Great Britain's men were relegated from the European Cup's top division for the first time after finishing seventh in the eight-team competition here.
Despite a surprise win in the 4x400metres relay to end the competition, Britain tallied only 70 points over the three-day event, only finishing ahead of the Czech Republic, who scored 63 points.
The last two teams will be relegated to the first league while Germany ( 113) retained their crown as champions.
Britain have won the Cup on five occasions since 1989, most recently in 2002 in Annecy, France. In a close competition last year in Bydgoszcz, Poland, they were fourth, only five points behind Germany.
The quartet of Robert Tobin, Graham Hedman, Malachi Davis and Tim Benjamin clocked 3:00.51 to score an upset over favourites Poland and France in the relay. The performance was the second fastest in the world this year and the fastest by a British team since 2002.
"It's a great time and a really young squad as well," said the anchor Benjamin, who despite the win was disappointed about the team's descent from Europe's premier athletics league.
"It's unfortunate that we got a bit of bad luck with some injuries, the hurdler falling over, Chris Rawlinson not being fit enough - just unlucky on a number of events and those events stack up."
Christian Malcolm's victory in the 200m consoled the British side on the last day. The former world and European junior champion in the event, Malcolm reached the line in 20.15secs, a season's best that made the 26-year-old the ninth fastest in the world this year.
Malcolm's previous best this season was 20.92. Illness kept him from the Olympics last summer.
Mo Farrah finished second in a tactical 3000m, clocking 8:17.28, behind Spain's Jesus Espana (8:16.48).
Elsewhere, Nathan Douglas recovered after two fouls to finish fifth in the triple jump, with a best effort of 16.54m.
Despite running a season's best of 1:48.50, Jimmy Watkins was a distant seventh in the 800m. Nick Nieland also finished seventh in the javelin, with a best of 73.97.
Nick Buckfield finished last in the pole vault, his lone clearance being at his opening height of 5.20m, while hurdler David Hughes - after hitting three of the first four barriers - failed to finish the 110m hurdles.
Saturday was a dismal day despite victory for the 4x100m squad led by Birchfield Harrier Mark Lewis-Francis.
Jason Gardener, Marlon Devonish, Christian Malcolm put the relay team in third place ahead of the anchor leg, when Lewis-Francis surged into the lead and crossed the line in 38.67 seconds, ahead of the Italian team.
He said: "It was good for the team we ran today. There's some things we need to touch up, but it was a good win."
A late line-up change saw Malcolm replace Olympic relay gold medallist Darren Campbell, and the changeovers were untidy on a couple of occasions, but Lewis-Francis dug deep to lead in the final five metres of the race.
He had earlier finished second in the 100 metres, clocking 10.10secs to French winner Ronald Pognon's 10.06. Both clocked season's best times but were helped by a tailwind of 2.1 metres per second.
Lewis-Francis said: "I can't complain about finishing second. Pognon is a great sprinter. I'm very pleased with the performance - 10.10 is a fast run, even with a little bit of wind.
"It's been a pressure season this year so coming here and running a fast race will help me get through that. I'm focused now. I can go home feeling better and be ready to work a lot harder.
"I just didn't relax today. If I came out of the blocks and got tall and relaxed I would have won it. I didn't do that."
Carl Myerscough was fifth in the shot put with a 20.05m best effort, well behind German winner Ralf Bartels who threw 20.76m while Malachi Davis also fifth in the 400m, clocking 46.15. Frenchman Marc Racquil won in 45.80 seconds to capture his third European Cup title.