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EU Heads of mission meeting with Uffe Elbæk, chair and founder of the Alternative party

Published Tuesday December 15 2015

On 14 December, Ambassador Philipps had invited his colleagues Ambassadors of EU member States and candidate countries to an exchange of views with a representative of a new Danish political party, founded in 2013 and which from scratch had conquered nine seats in the Folketing elections of June 2015. It was deemed opportune and interesting to have a discussion with the founder of the Alternativet, a smaller party in the political landscape of Denmark, whose immediate success is amply reflected by the fact that at 4.8 % of the suffrage it precedes the radical-liberal party (4.6 %), the socialist party (4.2 %) and the conservative party (3.4 %). Uffe Elbæk had been Minister for culture in the Thorning-Schmidt government and a member of the radical-liberal party before leaving that party to go his own way and implement his divergent views. Uffe Elbæk wishes his move  to be understood both as a search for new forms of political debate, involving citizens to a much higher degree, and an attempt to modify Danish political culture. Uffe Elbæk describes his party as probably the greenest party in Denmark. The Alternativet should however not be understood to be a party in the traditional sense, but rather a multifaceted platform to which citizens could relate and at the same time an active mobiliser of civil society in regard to societal questions and existing economic doctrine. Because of the novelty of the guest’s approach towards the political culture and debate of his country, the exchanges of view between the Ambassadors and Mr Elbæk were open and frank, raising many questions and providing rather original answers, on a pleasant note of freshness.