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FM Lidegaard: Very happy with broad political agreement on JHA opt-in

Today, the Danish government, Denmark’s Liberal Party (Venstre), The Conservative People’s Party (Konservative Folkeparti), and the Socialist People’s Party (Socialistisk Folkeparti) reached a political agreement to hold a referendum to change the opt-out on justice and home affairs within the European Union to an opt-in.

Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Martin Lidegaard states: “I am thrilled that we have concluded a broad agreement making life more difficult for criminals and safer for Danish citizens and Danish companies. At the same time this is a major step for the European policy of Denmark clearly stating our wish to take part in e.g. the police cooperation within the European Union and making sure Denmark will not become a safe haven for criminals, organised crime, and terrorism. Also, the opt-in model is a clear advantage for Denmark and the Danes. We are to decide for ourselves what we want to opt-into. And no one can force us to take part in something against our wish”.

Today, a large majority in the Danish Parliament (Folketinget) agreed on which parts of EU legislation besides Europol to opt-into in order to promote Danish interests within the EU. The agreement on the separate legal acts is based on extensive analyses.

For the parties to the agreement it has been the objective to opt for legislation where cross-border cooperation results in value-added for Denmark. Based on the extensive analyses, the parties to the agreement have decided to work towards opt-in of concrete legislation improving the safety and security of the Danish citizens, as the case of Europol. Mainly in relation to the fight against cross-border crime, but also in relation to the various challenges facing Danish citizens and companies in their every-day engagements across the borders of Europe. Meanwhile, the parties to the agreement has defined, which legislative acts that Denmark will not opt-into such as EU rules concerning asylum and immigration. Danish asylum and immigration policy will continue to be decided solely by the Danish Parliament.

With the agreement of Denmark’s participation in Europol from December 2014 the parties agreed to hold a referendum on the opt-in model after the next general election and no later than the first quarter of 2016.

For further information, please contact:
Press advisor Lars Peter Levy, +45 4190 4124