Thursday, August 20, 2009

Karsten Lauritzen from Venstre

Mr. Karsten Lauridsen is the spokesperson on immigration in the Danish political party Venstre.
As a continuation of the debate on the Iraqi asylum seekers who have been expelled from Denmark according to Danish law, he has recently said
"Jeg synes sådan set, at oppositionen bør skamme sig lidt. Hver gang man løber tør for almindelige argumenter, så hiver man en konvention eller et lovbrud op" (http://politiken.dk/indland/article771515.ece) (freely translated: "I think that the opposition should be ashamed of themselves. Every time they run out of normal arguments, they bring forth some convention or law."
This he said in relation to the fact that as these Iraqi's are being interrogated by an Iraqi delegation, they have been denied their lawyers being present. This is apparently in contrast with Danish Public law, something that has already been pointed out by numerous experts.
Therefore, Mr. Lauridsen's comment seems rather odd: wasn't it exactly because of the law that the Iraqis are being expelled!?
I don't think that the law is too strict, and that humanitarian considerations should go ahead of the law about expelling the Iraqis. But I find it outright hipocritical that a man like Mr. Lauridsen thinks the law is only valid in some cases and not in others. If he was really consistent, he would argue that protection of the law is equal for everyone in the country.
Sadly, in politicians in Denmark hide their lack of humanity behind the law, and on top of it, the law does not apply equally to everyone!
It is becoming so very sad to witness this!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Brorsons Church

Call me naive: I don't really care about the political observance of people, but I have always thought that the priority of any political system should be consideration for fellow humans.
I have always felt that this was something we could be proud of in Denmark, where the consideration for the weakest in a society is what I believe has ultimately carried Denmark from being a poor northern warlike tribe, to become a free, rich and prosperous country.

Over the last 20 years or so, Danish society has been more and more influenced by globalization, for good and for bad (but wouldn't we want to face the challenge of globalization by being a dynamic modern society, that adapts and accepts while keeping the best of our society!?). And in the Danish political climate this has had the sad repercussion that the discourse has increasingly become more confrontational, discriminatory and defamatory (governments and opposition alike, very well supported by a sensationalistic media).
In spite of all this, I have remained convinced that Danes in general do have pride of being an open, altruistic and benevolent society.
And I still believe this, although the belief has been shaken lately and came to a head with the situation of the Iraqi refugees in the Brorsons Church in Copenhagen last night.

These refugees have been part of a group that over many years have been in Denmark (including children who have lived most of their life here), but having been denied asylum, were to be forcefully returned to Iraq (a country Denmark is actively participating in occupying). Understandably, the refugees are afraid of returning to Iraq after so many years, so some months ago, they sought refuge in Brorsons Church, and have been living there since, supported by local groups, the church and many people from all layers of society (independently of political observance), to the consternation of Danish authorities and politicians who seem bound by a Orwellesque attachment to laws and procedures that they do not understand should never overshadow our consideration for other human beings.
To the Danish authorities, these Iraqis seem to be mere paper-forms to be processed in the bureaucratic machinery, something that sadly is a sign of a society that increasingly has become a real-world secular technocracy.

The TV pictures of the police operation last night show Danish police in full riot gear leading young men, women and children out of a church (http://jp.dk/jptv/indland/?id=19653), as well as putting young men who offered no resistance in plastic handcuffs (doesn't the Danish police have normal handcuffs...?) and violently hitting and spraying peaceful demonstrators who were trying to block the way for the police (http://jp.dk/jptv/indland/?id=19657).

I have never felt so shameful to be Danish, and I believe that this is one of the saddest days for our country; the inhuman face of an inhuman system against the peaceful and caring traditions of our heritage.
We seem to be losing the battle, and more than any pseudo-nationalistic populist who believes that Danishness lies in beer, pork-shops, the queen and Dannevirke, the loss of our humanity and care for other people is the greatest threat to our Danish identity today.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The result of the EP Elections in Denmark

The elections turned out very interesting, and over half the Danes came out to vote (perhaps because of the constitutional change) which is very good for Danes' involvement in the EU democratic processes. However, before proceeding to the elected candidates, I must mention the great losers of the election which I have to regret are Junibevægelsen and Radikale Venstre.
Although I generally disagree with Junibevægelsen, I find it a huge pity that Ms. Hanne Dahl did not get re-elected into the Parliament; she has undoubtedly been one of the most competent Danish MEP's and Junibevægelsen has done a lot to push for increased transparency and democracy in the EU. The demise of Junibevægelsen is a huge loss to the MEP and to Danish voters who are concerned about EU transparency.
And I say this as someone who is a supporter of Danish membership in the Euro and to take away the Danish "forbehold."

