Wednesday

18th Sep 2019

Turbulence in Danish government after Fogh-film

  • ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN - Danish Prime Minister allowed a TV-crew to film EU meetings normally closed to the public. (Photo: European Commission)

The chances of Danish EU permanent representative Poul Skytte Christoffersen being appointed for an influential post in the EU are shrinking, despite him playing a key role in the enlargement process.

The Danish foreign affairs ministry has decided to move Mr Christoffersen to Rome. According to Danish daily Politiken, the move is made against the will of the ambassador, who asked to stay in Brussels.

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In a rare comment in Politiken today, the former secretary general of the Council, Niels Ersbøll told the paper that Mr Christoffersen is the most obvious candidate for the job as vice secretary general of the EU Council. This position, held by Pierre de Boisseau will be free next year. Javier Solana holds the title of secretary general.

Poul Skytte Christoffersen is seen as a key mediator behind the successful negotiations of enlargement during the Danish EU presidency. However, he is apparently a victim of a dispute between the Danish EU foreign ministry and the ministry of state.

The conflict between the two leading ministries has been widely acknowledged after the film, "Fogh behind the facades" was shown to the Danish public on 22 April. The film credits the Ministry of State and in particular the liberal leader of the government, Anders Fogh Rasmussen for the successful Danish EU presidency. The Conservative foreign minister and his ministry were portrayed in the film as being of little help to the important process and its success.

During four months of the Danish EU presidency, TV director Christoffer Guldbrandsen was allowed to shadow the Danish Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen and filmed EU meetings normally closed to the public. However, the other EU heads of states were not informed that they were filmed in the so-called "red zone", where political leaders can normally speak freely.

The idea was designed to show the public how the political processes worked, in an attempt to improve transparency. But the film has not been well received throughout Europe.

"If you break the rules, then the partners have the right to get informed", chief spokesman of the Commission Reijo Kemppinen told Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

In a move to stem some criticism, on Wednesday Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in a public speech, thanked the Danish Foreign Ministry for the work it did during Danish EU presidency, reported Berlingske Tidende. This came four months after the presidency ended. However, the Prime Minister claimed he already did thank his foreign ministry in January, shortly after the Danish EU presidency came to an end.

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