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Ian Manners, foto.

Ian Manners


Ian Manners, foto.

The Danish Opt Outs from the European Union : developments since 2000 (Executive Summary)


  • Ian Manners

Summary, in English

This report examines developments since 2000 in relation to the areas covered by the four Danish EU opt-outs, including developments that can be assumed to be consequences of the Lisbon Treaty. The report also evaluates the impact on Denmark within each opt-out area as well as on Denmark’s position in EU.

Since 1993, Denmark has had four opt-outs covering defence policy, the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), Union citizenship, and Justice and Home Affairs (JHA). The opt-out for Union citizenship has no practical significance today, but in the three other areas the consequences now are considerably greater than they were in 2000. The Lisbon Treaty will further increase the significance of the Danish opt-outs, especially in relation to JHA.

In general, the areas affected by the Danish opt-outs have changed during the last 16 years in ways that were hardly foreseeable when they were formulated in 1992. These developments have been influenced by two closely linked sets of changes: First, extensive changes have occurred at the global, European and national levels; and second, a new agenda has emerged in the EU, with different political priorities.

The wars in former Yugoslavia, terror attacks in New York, Madrid and London, increased pressure of immigration at EU’s borders, a growing need for immigrant labour, and recent years’ global financial problems have been the driving forces behind EU member states’ attempts to create a strong EU security and defence policy, expanded judicial cooperation and improved coordination of economic and financial policy. This has meant that today these policy areas are three of EU’s fastest growing projects with highest priority. Furthermore, since 1992, the number of EU members has more than doubled. This expansion represents a development that Denmark has warmly supported and which has in many ways essentially changed the EU. Finally, Denmark has also undergone considerable changes – e.g. public sector and labour market reforms, tightened immigration policy and revised security and defence policy. These SUMMARYdevelopments have contributed to changing the context for the EU opt-outs.








Danish Institute for International Studies


  • Political Science


  • Denmark
  • European Union
  • Treaty on European Union
  • opt-outs
  • reservations
  • Security and Defence Policy
  • Justice and Home Affairs
  • Economic and Monetary Union Union
  • Union Citizenship