The Radikale Venstre had a messy campaign, although one must admire the tenacity and optimism of Sofie Carsten Nielsen; I hope to see her in Danish politics.
Nevertheless, one must question some of the choices that the party made; they chose to focus only on Ms. Carsten Nielsen, and this totally overshadowed other candidates, most notably Mr. Johannes Lebech, who has been a competent MEP over the last five years. Also, I am afraid their alliance with the Social Democrats and SF backfired, as some voters became afraid of seeing their votes being wasted on more socialist parties.
The great winners were DF and SF, who each managed to get two mandates. DF continues being an important player in Danish politics, and has run a very good campaign, competently appealing to the more nationally-minded voters, sceptic of EU cooperation. I also think DF in fact benefitted from no alliances with other parties: if you voted for DF you knew your vote would not get traded for petty favours!
Some of the Venstre and Conservative candidates also tried strategy based on petty nationalisms, and in spite of what they may think themselves, they came out quite pathetic and unreliable in the face of it. In Venstre there has been an open debate on the chosen strategy, and I agree with them who say this backfired and made DF stronger.
SF rode on the wave of increased popularity in Danish politics, as well as with the perfect combination of a competent and experienced Margretehe Auken and a dynamic and young Emilie Turunen.

The 13 Danish MEPs are:
  • Margrethe Auken, SF: Very competent and intelligent candidate who drew the bulk of the personal votes in the party. It is certainly good that she will be back in the EP, and I hope that she is able to access the Danish media more to tell about her good work in the EP.
  • Emilie Turunen, SF: I followed her closely in the campaign, considering to vote for her, but in the end found her way too immature, mostly because she seemed very narrowminded and insulting towards other candidates. No question about her great dynamism though. In one debate I heard her promise that she would keep her constituency close to her work even when in Brussels, but I honestly doubt that she will keep this.
  • Dan Jørgensen, Social Democrats: Has been interesting to follow Mr. Jørgensen in the campaign, where he has suddenly had to justify his last five years in Brussels, which he got by free-riding on the popularity of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. I must admit that I have my doubts to him, as I heard nothing about him during his previous five years and that some rather odd stories came out about him, like him voting "wrongly" on an issue of animal welfare as well as being the Danish MEP with lowest attendance in the EP. I hope he improves since his voters certainly deserve it, and he should be thankful for their trust.
  • Britta Thomsen, Social Democrats: She led a serious campaign on her core issues on sustainable energy and equality, using her experience as an MEP very well in the face of a campaign that often lack substance.
  • Christel Schaldemose, Social Democrats: Has been an MEP for the last five years, and I am certain she has been competent and hardworking, something she has deservedly benefitted from. She managed to get many personal votes in spite of a somewhat less prominent campaign. In a debate I heard her say that she has been the most cited Danish MEP the last five years. I must admit I hadn't noticed this, but hope that she manages to make herself more noticed this time around.
  • Ole Christensen, Social Democrats: This candidate can thank the alliance with the Radikale that he got in, and I personally greatly blame the Radikale for this (they thus justified my limited bad conscience at not voting for them!). In his time as an MEP he has never been heard about in any domestic debate and I doubt he will be heard of any more over the next five years.
  • Morten Messerschmidt, DF: Emerged as the great winner of the elections with some 265,000 personal votes. I personally find him too ideological and appealing to the lowest denominators of Danish nationalism, but I have to respect his intelligence and competence. I am certain he will be a hardworking and competent MEP, although very ideological. He is surely bound for a great career in Danish politics.
  • Anna Rosbach, DF: If I liked anyone from DF it was Ms. Rosbach, who knows the EP well, has a very positive approach to her colleagues in the EP (differently from one of her predecessors, Mr. Mogens Camre), and I hope she continues working like that as an MEP for a party that largely has a negative message to anyone who is not Danish.
  • Jens Rohde, Venstre: Mr. Rohde as probably run the most populistic and unreliable campaign of all candidates. But as top candidate of Venstre he managed to get sufficient exposure to appeal to nationalistic voters with some very un-Venstre rhetoric. I have no idea how he will bring Danish views to the EU, like he has said he will; in fact, I believe that this is another way of telling us that he will not try to be accountable to Danish voters.
  • Morten Løkkegaard, Venstre: The example that you only need to be a known face to get elected, Mr. Løkkegaard drew more personal votes from many far more experienced and competent candidates, after barely running an election campaign. I don't think we will hear from him at all over the next five years.
  • Anne E. Jensen, Venstre: A very experienced and competent candidate who with this enters her third term as an MEP. I thought this was too much, as I think Ms. Jensen has been too anonymous in her last period as an MEP. But with a new period I hope she uses her experience to continue her good work. She is the only hope of a serious politician for Venstre in the EP.
  • Bendt Bendtsen, Conservative: Mr. Bendtsen had a good personal election - no question about it. However, I think he could have pulled more votes for his party, and get one more Conservative in, had he not been so poor in the debates (he looked like he couldn't bother) and so focused on Turkey. I have very few expectations to him as an MEP, except that I predict we will hear something shady about him at one point.
  • Søren Søndergaard, Folkebevægelsen mod EU: It is a pity that it was not Junibevægelsen who entered to represent the EU-sceptic movements. However, Folkebevægelsen, and notably Søren Søndergaard has skillfully combined an appeal to the left-wing voters and the nationalist voters, and still advocates for Denmark to withdraw from the EU. He will surely be controversial as an MEP and push for changes.
In relation to the candidates I would have preferred to see in the Parliament, only Ms. Margrethe Auken and Ms. Anna Rosbach managed to get elected. Of course I would have liked to see all "my favourites" represented, but there are certain candidates I personally find a great shame that they didn't get in (in spite of the fact that I didn't vote for them in the end): Venstre's Mr. Kasper Elbjørn and Ms. Louise Freiberg, as well as the Conservatives' Mr. Christian Wedell-Neergaard. They would all have been far more competent and accountable MEP's than the candidates who actually got elected from these two parties.
I really hope to see them in Danish politics in the future.
In general I am mostly in doubt about the candidates from Venstre, Conservative and the Social Democratic party. In spite of some of them being extremely competent and experienced (Ms. Schaldemose, Ms. Thomsen and Ms. Jensen), I am afraid that we will not hear from them over the next five years now they are "safely" in Brussels.
I have great doubts they would even answer a question from a petty citizen like me - maybe they can prove me wrong...?

