On 3 December the Danes voted “No” to ending Denmark's opt-out on the EU’s justice and home affairs rules. Enhedslisten - the Red-Green Alliance are very happy about the result, which we see as a “No” to less democracy and less legal certainty – but not a “No” to international cooperation.
With 53 % of the voters voting “No” and a high turnout of 72 % of eligible voters the Danes stated a clear message to both the Danish yes-parties and EU. The Danes decided to keep the opt-out model and not pass on decisive power to the EU on important parts of Danish legal policies. At that way insisting on democracy and legal certainty.
Half of the “No” votes came from voters who usually vote for parties in the red block, even though the Red-Green Alliance was the only party in the block that recommended a “No”. After the referendum, the Red-Green Alliance has gone up in polls to 10.2 percent against 7.8 percent in the June 2015 parliamentary elections. It also stands out, that wealthy neighborhoods to a much higher degree supported the pro-EU political parties by voting “Yes”, while the poor neighborhoods voted “No”.
An important part of the “No” is a growing leftist skepticism towards an undemocratic EU, which stands for austerity and has left millions of Europeans unemployed after the crisis. In the Red-Green Alliance, we see it as our responsibility to give a voice to the left wing EU-skepticism while insisting on a more democratic international cooperation.
We believe that it is important to cooperate with the rest of Europe and indeed the rest of the world. We have to find joint solutions to the refugee situation and the climate crisis, while joining each other in the fight against transnational crime. However, we must insist on democracy being the core of the cooperation. Democracy and international cooperation are in no way mutually exclusive.
With the referendum, the voters rejected the pro-EU political parties and it became clear that there is a new EU policy in Denmark.
The Prime Minister and the pro-EU parties have misread the population and must now re-think the EU politics, and summon all the parliamentary parties to the negotiations of a new policy.
The Red-Green Alliance is insisting on a more transparent and democratic cooperation in Europe. We believe it is urgent to find a solidary solution to the refugee crisis and to put an end to social dumping caused by EU's liberal internal market. We have also put forward a suggestion of a parallel agreement on Europol.
The Red-Green Alliance strongly believe in European cooperation, but find that it is decisive that the cooperation is based on democracy, legal certainty and self-determination.