Welcome to Gadheim — the village that's the new centre of the European Union

Welcome to Gadheim — the village that's the new centre of the European Union
By Jez Fielder with Reuters
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With the UK leaving the EU, the geographical centre of the bloc is about to shift.


A major shift at the very heart of Europe has happened. But for once it's not political — it's geographical.

Since Croatia joined in 2013, the centre point of the European Union has been a small Bavarian town called Westerngrund.

All that has changed.

Gadheim now claims the accolade of 'centre point' as the UK left the EU due to the Brexit.

The official centre of Europe is defined by the French Geographical Institute (IGN). And although it has moved several times as the Union developed and gained more members, it has remained in Germany since the expansion from 15 to 25 countries in 2004.

On a nondescript piece of farmland, a pole is ready and waiting to hoist the EU flag at the exact spot set to become the bloc's new geographical centre.

Gadheim's diminutive size — it counts 80 inhabitants — means that it doesn't have a mayor, so it falls under the jurisdiction of local official Juergen Goetz, who is the mayor of nearby Veitshoechheim.

He hopes the new title could put the village firmly on the map.

"Of course we are counting on additional tourists coming to the region and in particular to Gadheim," he told Reuters.

"That's clearly a bit difficult. Of course, Gadheim has a reason to celebrate, but I think that for Europe as a whole it won't be a good day," he said.

Excitement in little Gadheim, but spare a thought for Westerngrund where the exact spot is currently marked with a plaque, a map, and the EU flag, while multiple signs highlight its claim to fame.

Those signs will all have to be changed after Brexit.

Video editor • Thomas Duthois

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