In the referendum in favor of Denmark joining the EU defense cooperation, the majority of the country’s inhabitants voted in favor of expanding integration in this area. – We have sent a clear signal to our allies. We sent a clear signal to Putin, commented Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen on the voting results.
The final results of the referendum show that nearly 67 percent of Danes were in favor of joining defense policy. About 33 percent of the country’s population was of the opposite opinion. – We sent a signal to our allies in NATO, in Europe. We also sent a clear signal to Putin, said Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen after the majority of votes were counted on Wednesday evening.
Denmark will join the EU’s defense policy
Denmark was the only EU country to remain outside the EU’s common military policy at its own request. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Danish government decided to change that. The referendum was announced in early March by Social Democratic Prime Minister Frederiksen, stressing that “in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, we must unite with the (EU) countries with whom we share common values.” Her proposal was supported by four other parties.
The majority of “yes” votes in the referendum means that Denmark will become a member of the European Defense Agency (EDA) and will also join the PESCO Permanent Structured Cooperation mechanism, the purpose of which is to enable large military operations.
Three smaller groups were opposed to deepening integration with the EU. One of them was the anti-EU Danish People’s Party. Its leader Morten Messerschmidt, commenting on the result of the referendum, said that “people voted ‘yes’ because of the war in Ukraine, and politicians persuading them to adopt a common EU defense policy took advantage of the situation in the East.”
Opponents pointed to an increase in spending related to common defense at the EU level, and especially the need to participate in international missions which, in their opinion, are not always effective.
Denmark, which rejected the Maastricht Treaty in a referendum in 1992, negotiated with Brussels in 1993 to opt out of the common defense and security policy.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / MARTIN SYLVEST