Nearly two-thirds of Danes voted Wednesday in favor of joining the European Union’s common defense policy.
The country’s 30-year policy of opting out ended with an overwhelming majority, or nearly 67%, voting in favor of the move, according to Danish public broadcaster DR.
With the result of the referendum, held after Russia launched its war on Ukraine, Denmark will be able to participate in the EU’s joint military operations and cooperate to develop the bloc’s military capacity.
The idea of Denmark’s involvement in EU defense policies was supported by the Social Democratic government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and nine political parties. However, two far-right parties and one far-left party were opposed to it.
EU satisfied with decision
The EU welcomed the Danish people’s preference for their country to be involved in the bloc’s defense policy.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the move “a historic decision.”
“Yet another important & timely step towards a stronger EU with an even stronger Common Security and Defence Policy,” Borrell said on Twitter.
An EU member since 1973, Denmark held a referendum on the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. In the voting, a special agreement was signed between the EU member states and Denmark with the decision to “reject” the agreement.
According to the deal, Denmark gained the right to follow its own policies on defense, currency, EU citizenship and the EU justice system and decided to be subject to EU rules in other matters.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan
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