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27/09/2016

Paris attacks influence Danes against joining EU’s justice rules

Justice & Home Affairs

Paris attacks influence Danes against joining EU’s justice rules

Crossing into Denmark. [Shutterstock]

One in five Danes is more likely to vote in favour of scrapping the country’s opt-out on EU justice rules after the 13 November Paris attacks, a poll published yesterday (26 November) showed.

The attacks had made 20% of respondents “more likely” or “much more likely” to vote “yes” in a 3 December referendum on whether to replace the opt-out with an “opt-in” model similar to the one used by Britain and Ireland, pollster Megafon found.

“For many Danes, terrorist attacks confirm that you should fight for security and that you should use international cooperation to combat terrorist attacks,” Johannes Andersen, an associate professor of political science at Aalborg University, told broadcaster TV 2.

Next year the European police agency Europol will become a supra-state agency rather than inter-state.

The change means that in order to stay on as a member of Europol, Copenhagen must relinquish the exemption on EU justice and home affairs rules it negotiated after Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, and which gives it sovereignty over security legislation.

But the “no” side believes Denmark could still be able to stay inside Europol by negotiating a so-called parallel agreement.

Voters will be asked whether they think Denmark should drop its opt-out on the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs policies and instead adopt 22 EU legislative acts.

Uncertainty over the consequences of the vote have left many Danes undecided with just a week to go.

The latest poll credited the “yes” side with 41% of voter sympathies, the “no” side with 38%, and 21% of those surveyed undecided.

The results were based on interviews with 1,095 people over the past week.

Danes finally adopted the Maastricht Treaty in 1993 after obtaining four opt-outs: the euro, joint defence, judicial cooperation and European citizenship.