Denmark to carry referendum on scrapping EU defence opt-out

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Danish voters will on Wednesday resolve whether or not to hitch the European Union’s defence coverage, probably changing into the ultimate hold-out within the bloc to enroll as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine forces nations to radically reassess their safety.

Denmark is the one member of the 27 nation bloc not within the Frequent Safety and Defence Coverage, having secured exemptions from it and the euro forex in a 1993 referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which laid the groundwork for the fashionable EU.

If the notoriously EU-critical Danes vote to abolish the opt-out, as polls recommend would be the case, it will mark one other important shift in coverage for Europe after Russia launched the invasion in February.

Sweden and Finland this month determined to use for NATO membership. Each Denmark and Germany have already promised to sharply increase defence spending. 

“NATO will in fact stay our most necessary software, however the EU offers us one other software in securing our defence within the east,” stated Mogens Jensen, defence spokesman for the ruling Social Democrats.

Denmark is a founding member of NATO, however the alliance’s greatest navy energy, the US, has signalled European allies should take higher accountability for their very own safety.

Collaborating within the Frequent Safety and Defence Coverage would allow Denmark to participate in joint EU navy operations, akin to these in Somalia, Mali and Bosnia.

And whereas the EU will profit from the intensive Danish expertise in navy operations as a part of NATO and different alliances, a sure vote could be largely considered as a symbolic win in Brussels, in response to Kristian Soby Kristensen, a senior researcher at Copenhagen College’s Centre for Army Research.

“The political significance will outweigh the navy contribution,” Kristensen informed Reuters.

A big majority in parliament recommends abolishing the opt-out. Wednesday’s vote would be the third such try by Danish lawmakers to carry one of many 1993 opt-outs after votes on the euro in 2000 and justice and residential affairs in 2015, each of which failed.

Preliminary polls have proven a stable result in these voting in favour of abolishing the opt-out, with near 48% in favour and 31% towards.

Naysayers have argued that EU’s defence cooperation is strained by forms and inefficient resolution making, whereas additionally fearing the prospect of getting to contribute to a possible supranational EU-army.

The EU has no plans to determine a supranational military inside the bloc, nevertheless it has determined to kind a fast deployment pressure consisting of as much as 5,000 troopers. Learn full story

Polls open at 0600 GMT on Wednesday and shut at 1800 GMT. The result’s anticipated late within the night.


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