Tuesday. 05.07.2022
WAR IN UKRAINE

Denmark votes on whether to overturn EU defence opt-out

The defence opt-out means that Denmark does not participate in the elaboration and the implementation of decisions and actions of the EU which have defence implications

30 May 2022, Belgium, Brussels: Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives to attend a special meeting of the European Council at the European Union headquarters. Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/BELGA/dpa.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives to attend a special meeting of the European Council at the European Union headquarters. Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/dpa.

Voting was under way in Denmark on Wednesday in a referendum on whether to overturn the country's EU defence opt-out in view of the war in Ukraine.

Nearly 4.3 million Danes have been called to answer the question of whether Denmark should be allowed to participate in European security and defence cooperation in the future.

Polling stations are open from 8 am to 8 pm (local time). A preliminary result is expected late in the evening.

Opinion polls indicate that a majority of Danish citizens want to get rid of the special defence arrangement. In the last survey before the election, commissioned by the broadcaster DR, 44% were in favour of abolishing it, while 28% were against it.

Many were still undecided or did not want to give an answer.

The majority of Danish parties, including the ruling Social Democrats of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, have spoken out in favour of abolishing the special arrangement.

In force since 1993

The defence opt-out means that Denmark does not participate in the elaboration and the implementation of decisions and actions of the EU which have defence implications.

Denmark's EU defence opt-out has been in place since 1993.

Denmark has four opt-outs from EU cooperation that were agreed amongst the then 12 EU member states after the Danish population initially rejected the Maastricht Treaty, the foundation treaty of the EU, in a referendum in 1992.

However, with the arrangements, the treaty was approved by a majority in a second attempt.

Denmark votes on whether to overturn EU defence opt-out
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