New Danish farms minister in subsidy storm

Yesterday’s reshuffle of the Danish government included the appointment of a new minister for agriculture: Henrik Høegh. Less than a day into his new job, he is becoming embroiled in a political row over a perceived conflict of interest. The reason? Mr Høegh is a farmer who receives more than sixty thousand euro a year in EU farm subsidies.

Data on farm subsidies shows that since 2000, Mr Høegh has benefited from the CAP to the tune of 604,787 euros over the nine years from 2000 to 2008. Farm subsidies appear to be something of a Høegh family business: it seems his son and daughter are also significant recipients.

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Lessons from the 2009 EU dairy market crisis

The EU dairy market is now recovering from the severe drop in milk prices in 2009. Perhaps the clearest sign of this recovery is the setting of export refunds on dairy products to zero since mid-November, as world market prices for dairy products have strengthened in recent months.

It is thus an opportune time to evaluate the EU’s response to the crisis, and to see what lessons might be drawn for how the Union can address similar problems in other farm sectors in the future. My view is that there is a lot to be learned from the dairy crisis, and that the outgoing Commissioner deserves credit for the way she handled it.

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