Morten Messerschmidt, a member of the European Parliament for Dansk Folkeparti (DF), has been accused of misusing EU funds to finance the party’s European election campaign in 2013.
Messerschmidt now has to pay back 120,700 kroner, which he spent on renting a 100-year-old boat, a schooner called ‘Halmø’, for the party’s 10-day political summer cruise around Denmark.
According to Klaus Welle, the European Parliament’s secretary general, DF violated the rules because it did not clearly state pertinent information about the funds, which were used to finance the sailing trip, on promotion materials.
On Facebook, Messerschmidt wrote that he is “puzzled” by the decision.
“For me, there is absolutely no doubt that the campaign was done by the book. Therefore, I both disagree and feel puzzled by this decision and will of course object to the bureau,” Messerschmidt commented.
“At the same time, I will ask the EU Parliament’s bureau to immediately go through all the campaigns and adverts of other European parties.”
In October, Rikke Karlsson, another DF MEP, decided to leave DF, citing the party’s lack of transparency about the used funds, which sparkled a heated debate in the EU Parliament and led to a thorough investigation.