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Denmark

The Red-Green Alliance on the referendum in Denmark

Wednesday 2 December 2015, by Red-Green Alliance

On December 3rd Danes will vote on whether or not to end Denmark’s opt-out on the EU’s justice and home affairs rules and at the same time join 22 specific EU legislative acts. Enhedslisten - the Red-Green Alliance recommends a NO.

A question of democracy and transparency

We are campaigning in favor of democracy and transparency. We want to keep the opt-out model so that the people continue to have democratic access to formulation of legal policies. We do strongly believe in European cooperation, but we find it decisive that the cooperation is based on democracy, legal certainty and self-determination.

It is about much more than Europol

The yes side has chosen Europol as focus of their campaigns, but it is important to underline that the referendum is about much more than Danish participation in Europol. The 22 specific EU legislative acts is about as different subjects as marriage, parental custody, legal rights, police cooperation etc.

If we change the opt-out EU will have decisive power over important parts of Danish legal policies. More and more power will be transferred from the Danish parliament to the EU without the population being asked.

For international cooperation

It is urgent that we cooperate in Europe and internationally. We need to find international solutions to international crime, the climate crisis and not least to find a solution based on solidarity to tackle the current refugee crisis. But the cooperation should always be based on democracy and local decision-making. This is possible through intergovernmental cooperation as we know it from The Council of Europe. If we keep the opt-out Denmark are in no way hindered in participation in a strong European cooperation nor in intergovernmental juridical cooperation.

We have seen how the EU-elite has blackmailed the Greek population, while not recognizing the Greek democracy. We are very worried about this development, and find that it is utmost urgent to say no to further restrictions of the democracy in the European countries.

Securing legal certainty

The opt-out model is an important guaranty of legal certainty for the citizens. If we change the opt-out new rules will be applicable in Denmark and courts of other European countries will be able to make decisions that Denmark has to apply without taking them to a Danish court. This will mean a lack of transparency and thereby limit legal certainty. Today no one has a full overview of all the rules in the EU countries, therefore, Danish citizens will not know which rules apply.

Furthermore, the so-called Passenger Name Record (PNR) scheme, which will include mass surveillance of citizens, is a serious violation of fundamental freedoms, the right to privacy and to freedom of movement.

The PNR scheme requires storage of all data collected by airlines about passengers including information such as email, credit card details, travel routes, phone numbers, fellow passengers, meals e.g.

We believe that it is important to keep the opt-out if we want to secure democracy and legal certainty.

The Danish opt-outs: Denmark has four opt-outs from the EU cooperation following the rejection of the Maastricht Treaty in a 1992 referendum. The opt-outs concern the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and the citizenship of the European Union.