Thorsten Borring Olesen


Since becoming a member of the European Community in 1973, Denmark has conducted seven referenda on its involvement in the process of European integration. Five of the referenda have produced a ‘yes’ to accession and further integration while the remaining two have resulted in ‘noes’. The Danish approach of using referenda, of claiming opt-outs after ‘noes’ and of setting up parliamentary controls to check government policy in Brussels has been a way of checking Europeanization - in this article termed ‘denmarkization’. For a long period, the two processes of Europeanization and denmarkization have co-existed and helped to create equilibrium and legitimacy behind Danish European policy. However, this seems to have changed lately as denmarkization by centre-right and populist parties no longer appears efficient in safeguarding Danish sovereignty in the vital welfare domain. This has provoked a situation in which Europeanization and denmarkization according to the interpretation of this article are heading for collision, which will necessitate some form of reconfiguration of Danish European policy. This article investigates and discusses this dual-faced aspect of the Danish membership experience and finally raises the question of whether this experience finds parallels in other EU member states


Article Keywords

Danish EU policy, Europeanization, integration, euro-scepticism, future of EU

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