Denmark Within the EU
If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor mens cottages princes palaces
The European Union is an organization dedicated to the idea of European integration. It ultimate goal is to form a United States of Europe. Given the history of violence and mistrust among European countries it is not difficult to understand why many member nations are reluctant to relinquish national sovereignty on many levels. Each member nation tries to assert its own agenda into the overall picture of the EU and each nation has its own history of relations within the organization.
The financial assistance Denmark received from the Marshall Plan helped ease the countrys currency difficulties and provided vital funds for the import of raw materials and machinery necessary for industrialization (Neal, 124). Membership of the OEEC (now OECD) involved Denmark in the internationalisation of the economy through the dismantling of trade and currency restrictions. Denmark did not participate in the creation of the EEC through the Treaty of Rome, at this point Denmark was in the middle of changing many of its internal structures such as welfare, healthcare, and education. The country did take part, however, in
The relationship with the EC, now the EU, has been a bone of contention ever since 1972. Despite a solid majority in the Danish parliament for continuous membership and further integration, the public has been split in two almost equal halves in all three referendum on this subject. The referendum on the single European market in 1986 produced a majority of just over 56%, but the Maastricht Treaty was rejected on June 2, 1992 by 50.7% no votes. Afterwards the two opposing sides agreed on a national compromise, which allowed Denmark certain opt-out clauses concerning monetary unity and the Euro (the Edinburgh Agreement) (Rerup2, 2). As a result of this compromise a new referendum was passed by voters on May 18, 1993 by a 56.8% majority.
Although Denmark seems reluctant to join with other countries in monetary union, Denmark actively participates in many other arenas of the European Union. Danish foreign policy aims to ensure Danish security by establishing the greatest possible economic wellbeing and promoting Danish standards of right and wrong. The most important element in Danish foreign policy is the EU. The end of the Cold War and the unification of Germany has reinforced this trend. At the same time Germany has become a central foreign policy partner (Holm, 4). The immediate security threat to Danish territory has disappeared. Instead, Denmarks position as a neighbor to the new Baltic states and Poland and to both Scandinavain and European countries has given rise to an active Danish policy aimed at the admission of the Baltic countries into the EU.
Denmark also commits 1% of its gross national income to the work of international development (Holm, 8). The Danish are actively involved in developing aid policies through many international organizations. These aid policies are directed at supporting not only the Baltic and other Eastern European countries but they also seek to support over 20 Third World countries. This aid is designated for the further democratization, training and healthcare, and economic growth, environmental protection, and human rights in these areas.
Denmark must now walk a fine line between what has become two camps within the EU. By choosing to remain outside the Euro camp Denmark is unable to make participate in the key decisions of the European Central Bank and the Economic Council of Ministers. Joining the currency will extend Danish influence into economic matters with which Danes have to live regardless of whether they are members of the euro or note. This rational analysis, however, is not accepted emotionally, and selling European influence in a country that has never really accepted that political union in Europe is part of the future of Denmark (Fallesen,12). The best forecast one can make is that when Britain finally accepts the euro, then Denmark will follow suit. For it will have no choice if it wishes to maintain any sort of influence within the EU as an active member.
Fallesen, Leif Beck. Cliffhanger in Copenhagen. 10/24/01. Available at:
Holm, Hans-Henrik. Denmark-Official Denmark-International Relation. 10/24/01. Available at:
Neal, Larry and Barbezat, Daniel. The Economics of the European Union and the Economies of Europe.New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Rerup, Lorenz and Christiansen, Neils Finn. Denmark-History-Denmark in the International Community 1945-72. 10/24/01. Available at:
Rerup, Lorenz and Christiansen, Neils Finn. Denmark-History-Political Upheaval, Economic Crisis, and Renewed Growth, 1973-98. 10/24/01. Available at: