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EU election line-up: Venstre

Poul Erik Høyer from Venstre is highlighting Europe as a free trade area with some security issues

Free trade and the movement of workers and students across borders. Good things in the European Union, according to Poul Erik Høyer, from Venstre, Liberal Party of Denmark (which is the official full name).

“We’ve created stability and growth in many of the European countries, so I regard the European Parliament and the EU as a field where we should strengthen the commercial links between the member states,” says Poul.

At the election to the European Parliament on Sunday, May 25, Venstre is part of an electoral alliance with the Conservative Party. As a likely outcome, Venstre will obtain four seats, using the votes of the conservatives.

Continued Europol Participation

Venstre has positioned itself as a law-and-order party that protects Danish interests at the European Union. Nonetheless, they their parliamentarians will continue to sit with ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe).

In that regard, one of Venstre’s main topics is the fight against cross-border crime, where the party wants to find solutions in increased European cooperation.

“We regard Europol as one of the good European areas of co-operation. Due to the Danish opt-out in judicial affairs, we might not be able to continue the cooperation in Europol. We need to solve this issue immediately,” explains Poul.

Welfare Tourism?

As regards higher education policy, Poul explains that he would support the struggle for further extensions of the Erasmus programs:

“I think it’s important that we allow as many students as possible to go abroad and study. In principle it should be possible for everybody to study one or two years in another country, independent of your family’s income”.

In general Poul wants EU influence, albeit limited, in higher education.

“It’s good that each country has their own model, so to speak, but sometimes that can create unnecessary obstructions. We could for example have a common grade system, so it’s easier to compare what comes from different countries”.

The party’s position is critical of what they call “welfare tourism”.

But students shouldn’t be concerned, Poul says.

“It would be a sin to call students welfare tourists. I do believe, actually, that hardly anybody is coming here to cash out the welfare system. People come to work or study. There’s some that try to get around and we will catch them”.

Better orientation towards the future

As regards general budgeting questions, Poul is concerned about Europe’s future.

“We’re losing a whole generation in south of Europe and we have a responsibility towards them”, he says.

Asked if he imagines an EU job program, he says, “we need to do something that is meaningful in the future and creates value for a longer time, not just putting people to work”.

Agriculture is one of the areas where money could be taken from.

“This is an area where we should think about decreasing support, although it will be very very hard. But we should try to take money from areas such as agriculture and put it into investment areas, like education and research and development”.

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