Now what remains is to follow the work of all of these candidates over the next five years. Have no doubt that the democratic work of citizens don't end with the elections, but must continue by monitoring our MEPs and making them accountable.
That is what they get (very well!) paid for, and each of them must now prove to all the good people who voted for them and whom they represent, that they are in Brussels and Strasbourg for them, and not for their own small egos and purses.

The privilege and burden is on you all, MEP's.
In the meantime, congratulations to each of you.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Weekly Update on the EP Elections Part IV

-Elections in Denmark are tomorrow; while the media has finally managed to follow the elections well, it seems Danes are nevertheless more preoccupied with the monarchy succession and a world cup qualifier between Denmark and Sweden.

-Ask me, I have reached my high-point of listening to the candidates although my vote is as yet not finally decided.

-Ms. Louise Feilberg from Venstre gave me a beer at the Start-Festival, and I have to thank her for that, although my vote is worth much more than a beer!

-In Copenhagen a campaigner from Folkebevægelsen from EU approached me, and said that they encompassed the entire political spectrum: "our leading candidate is from Enhedslisten and our second is from Radikale" (two very different parties ideologically). I asked what they agree on then, and he replied "they don't like the EU."
-Inconsistency?

-Ms. Margrethe Auken may have been stressed from the campaigning, but she seemed to lose her cool in a recent TV debate.

-Polls are coming with all their smart predictions: Ms. Hanne Dahl from Junibevægelsen is to be out, while Ms. Mette Abildgaard from Konservative is set to surprise.

-At the same time the eager Ms. Sofie Carsten Nielsen from Radikale seems to have gotten herself into a difficult path: as polls predict that the Radikale will not get enough votes - it seems likely that any vote for her may end up with their allies of SF or the Social Democrats. Thus, potential voters have a strong reason not to vote for them, reinforcing their poor elections.
-The polls may be their doom.

