European law enforcement agency Europol’s recent call for European Union-based photographers to submit photos created specifically for its first ever “Art Photo Competition” has been met with criticism from some British quarters.
"The whole reason for Europol is to help us catch criminals, but it seems that they are just another branch of the Brussels empire trying to promote the EU idea over and above fighting crime," British Conservative Party MP Douglas Carswell was quoted as saying in the UK’s Sunday Express.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage was equally critical: "Perhaps the winning entry should be rioting unemployed youngsters or Brits locked up in foreign prisons without charge, let alone trial?"
In response to a comment that it was an inappropriate use of its administrative capacity and financial resources, a spokesman for Europol said the competition would not interfere with the agency’s core business to assist partners in the EU to catch criminals.
In addition, the agency planned to sell 400 signed and numbered copies at 20 euros each from the gift shop at Europol’s headquarters, with the proceeds going to the Europol budget. Four photographers in the competition will win prizes of EUR 2000 each.