Copenhagen: Danish voters rejected a government proposal to replace the nation`s current opt-out of the EU`s Justice and Home Affairs rules with an opt-in model in a referendum.
With all votes counted, 53.1 percent Danish voters on Thursday said "no" to the proposal while 46.9 percent were in favour. The turnout rate was 72 percent, Xinhua reported.
"I have full respect for the Dane`s decision," Denmark`s Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said.
With a "no", Denmark risks being excluded from the EU`s law enforcement agency Europol as the organisation is set to become a supranational agency controlled by EU justice and home affairs ministers following the 2009 Lisbon Treaty.
Data shows that the Danish police access Europol`s criminal database Europol Information System (EIS) ten times more than other EU member states.
The "yes" camp, led by Rasmussen of the ruling Liberal party as well as the opposition Social Democrats party, believe that "it will be a serious problem for the safety and security of Danes if Denmark is required to leave Europol."
The Prime Minister also warned in his last minute campaigning that "a no vote means drifting away from cooperation, and that creates uncertainty."
In fact, the referendum was largely meant to ensure Denmark`s continued participation in Europol and calls for the adoption of 22 Justice and Home Affairs legislative acts.