fined include: the Peterborough YMCA, the National Museum of Labour History in Manchester, Merseytravel and more.