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The Europeanization of the Danish Defense or How to Square the Circle of the Defence Opt Out

Conflict
European Union
Foreign Policy
Security
Søren Dosenrode
Aalborg Universitet
Søren Dosenrode
Aalborg Universitet

Abstract

The Europeanization of the Danish Defense or How to Square the Circle of the Defence Opt Out After the first Danish ‘no’ to the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, four Danish opt outs were allowed at the Edinburg Summit in November 1992, to pave the way for a new referendum in 1993. One of them was the one on defense. Over the last 26 years the four opt outs have been kept – in spite of governmental wishes to abolish them, or some of them (referendum on joining the EMU in 2000 and on abolishing the one on Justice and Home Affairs 2015). Previous analysis have shown that the Danish Ministry of Foreign affairs as well as the Ministry of Defenses would be ready from day one, if the opt outs should be lifted. But how about the tactical level? Has there been a ‘secret’ preparation of the armed forces, or has Europeanization stopped at that level? This is the research question of this paper. The empirical material consists of interviews with all commanders at regimental level in Denmark, as well as with the commanders of the Royal Danish Army, Air force and Navy.