-Song of the week I would like to hear a candidate sing: Dan Jørgensen, "Oops I did it again" (Britney Spears)

-Candidate I would like to have a beer of the week with: Kasper Elbjørn from Venstre

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Constitutional change

In Denmark there is a referendum on the inheritance rights in the Danish monarchy on the same day of the European Parliament elections. The referendum is a constitutional change about giving females the same rights as males in the succession of the throne (as it is now, the first-born male is the one to inherit the throne) and has been rather uncontroversial until lately. It is likely that the government included the referendum in the ballot so that many people who would otherwise not have shown up at EP elections, may want to give their vote in support of the monarchy.
However, the constitutional change is now running into opposition: a number of known Danes are expressing reservations and support for the law is dwindling.
It is not that it will come out a "no"; but the constitutional change requires that 40% of all eligible voters support the motion, and this is looking increasingly doubtful with a turnout that is still expected to be low. A number of people have called for a blank vote, and leading politicians, such as Uffe Ellemann-Jensen and Marianne Jelved have insinuated that they might vote "no".
The refenrendum is being sold as a question of equality between the sexes, and "bring the monarchy into the 21st century."
Still, many people complain that in fact it is not about modernising the monarchy, which would require many more relevant changes than this. Also, the issue of equality sounds hollow in a country where women are still left behind in salaries and access to jobs. Finally, some people are annoyed that the government didn't use the opportunity to promote a wider change of the Danish constitution whose modernization in the face of a changing Danish society and globalization is much more required than a populist change to a law on monarchy.
I am voting blank, and I think the motion will not pass.

Who I will vote for in the EP elections

I have made a shortlist of the Danish candidates I find worthy of voting for in the EP elections. I have already made my selection of whom I will vote for, and it is one among the candidates below. I have given everyone the benefit of the doubt, and have selected someone from each party; and I am happy to say that I have found competent and good people in each party, so there should be a someone for everyone to choose from.

Before I reveal the simplified list I must underline that it is my personal list. I have tried to combine what I have heard them say in the news (TV, radio); what I have read about them (newspapers and internet); meeting I have been at where they have been present; as well as my general subjective impression of the candidate (some people may criticize this, but I do believe that as in any political fight of the 21st century, it is crucial how you present yourself).
I may be wrong in what I write, but it is my impression, and if anyone wants to ask me more, I would be happy to say more.

Candidates Main issues Advantages Disadvantages
Margethe Auken (SF) To fight climate change through Green jobs and sustainable energy. Minimum work standards in the EU. The fight against cross-border crime, including white-collar crime and prostitution (she advocates for Denmark leaving the judicial exception). Knows the Parliament where she has been one of the best Danish MEP over five years. Extremely intelligent and balanced. SF has focused entirely on their two top candidates, and they have drowned that there are actually others. They all seem to follow a strict party line As an MEP Ms. Auken has had a difficulty being heard in Danish press. From being anti-EU she is now very pro-EU.
Klaus Larsen-Jensen (S) Social welfare and jobs. Alternative energy, education and equality. Control of capital markets. Has been president of the Folketings’ Europaudvalg, and may thus be in a good position to build a stronger relationship between EP and Folketing Has not participated enough in the debate; too anonymous in the campaign. Much of what he has written in the media has been about quite abstract subjects, and nothing concrete.
Einer Lyduch (S) A social Europe based on rights, jobs and sustainable energy. Quite knowledgeable on the EU and its international role Too unknown; has hardly been profiled in the debate, and his knowledge seems too limited to EU international role, and less so on some of the more soft issues of the EU
Sofie Carsten Nielsen (RV) Asylum and immigration; health (patient-rights); gender equality (maternity leave) Radikale might not get in, and it would be a loss if there are none. She has been very active in the debate and very concrete and knowledgeable. Her campaign has at times seemed desperate for attention and she has at times seemed stressed and almost hysterical, making one wonder whether she is up to the stress of the EP.
Johannes Lebech (RV) Environment and climate, consumer rights and health He has been a good MEP for five years, and sits in the environmental council. He has excellent experience and has seemed committed. He has been notably absent from the campaign, perhaps to get focus on their only likely MEP Sofie Carsten Nielsen, and he may thus have given up beforehand.
Kasper Elbjørn (V) Energy independence (including sustainable energy), strengthening the internal market, institutional reform and democracy in the EU Young and dynamic, with a very interesting blog where he seems quite knowledgeable and focused, and doesn’t always follow the party line Young candidates are a forgotten breed in Venstre. Kasper Elbjørn may be positioning himself in the party for the Folketing
Louise Feilberg (V) A liberal Europe; climate change; stop human trafficking; consumer policy Dynamic and committed, and knows a lot about the specific subjects she works with. As young, she has little chance in spite of her dynamism. May also be setting herself up for a future in Venstre.
Peter Hjortkjær Jørgensen (LA) Health, education, climate, the financial crisis (global solutions) Basically the only worthwhile candidate in Liberal Alliance Totally unknown and in the shadow of B. Dickow has had almost no profiling in the debate.
Ditte Staun (FEU) Cooperation without a union; defend democracy and fight bureaucracy; fight EU trade-walls; health, environment and animal rights Ideologically a liberal and quite well-argued about her stance against the EU She often seems out of touch with political realities, and risks just being an eternal nay-sayer.
Hanne Dahl (JB) Patient-rights; IT-security; water protection; democracy and transparency in the EU Very intelligent and in-depth knowledge of all her issues and after a couple of years in the EP, knows the system well. Have moved from being anti-EU to EU-sceptic. Junibevægelsen has had a positive influence in the EP under Jens Peter Bonde and Hanne Dahl. She appears arrogant in the discussions and her great level of detailed knowledge makes her sound uninteresting for some voters. Junibevægelsen will have a difficult election from being seen as inconsistent.
Anna Rosbach (DF) Yes to cooperation between EU states in areas of environment, criminality, transport, research & education. No to the EU Constitution and to Brussels-made legislation Appears to have a generally positive approach to the EU and is more a sceptic than an EU opponent. Many years of EU experience does that she knows the system I could imagine that she has little appeal in her own party because of her generally positive approach and good way of discussing. Seems weak in the discussion of some of the more substantive issues.
Christian Wedell-Neergaard (K) Peace & security; freedom & justice; climate & environment Extremely knowledgeable of agricultural policy, and a sound and positive ideologically conservative approach- differently from many leading Conservatives, he is not a populist. May not get elected due to his sound arguments. Comes out somewhat boring


