After meeting with EU President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels on Friday, Denmark's prime minister said the nation's future in Europol – the EU's law enforcement agency that tackles organized crime, trafficking and terrorism – will have to be “of another character”.
“Full Danish participation cannot happen. I can sense no reluctance whatsoever, but there was a Danish referendum in which the Danes opted not to make use of an opt-in. Therefore, it will be a membership of another character,” Lars Løkke Rasmussen said after his meetings, according to news agency Ritzau.
Rasmussen said that when Europol officially becomes a supranational body on May 1, 2017, Denmark will not be a full member.
He told reporters that he will now pursue a deal with his European colleagues that will bring Denmark as close to full membership as possible, but even that could be difficult.
The PM said that judicial reviews are underway to evaluate exactly how Denmark's relationship to Europol will work and that he wants clarity on the situation by the end of 2016.
Danes solidly rejected the referendum to replace the current opt-out on EU justice and home affairs with an opt-in model. The 'No' side received 53.1 percent of votes, while the 'Yes' camp garnered 46.9 percent, final results showed. Voter turnout stood at 72 percent.