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Denmark signals defence funding boost

8th March 2022 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Danish troops in Estonia as part of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence contingent. (Photo: Danish Armed Forces)

The Danish government wants to follow the trend set by European NATO allies with a plan to increase defence spending as a direct result of the Russian war on Ukraine – but there must be a referendum first.

Denmark is the latest European NATO member state to announce that it intends to increase military spending as a percentage of GDP and abolish its opt-out from EU defence mechanisms, in response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

However, the government’s plan to maintain a 2% benchmark until 2033 must be approved by a referendum that will be held on 1 June.

In 2021, the Danish defence budget of DKK36.3 billion ($5.31 billion) equated to 1.47% of GDP. The new plan would see an extra DKK18 billion per year spent on defence, plus an extra DKK7 billion for other investment in the Danish Armed Forces.

Today, Denmark cannot vote on any EU defence policy decisions though it has a say in broader European defence policy discussions. The country cannot fund EU military operations or provide troops or resources to any EU presence in a conflict zone.

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