Saturday

18th Sep 2021

Bornholm: No thanks to EU support

"It is a proper notion that we in the Western part of Europe should pay for getting the poor countries in Eastern Europe into the EU," says regional mayor Knud Andersen from the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic.

He supports wholehearted a proposal from the Liberal Party (Venstre) to abolish Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) support and reduce the support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The support is remarkable, as Bornholm and its 43.000 inhabitants have profited more from EU support than any other region in Denmark.

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The Funds should be only for emergencies, says Andersen according to Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. Bornholm received 173 million kroner (more than 22 million euro) from 1994 to 1999, and this money has contributed to keep 678 people in job in an island that has for many years been a place which young people just left never to return.

But the money from the EU has not made the people of Bornholm love the EU. They are more EU sceptical than people from any other part of Denmark. Particularly the fishermen and the farmers are hostile, according to Knud Andersen, who says:

"The fishermen have had their quotas curtailed by the EU, and farmers experience a paper hysteria without equal."

Anders Hedetoft from Bornholm's Bureau of Agricultural Economics says that Bornholm will be able to do without the ERDF money, but that the island will need more time before it can do without the CAP support. He stresses the fact that people in Bornholm, like people on the West Coast of Jutland, have a very strong desire to make their own decisions.

"Everything that tastes of bureaucracy and remote control is unpopular," he says according to Jyllands-Posten.

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