Auken bows out after Danish election defeat

Liberals pledge to scrap the can ban as EU's longest-serving environment minister departs office

The EU's longest-serving environment minister, Svend Auken, is to leave office after his Social Democratic party was defeated in elections this week. The victorious centre-right Liberal party has already indicated that it will scrap Denmark's famous can ban, currently the subject of legal proceedings in the European court of justice (EED 14/09/01).

Mr Auken developed a strong international profile during his nine years in charge. At the global level, he played a significant role in agreement of international treaties on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biosafety. He was also a progenitor of the EU's push for next year's world sustainability summit to see agreement on a new "global pact" (EED 26/09/01).

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