Denmark votes to allow defense in EU

Denmark votes to allow defense in EU

On May 31, 2022, Denmark's prime minister Mette Frederiksen speaks with Belgium's prime minister Alexander De Croo and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, ahead of a special meeting of the EU leaders to discuss Ukraine, defense and energy in Brussels. JOHN THYS AFP - In a referendum held Wednesday, a large majority, or 66.9 percent, of Danish citizens voted for the move, according to preliminary results from Statistics Denmark, which gives the Nordic country a seat at the EU table to discuss military cooperation. The vote was 65.76 percent of the 4,260, 944 electoral roll.

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Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said after casting her ballot earlier in the day, that it believes that Denmark may be more united than ever on EU policy.

Due to the defense opt-out, Denmark could not participate in EU military operations or cooperation regarding the development and acquisition of military capabilities within the EU framework. The country was not obligated to provide military support or supplies to EU-led efforts in conflict zones, nor to participate in any operational decisions or planning.

In March, the Danish Parliament decided to hold a referendum on defense on June 1 due to mounting concerns over the Russia-Ukraine military conflict.

Denmark aims to meet the NATO countries' target defense spending of 2 percent of GDP by 2033, with efforts starting to be made in 2024, according to the agreement.

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