"Fake" European gastronomy award a waste of millions: report

Picture: Wikimedia Commons / Savelevavv. (Picture: Wikimedia Commons / Savelevavv)

Brabant was named the "European Region of Gastronomy 2018" and budgeted some 7 million euros for a program around this title. But according to research by the Brabants Dagblad, this title formed no part of an actual competition.

The province announced the title with much ado in the summer, according to the newspaper. The annoucment created the idea that it was a hard fight to be named the European Region of Gastronomy, with words used like "prestigious title" and "award" accepted by deputy Marie Spierengs and her Brabant delegation.

But according to the newspaper, research showed that the title is only awarded to the members of a European platform. Brabant is one of nine members. And each member gets the title in turn. This year, Catalonia in Spain and Minho in Portugal were given the "title". Next year three other members will hold the title. And in 2018 Brabant and Galway in Ireland wil have the "award". They were the only two members left who haven't had the title yet.

The province of Brabant admitted to the newspaper that there was no competition or election, saying that this fact was "not well communicated". 

So far Brabant spent 100 thousand euros on the project, and a budget states that the Gastronomy year will cost about 7 million euros. Exactly what the program will entail is unclear, though it should "encourage tourism and recreation" that year, according to the newspaper.