Update

Large majority wants Danish participation in EU Police cooperation

Summary 81 percent of the Danish population thinks that Denmark should continue to be part of EU cooperation, carried out through Europol, to combat organised crime.

More than four out of five Danes want Denmark to remain part of Europe’s cooperation in the fight against organised crime.
 
81 percent of the Danish population thinks that Denmark should continue to be part of EU cooperation, carried out through Europol, to combat organised crime. However, its opt-out in the field of justice and home affairs will force Denmark to leave the cooperation in 2015, unless we decide to abolish it or find an alternative way to cooperate.
 
This massive support for the cooperation was revealed in a new opinion poll conducted among 1,005 representatively selected Danes aged from 18-74 years by YouGov on behalf of Think Tank EUROPA.
 
Think Tank EUROPA’s Director, Bjarke Møller, believes that the poll’s results put extra pressure on the government to hold a referendum on the legislation.
 
“Denmark risks being thrown out of Europol in the new year, so the matter needs to be resolved urgently. If a referendum is not held before the next general election, Denmark risks being excluded from the EU’s police cooperation for several years. The Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti) has recently called for the Danish opt-out to be retained if it is to support a new conservative government, and this emphasises the importance of reaching a quick resolution.”
 
Minister for Justice Karen Hækkerup recognises that the opt-out is standing in the way of Denmark’s participation in the Europol cooperation:
 
“You cannot both cooperate and maintain reservations in the way they are functioning today, because the situation will change when the new EU regulations come into force. Denmark will end up being stuck outside,” she told the Danish national news (DR News) on Sunday night.
 
The Minister for Justice recently put together a working group which will examine how efforts to combat criminal gangs can be improved. But as an earlier report from Think Tank EUROPA shows, this could be a very difficult task if Denmark cannot cooperate closely with the other countries in Europol.
 
Denmark’s exchange of information with Europol has doubled in just four years, and the Danish police has been diligent in using Europol’s expertise, databases and analyses in its investigation of local, national and international cases.
 
“The majority of voters want full Danish participation in Europol and it is in Denmark’s interest to resolve the issue with a referendum before the next general election,” Bjarke Møller says.

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