Denmark has promised to run a tight and inexpensive ship during its EU presidency term.
Officials for the nation said last week that they would do everything in their power to cut costs at a time when Europe is facing unprecedented amounts of debt. One money-saving measure mentioned was serving tap water rather than expensive bottled water at functions.
The country plans to spend just EUR 35 million during its term, compared with Hungary and Poland, which both spent substantially more in 2011 at EUR 85 million and EUR 110 million, respectively. France spent the highest ever amount during its six-month term, with a massive final bill of EUR 171 million.
Nicolai Wammen, the Danish European affairs minister, told AFP reporters on, “It’s the last time you’ll see these bottles of water. Next they will be replaced by the good pure Danish tap water.” He added, “We’re very cost efficient in Denmark. We want to have an efficient presidency at low cost.”
Wammen also said Denmark would be cutting the amount spent on gifts for ministers and dignitaries. When asked by reporters of the most expensive gift given so far, he replied that it was a relatively thrifty EUR 60 alarm clock.
Denmark, which was handed its turn for the rotating EU presidency on 1st January, also says it will reduce the number of meetings held in order to keep costs low. Hosting meetings for EU ministers is one of the roles associated with the European presidency.