Department of Law

Europæisk forsvarssamarbejde og det danske forsvarsforbehold: Udredning om udviklingen i EU og Europa på det sikkerheds- og forsvarspolitiske område og betydningen for Danmark

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportReportResearchpeer-review

  • Cecilie Felicia Stokholm Banke, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
  • Christine Nissen, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
  • Jakob Linnet Schmidt, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
  • Mikkel Runge Olesen, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
  • Hans Mouritzen, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
  • Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, Forsvarsakademiet, Denmark
  • Rasmus Brun Pedersen
  • Graham Butler
  • Louise Riis Andersen, Danish Institute for International Studies, Denmark
English title - European Defence Cooperation and the Danish Defence Opt-out: Investigation on developments in the EU and Europe in the field of security and defence policy and the importance for Denmark

This commissioned investigation has been prepared on the request of the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs. It covers the recent developments in the European Union and in Europe regarding security and defence policy, and the importance of the Danish defence opt-out in light of such changes. The analysis is based on interviews with experts, officials, and representatives from the EU, NATO, Denmark, and other Member States, as well as case files in the archive of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to official documents, and existing research.

This has led to the following main conclusions.

- The implications of the Danish defence opt-out has grown over the past ten years, as defence policy co-operation among the other EU Member States has been strengthened.

- The consequences of the defence opt-out - in the form of list influence on matters of importance to broader Danish security interests and defence industrial interests - will increase in the coming years if current international development trends continue.

- Denmark cannot participate in parts of the EU's new defence cooperation, including PESCO and some aspects related to capacity development in cyber security, hybrid threats, and military mobility.

- The number of grey areas where there is doubt about the applicability of the defence opt-out has increased, which has resulted in an indirect expansion of its potential scope.

The report also shows that:

- The defence opt-out has not impacted Denmark's territorial security, which remains anchored in NATO co-operation.

- Denmark can participate in parts of the EU's new defence policy measures because they relate to policy areas outside of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), and instead, are in fields where the European Commission is involved, including in particular, industry, research, and transport policies.

- The defence opt-out in itself does not pose an obstacle for Denmark from acting outside the EU, such as entering into defence policy co-operation with other European states and like-minded partners.

The investigation's analysis demonstrates how European security and defence policy co-operation is being rethought and strengthened, across EU institutions and in a number of fora that are outside of the EU. Denmark participates in some, but not all of these initiatives, because of the defence opt-out. The investigation assesses that the defence opt-out will hamper the protection of Danish interests if, in the future, there is dynamic integration, working towards increased European strategic autonomy, for example, in response to increased division across the Atlantic. Conversely, the defence opt-out will be less important if the EU's defence co-operation stagnates or is rolled back, for example, due to internal disagreement among the Member States
Translated title of the contributionEuropean Defence Cooperation and the Danish Defence Opt-out: Investigation on developments in the EU and Europe in the field of security and defence policy and the importance for Denmark
Original languageDanish
Place of publicationCopenhagen
PublisherDIIS - Danish Institute for International Studies
Number of pages108
ISBN (Print)9788776059859
ISBN (Electronic)9788776059866
Commissioning bodyUdringministeret (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark)
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019

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