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Danes Abandon the Defence Reservation

In our first newsletter, Mouna shares the news from Denmark you might have missed...

On the 1st of June, Danes voted in a referendum on whether to lift the Danish Defence Reservation. 66.9% of Danes voted to abolish the defence reservation, with just 33.1% against. Abolishing the reservation will increase the country’s military spending to 2% of GDP by 2033 and allow Denmark to join EU-led military conflicts. This means that we are no longer solely dependent on NATO as our only military alliance.


It is no secret that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war on European soil has triggered discussions about Denmark’s security policies and shaped the referendum’s outcome. The yes campaigners primarily argued for an increased security network and a Danish presence in the ‘EU community,’ allowing the nation to become more engaged in EU security.


Nevertheless, it is worthwhile considering that the majority of EU-led military missions take place outside of the European continent and have been criticised for being neocolonialist. It is not too widely known, but the European Union has missions in Somalia, Mali, the DRC, and Libya among other places.


With an increase in military spending you might expect spending cuts elsewhere but the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, has claimed that the robustness of the Danish economy allows for increased military spending without cuts or tax increases. Whether this will pan out as Frederiksen envisions remains to be seen.


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