- The Danish Parliament Folketinget is situated in Christiansborg. (Photo: Wonderful Copenhagen)
Denmark has a population of 5.51 million and an area of 43,100 km2. It joined the EU in 1973 after a referendum on 2 October 1972.
Denmark has various opt-outs and derogations from the treaties.
- A special protocol allows Denmark to control the purchase of second homes by non-Danish nationals.
- Denmark is not obliged to take part in the single currency and refused to abolish its national currency, the Krone, in another referendum on 28th September 2000.
- Denmark is not bound by first-pillar legislation on Justice and Home Affairs and EU citizenship when it is supra national.
- Denmark does not take part in EU defence co-operation.
Various Danish governments and parliamentary majorities want to get rid of these opt-outs (except for that on second homes), but Danish voters have been reluctant when it came to referendums.
Denmark rejected the Treaty of Maastricht on 2nd June 1992 and called for a new public agenda in Europe oriented to “Transparency, proximity and democracy".
After the Danish “No”, the French President Mitterand organised a French referendum to prove there was a large majority of the French population in favour of Maastricht. Surprisingly that Treaty was only accepted by 51% of the French electorate.
A special declaration of the Edinburgh Summit in December 1992 then guaranteed the Danish opt-outs. This allowed the Treaty of Maastricht to be ratified by all member states - in Denmark on the basis of a Danish “Yes”-vote in a separate referendum on 18 May 1993.
In 2003, the Danish Government proposed that the Danish EU opt-out on legal affairs be changed in a manner enabling the Danish Parliament to make up its mind from case to case and thus prevent Danish immigration and asylum laws being changed by majority decisions in the EU.
- The Danish government was represented in the Convention on the Future of Europe by Henning Christophersen.
- Denmark approved the Lisbon Treaty in April 2008 by a vote in the Danish Parliament. The decision was challenged in the courts by citizens wanting a referendum. The High Court approved the ratification without a referendum.
Danish Government http://www.denmark.dk