Van Bommel: No EU funds for flower ads

9 August 2006

Van Bommel: No EU funds for flower ads

Harry van Bommel, SP Member of Parliament and spokesman on European Union affairs, is calling for an end to misuse of European subsidies for matters of purely national interest.

The SP has long campaigned against this senseless practice, but what provoked Harry's wrath on this occasion was the current 'Mad about Flowers!' campaign. Despite the fact that its aim is to sell Dutch flowers to Dutch people, it receives financial support from the EU. “I'm mad about flowers myself,” Van Bommel says, “but is this the kind of thing which our contribution to the EU budget should be aimed at?”

Harry van BommelThe Holland Flower Bureau is attempting by means of TV and magazine ads and a competition to persuade consumers to buy more flowers. The three-year campaign has a budget of €2.4 million, half of which will be provided from EU funds. “Where on earth is the European interest in this?” asks Van Bommel. “European subsidies must be used to address matters such as cross-border criminality or environmental pollution involving more than one member state. In any case, not to stimulate the sale of flowers.”

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