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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Denmark. A referendum on joining the EU’s defense policy

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The Danes are revising their security assessment – they will decide on Wednesday in a referendum whether to join the defense policy of the European Union. According to polls, 48 ​​percent of Danes are in favor of the rejection of the 1993 clause, and 31 percent are against.

Denmark – as a result of the adoption in 1993 of the clause rejecting the special provisions on the common foreign and security policy contained in the Maastricht Treaty – is the only member of the European Union not covered by the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).

European countries are reacting to Russian aggression in Ukraine

If the Danes vote on Wednesday to back out of this decision, polls suggest, it will mark another significant shift in European politics after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.

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The Reuters agency recalled that Sweden and Finland decided in May to apply for NATO membership. Both Denmark and Germany have already promised significant increases in defense spending.

“NATO will of course remain our most important tool, but the European Union is giving us another tool to secure our defense in the east,” Defense spokesman Mogens Jensen said.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen during the debate before the referendum.PHILIP DAVALI / PAP / EPA

Participation in the Common Security and Defense Policy would enable Denmark to participate in joint military operations by the European Union, such as those in Somalia, Mali and Bosnia and Herzegovina. An expert from the Center for Military Studies, Kristian Soby Kristensen, said that the Danes’ support for joining the CSDP would be seen in Brussels as a symbolic victory.

Danes in favor of joining the EU’s defense policy

The vast majority of politicians in the Danish parliament recommends lifting the clause excluding a country from participation in EU defense policy. According to polls, 48 ​​percent of Danes are in favor of rejecting the clause and 31 are against.

Wednesday’s referendum will be the third attempt to reverse the 1993 decision – earlier attempts were made to undo the rejection of some of the provisions of the Maastricht treaty in 2000 and 2015. Polling stations will be open from 6-18. The announcement of the results is expected late Wednesday evening.

Main photo source: PHILIP DAVALI / PAP / EPA

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