EU-undantagen skadar Danmark

Ian Manners

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftBidrag til avis - Kronik


Time has run away from the Danish EU exemptions from the EU. Denmark has no say in the EU's major challenges, writes Ian Manners, coordinator of the Danish exception report and Senior Researcher and Head of the EU Unit at the Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS.

In the context of discussions on the Lisbon Treaty, it is easy to forget that Denmark sixteen years ago, in 1992, also said no to a treaty reform. Yesterday featured Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS, an impact assessment report on this no for the Danish Folketing. The report was commissioned in November 2007 by the parliament's EU committee to investigate the consequences of remaining outside the EU cooperation in a number of areas.

The exceptions came at a time when the EU was facing a number of changes after the Cold War. Danish concerns about what these changes might mean result that the Danish people rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The Danish government emerged thus the areas of cooperation within the EU do not want to participate in: the third level of the EMU - the euro - supranational cooperation on justice and internal affairs, RIA, as well as security and defense policies - including the citizenship of the Union. No other Member State has made such representations even though the EU has doubled in size from 12 to 27 members. In all three areas, the consequences of remaining outside the EU cooperation has become increasingly apparent.

Denmark has since 1982 maintained a fixed exchange rate against the German mark (to 1999) and then against the euro. This means that the Danish central bank's main goal has been to maintain the value of the Danish krone against the euro. This has been done by directly following the European Central Bank, ECB, exchange rates and by intervening in the money market when deemed necessary. The consequence is that the Danish exchange rates set by the ECB in Frankfurt. Besides this shadowing policy of the euro implies exclusion a number of other expenses.

The most important consequence of remaining outside EMU cooperation is that Denmark is a member of either the ECB's Governing Council or the so-called Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers. Both of these groups are important decisions related to the current and future direction of the EU's economic policy.

Denmark is also mainly outside cooperation in justice and internal affairs, RIA. A large part of this cooperation, such as the European Court and the European Parliament, fell within the EU's remit as a result of the Treaty of Amsterdam 1997th This means that Denmark since 1998 have had only partial participation in areas concerning cooperation in both asylum as civil matters through limited parallel agreements.

A large part of EU cooperation on border controls, asylum, immigration and judicial cooperation is thus without Danish participation. Denmark, still as an equal partner in the intergovernmental cooperation on policing and criminal justice, but these issues are expected to become part of the EU's area of ​​responsibility in the near future which means that Denmark is again left out. During the 2003-2004 year intergovernmental conference to entrenched itself Denmark a potential addition to the EU Treaty, which allows to re-join the parts of RIA. For this to happen, however, the Lisbon Treaty enter into force and Danish voters must vote yes in a referendum.

The third main area of ​​cooperation outside Denmark is the EU's security and defense policy, SFP, where Denmark is only involved in the civilian aspects of EU external policies. This non-participation has led to Denmark's withdrawal from peacekeeping operations.

Denmark does not UN-sanctioned humanitarian and peacekeeping missions, such as the mission in Chad. Moreover, is not participating in the European Defence Agency and has little influence in discussions about future military and peacekeeping structures in the EU.

Since participation in all these areas is dependent on intergovernmental and parliamentary approval appears Danish non-participating contradictory and difficult to understand for most other EU, NATO and UN members.

1992, it was still uncertain whether there would be any EU cooperation in these areas, but sixteen years later, these domains gradually emerged as three of the main EU. Europe of today is a very different place - who could have predicted ethnic genocide in Yugoslavia, global terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid and London, and the global economic upheavals associated with higher energy and food prices?

To agree on a coordinated EU response to these challenges is complicated by the Danish opt-outs, while Denmark has no influence in the areas related challenges. There is no simple task to clarify the implications of three so complex technical areas EMU, RIA and SFP, but it is important to note that these are not just affecting Denmark but also affect Sweden, Europe and worldwide.

Bidragets oversatte titelEU exemptions hurt Denmark
AvisSydsvenska Dagbladet
StatusUdgivet - 30 jun. 2008
Udgivet eksterntJa

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