There have been other candidates that I have been close to putting on this list: Emilie Turunen, Peter Norsk and Mette Abildgaard, but for different reasons I did not include them in the end.
Also, when voting some considerations need to be made on some party alliances and the party lists: for instance if you vote for either SF, Radikale or Socialdemokratiet, you risk that your vote goes to any of the parties in the alliance. And in some party lists you risk that your personal vote is given to someone you hadn't wanted to vote for (it is something not all parties are very good at answering, so I am not sure which ones do this).

In any case, the most important thing is to go out and vote, even if you turn in a blan vote!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

EU Development Aid and the EP elections

EU development aid is a subject that I am interested in both professionally and personally, and that I, in all due modesty, know a lot about. The European Parliament will, when the Lisbon treaty is ratified, have a increasing role to play in European development policy, and I therefore have found it interesting to study what Danish candidates think about this problem.

The subject has not had much attention, although it is now interesting that the Danish NGO, MS, has had a poll made by the pollster Capacent, in which 55 percent of the respondents agree to the statement that a it is important for their choice of candidate that he/she is worried about EU's role in relation to poor countries ("Det er afgørende for mit valg af kandidat til Europaparlamentsvalget, at vedkommende bekymrer sig om EU's rolle i forhold til fattige udviklingslande").
Looking at the questions this is hardly surprising, and I am quite certain that if they ask any candidate "Are you worried about EU's relation to poor developing countries?", they would all reply "yes". It is thus interesting that MS has also proceeded to ask many (not all!) candidates 17 specific quesitons as what aspects they will work for in the European Parliament.
Here, what causes most attention is the relatively small discrepancies in the replies: except for a couple of candidates from Dansk Folkeparti, and a few dissenters in Venstre, there is clearly a general agreement that EU should work towards the MDG's, that EU aid should be transparent and aimed at poverty reduction, that gender is important, and that fair trade with developing countries should be at the core of development assistance (nearly every candidate answered positively to tear down eksport subsidies on agricultural products and work for a dismantling of the CAP).
The main discrepancies appear in more controversial themes such as what is considered development assistance (such as debt-relief), but in particular in areas of climate change, what environmental support should be considered to be aid, and biofuels. However, interestingly, there was also general agreement on creating a fund to aid aigainst negeative effects from climate change in developing countries.
The question on whether the candidates would work to realize the goal to give 0,7 percent of GDP in aid by 2015 was only answered negatively by candidates from Dansk Folkeparti and Liberal Alliance, as well as Torkil Sohn from Folkebevægelsen mod EU and Jan Winther from Venstre. In fact, it is notable how much candidates from Liberal Alliance and Dansk Folkeparti were in agreement in most questions, with the exception of Morten Messerschmidt from Dansk Folkeparti, who largely followed the general replies.

