22/04/2004

Belfast to celebrate 'New Europe'

With the European Union undergoing its biggest ever expansion in just over a week’s time, Belfast is hosting three weeks of events to celebrate the ‘New Europe’.

On May 1, ten new countries - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia - will join the EU.

Belfast City Council has joined with the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the British Council and other partners from the business, education and government sectors, to organise a 'New Europe, New Faces' programme of events explaining the EU’s enlargement and what it means to Belfast.

The centrepiece will be a two-day European Fair at St. George's Market next Monday and Tuesday (April 26 and 27), when the sights, sounds, tastes, history and cultures of the ten new member countries can be sampled and experienced, through music, dance, language, food and multimedia presentations.

The European Fair also marks the start of one of the busiest weeks on Belfast’s cultural calendar, coinciding with BBC Music Live (April 23 – May 3), the City’s first ever international street theatre festival, the Festival of Fools (April 29 – May 3) and the annual Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (May 29 – May 9).

The 'New Europe, New Faces' programme runs from this coming Friday (April 23) through until May 17, at various venues around Belfast.

(MB)

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