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Denmark votes to finish its EU defence opt-out

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Denmark will be part of the EU’s defence coverage within the newest shake-up of Europe’s safety structure following Russia’s full-scale battle in opposition to Ukraine.

In the biggest ever pro-EU vote within the historically Eurosceptic Scandinavian nation, 67 per cent of Danes voted in favour of ending the opt-out in a historic referendum.

It is the primary time in three makes an attempt that Denmark has voted to finish considered one of its hard-won opt-outs after it rejected the Maastricht treaty in 1992, and comes two weeks after Finland and Sweden submitted purposes to affix Nato.

“Tonight, Denmark has sent a very important signal — to our allies in Europe, and to [Russian president Vladimir] Putin. We show that when Putin invades a free country and threatens the stability of Europe, so we others move closer together,” prime minister Mette Frederiksen stated on Wednesday night.

Analysts stated the Danish referendum and Finnish and Swedish selections to hunt Nato membership ought to result in a strengthening of the Nordic area and its affect in Europe.

“This is a powerful signal that Denmark stands united with Ukraine and our allies in the fight for freedom and democracy,” stated Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the previous Danish prime minister and Nato secretary-general.

Denmark’s centre-left authorities argued the Scandinavian nation wanted to be on the coronary heart of Europe, particularly after Russia’s full invasion of Ukraine.

Copenhagen nonetheless views Nato as its fundamental software for defence and safety, however is at the moment excluded from discussions about EU coverage on this space and can’t participate within the bloc’s missions, largely in Africa and the Balkans.

Denmark has held two referendums on scrapping its different two opt-outs — over the euro in 2000 and justice and residential affairs in 2015 — however in each instances voted no.

Copenhagen is growing its navy finances and opening as much as permitting overseas troops to coach and train on its soil for the primary time for the reason that Nineteen Fifties as a part of an enormous shift in defence coverage throughout Europe.

“The people of Denmark have made a historic choice. The world has changed since Russia invaded Ukraine. This decision will benefit Europe and make both the EU and the Danish people safer and stronger,” stated Charles Michel, president of the European Council.

All the opposite 26 EU members participate within the bloc’s defence coverage, which some politicians, similar to France’s president Emmanuel Macron, have tried to spice up in significance.

Opponents of ending the opt-out argued Denmark ought to rely solely on Nato. The no vote is a crushing defeat for the nationalist Danish People’s celebration, whose assist has dwindled for the reason that present Social Democrat authorities started to repeat its harsh insurance policies on immigration.

“The Danes choose co-operation in this incredibly complicated situation we are in. I am so happy about that,” well being minister Magnus Heunicke stated.

Many had seen Denmark as a attainable candidate to observe the UK out of the EU however even the Danish People’s celebration have backed away from Dexit, whereas the federal government has turned from London to Berlin on numerous insurance policies.

Lykke Friis, director of the Europa think-tank and a former centre-right minister, stated: “The most important message is that since 2016 we have seen a very big shift in support of EU membership. What we are seeing now is also a major Ukraine effect.”

Source: www.ft.com

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