Besides the publication of this commendable report, MS is not engaging in any further debate, besides telling us through a video of ActionAid that it is important to vote for a candidate who cares about the poor.
It is a pity that with this MS does not seem to want to engage in a debate of where they want EU to go with its development assistance (should it completely supplant member state development aid, as suggested by Sofie Carsten Nielsen?) and more broadly what should be the EU's role in the world? It is clear that this is the core of the disagreement between many of the candidates who otherwise gave such similar answers in the poll; the EU-sceptic Søren Søndergaard has given exactly the same replies as the super pro-EU candidates Sofie Carsten Nielsen from Radikale Venstre or Dan Jørgensen from the Social Democrats. In fact, except for one question, Jens Rohde from Venstre has followed Søren Søndergaard's answers.

Many candidates I have considered have answered a list of questions I sent. One of these questions was about development aid. Added to interviews the top candidates of eight parties (except Benjamin Dickow from Liberal Alliance, who I assume is just going to say that EU should not bother with this) in the Danish development journal Udvikling , I have an idea of what the priorities are for a small number of the candidates, who are surely also the ones with a position on the subject:
  • Some candidates don't think EU should give aid at all: Torkil Sohn from Folkebevægelsen mod EU is the most clear. Ditte Staun from the same party thinks Danish aid should be channeled via multilateral institutions. Kenneth Kristensen from Dansk Folkeparti is against EU aid in principle, but thinks that if it must exist it should focus on supporting countries with good governance and democracy.
  • Democracy and good governance is also central to a number of candidates. Morten Messerschmidt from Dansk Folkeparti wants to fight corruption, while Karsten Skawbo from Conservative also mentions good governance and respect for human rights as foci of aid. Democracy and rights are also part of the SF candidates Emilie Turunen and Margrethe Auken, while Klaus Larsen Jensen from the Social Democracy also values democracy support.
  • Microloans and jobs are quite central to the candidates from the Conservative party and Venstre: Jens Rohde and Bendt Bendsten both mention it, while Christian Wedell-Neergaard and Karsten Skawbo from the Conservatives call it "help for self-help". Emilie Turunen from SF also mention support for micro-loan schemes and jobs, while Klaus Larsen Jensen mentions that aid should focus on job-creation
  • Trade for development is central to nearly all candidates albeit from different perspectives. Kasper Elbjørn and Charlotte Antonsen from Venstre both believe that the core is to tear down trade barriers. Jens Rohde, Bendt Bendtsen, Sofie Carsten Nielsen and Ditte Staun from Folkebevægelsen all echo this quite explicitly, while Emilie Turunen specifically says that export-subsidies and reform and CAP is at the core of free trade (although they do not say it, I believe the other candidates agree on this nevertheless), and is in agreement with Søren Søndergaard, who nevertheless also says that there should be justice in trade-agreements (specifically with ACP countries). Hanne Dahl from Junibevægelsen and Johannes Lebech from Radikale Venstre also mention the importance of fair trade agreements between the EU and developing countries.
  • Climate is also an issue that is at the core of much of the debate in general, but also specifically in regard to development aid. Dan Jørgensen, Jens Rohde and Sofie Carsten Nielsen all seem to prioritise climate change in questions of development aid, with the latter specifically mentioning new technologies. Margrethe Auken and Bendt Bendtsen both say there should be more integration between environmental questions and development aid.
  • Health is not mentioned by many: Jens Rohde mentions the fight against malaria and HIV/AIDS, just as Karsten Skawbo from the Conservative. Lasse Grønning from Radikale Venstre direktly links health and poverty as the core areas of development aid.
  • Interestingly, Johannes Lebech from Radikale Venstre is the only one who links development aid to one of the core issues in Europes' borders, namely immigration policy.
I think that if anyone is going to decide his or her vote solely on the issue of development cooperation (which I personally won't, but it does nevertheless play a role for me), they should consider one of the candidates I have mentioned above. The rest, in my view, have a too limited opinion on the issue (at least in what has come out and what I have been able to find).