Danish voters have opted to join the EU’s collective security protocol by a substantial majority, in what Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called a “clear signal” to Moscow following its attack on Ukraine.
A referendum to overturn a decades-long policy to remain outside the EU’s defense bloc – formally known as the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) – passed easily on Wednesday, with nearly 67% of voters in favor.
Though Denmark was the only EU state that did not belong to the CSDP due to a 1993 referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, which officially established the union, the prime minister suggested the move was in response to Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.
“We have sent a signal to our allies in NATO, in Europe. And we have sent a clear signal to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” Frederiksen said late Wednesday, after it became clear the referendum would pass, adding: “When Putin invades a free and independent country, when Putin threatens peace and stability, we all move closer together.”