Analysis: Thoughts on the Thorning government

The signals show that the Thorning-government will be far more pro-Europe, argues Copenhagen postdoc
The signals show that the Thorning-government will be far more pro-Europe, argues Copenhagen postdoc
One of the aims of the new government will be to better integrate Denmark into the European Union, writes Anamaria Dutceac Segesten

For a long time Denmark has had a reputation for euroscepticism among other members of the European Union. Despite information pointing to a slow warming of popular opinion towards Europe (in the latest Eurobarometer, 52 per cent of Danes express confidence in the EU, 42 per cent lack of confidence ), this feeling has been maintained.

This is mainly because of the Danish exceptionalism. Denmark enjoys four exceptions or opt-outs from the acquis: The euro, defense policy, justice and home affairs, as well as union citizenship.

The most recent item on this Eurosceptic agenda has been the proposal, initiated by the right-wing Danish People Party, to reinforce border controls with Germany and Sweden. The proposal, half-heartedly implemented, has raised eyebrows in Brussels and drew negative comments from EU Commission chairman Barroso himself.

Wants referendum

But things are about to change in light of the recent elections that gave birth to a new, centre-left coalition government led by the Social Democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt. The cabinet has for the first time a separate post for European Affairs, taken by the experienced politician and former mayor of Aarhus (Denmark’s second largest city), Nicolai Wammen. The exact duties, beyond the immediate preparations of the upcoming Danish presidency of the Council, starting in January 2012, are not clearly delineated. But the very existence of such a ministerial position is symbolic of the new approach the Thorning cabinet wants to follow in regards to the EU.

Moreover, the changes will apparently not stop at the level of government structure. According to the agenda proposed by the new government, two of the opt-outs are supposed to be opened up for public referendum: The exception on defense policy, and on the justice and home affairs:

»The government wants to strengthen Denmark’s participation in European cooperation and will therefore organize a referendum during the next mandate period on the Danish opt-outs on justice and home affairs, and defense policy.«

Good with a change

The general attitude towards Europe is summed up in the title of one of the chapters of the government’s agenda: 'An active Denmark in a Strong Europe'. In general, it is openly more cooperative, as illustrated in such phrases as »strengthen Europe’s role in the world and Denmark’s role in Europe« or »our EU membership gives us the best platform to affect this development [in terms of the open global economy]«.

The goals of the Danish presidency (in 2012) are: Green and sustainable development, while taking into account the global financial crisis and the climate issue. Denmark wants also a stronger European voice in the international climate negotiations in Rio 2012. The European budget 2014-2020 should be in balance in order to revitalize the european internal market.

The expressions of intent of the Thorning-Schmidt government point towards a far more open, and far more committed Denmark to Europe than in the past ten years. This bides well for the upcoming Danish presidency and for the long term harmonization of Danish and European policies. The beginning of 2012 will reveal whether or not this agenda will lead to concrete measures or will remain largely symbolic.

At any rate, it is good news that there is a change: Even if it is just at the level of discourse.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.

Skriv kommentar

Indholdet af dette felt er privat og bliver ikke vist offentligt.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
Ig Nobel 2014

IG NOBEL- Tre ’skøre’ nobelprisvindere gæster Københavns Universitet for at fortælle om forskning i katteparasitter og isbjørneudklædning og et meget langvarigt fotoprojekt.

KUmmentar Ralf Hemmingsen og Lykke Friis_Michael Daugaard
Debat 26/3-15 6:47 3


DEBAT - Næsten hver uge dukker nye, uforudsete og urimelige konsekvenser af fremdriftsreformen op, mener KU's rektor og prorektor.
Uddannelse 25/3-15 11:20 6

Her kommer de studerende fra

Foto top 10 gymnasier_redigeret2

TOP 10 - Københavns Universitet skal tiltrække flere studenter fra gymnasier i Østdanmark, men hvor kommer der flest fra? Se listen.

Debat 25/3-15 10:58 4

Evaluering af (uoplyste) undervisere

Undervisningsudvalget NBI

DEBAT - Steen Laugesen Hansen mangler indsigt i evalueringsprocessen, når han foreslår at nægte dumpede studerende retten til at evaluere, skriver studenterrepræsentanter fra NBIs Undervisningsudvalg.

Lys og mørke - foto fra
REPLIK - Hans Bondes indlæg om Dark Cosmology Centre er fejlbehæftet og bør ikke afspore den vigtige diskussion om ligestilling inde for videnskab, skriver tre forskere fra centeret.
S tog Ishøj

SOCIAL MOBILITET – Københavns Universitet har forpligtet sig til at gøre mere for at tiltrække flere studenter fra de ti gymnasier i Østdanmark, som universitetet i dag modtager færrest ansøgere fra.

Kontakt redaktionen

Skriv en e-mail til os:

Eller ring til redaktionen på +45 35 32 28 98
(Telefontid mandag - torsdag kl.9.00 - 16.00)

Københavns Universitet

  • Nørregade 10
  • 1165 København K
  • Danmark
  • Tel. +45 35 32 28 98
Uafhængig af ledelsen
Copyright 2009-2014 ©