Denmark excluded from EU defence plansDenmark excluded from EU defence plans
Denmark has been excluded from the European Union's military plans because of its opt-out from EU's defence cooperation, national radio news channel DR reported Friday. Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller told the parliament's foreign affairs' committee that EU's chief of foreign policy Javier Solana had made it clear that Denmark could not participate in the union's new so-called civilian-military cell within the union's military projects. Solana said Danish officers could not continue to participate in the planning cell as they have since 2000, since the opt-out bars them from participating in possible military operations. The EU-sceptic Danish People's Party and the Red and Green Alliance said they were surprised by the decision. The Radical Liberal Party, however, said the decision showed the 'absurdity of the defence opt-out.'
Is Denmark being punished for their cooperation with the Americans in Iraq, and thus "disloyalty" to the EU?
Troops will remain in Iraq, MPs decide
A broad majority in parliament agreed last week to give the military an extended mandate in Iraq until February 1 2006. The parliament also decided to add DKK 100 million to reconstruction in the country in addition to the 150 million already granted in this year's budget. The decision was made after the Liberal-Conservative coalition government secured the support of the Danish People's Party, the Social Democrats, and the Radical Liberal Party, without the two latter insisting on withdrawal in 2006. National radio news channel DR said, however, that the two opposition parties had pushed through their demand that more emphasis be placed on education and training of Iraqi police and military. Conservative Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller said he was pleased with the deal.