Denmark will join the European Union’s defense policy following a referendum on Wednesday, the final results show, marking the latest move among the Nordic countries to deepen community defense ties in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Denmark is the only EU member not part of the bloc’s defense and security policy. The referendum marks the first time that a Danish government has managed to abolish one of several exemptions secured in the 1993 referendum on the Maastricht Treaty.
The final results showed that almost 67% of voters were in favor of removing the exclusion from the so-called Common Security and Defense Policy of the EU, in what was the largest show of support recorded in a referendum on a community issue in Denmark.
Some 33% of voters surveyed opposed it.
The vote in favor of deleting the exclusion clause is a victory for those in favor of more cooperation with the EU, while those against have argued that the EU defense pact is fraught with bureaucracy and that Denmark’s participation in the bloc’s military operations will be too costly.
“We have sent a signal to our allies in NATO, in Europe. And we have sent a clear signal to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said late on Wednesday, after the majority of votes.
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