From Kommunistisk Politik
No. 21, October 14, 2000

Two Speeds in the European Union – and Denmark is in the Trailer

After the rejection of the adoption of the euro as the national currency in Denmark at the referendum of September 28, the yes-government and the political parties that campaigned for an yes vote to the euro have expressed that they no longer have trust in the population. The EU train is running and it looks like it is running with two different speeds! Denmark is in the trailer. What must the anti-Union movement do?

Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen of the Social Liberal Party has announced that after the Danish rejection of the euro, "one will probably see a "two-speed" EU. Denmark is against this, but cannot hinder that countries like Germany, France and Italy, which are the most willing countries to more EU integration, are rushing."

The strategy of the yes camp after the referendum

The talk about a "dialog" and a "national compromise" in the evening of the day of the referendum ceased quickly. The no camp must not be given any "influence". "The Nice mandate of the yes-parties will remain," it was said.

In return, there should be held "people’s hearings", that is, public meetings of EU propaganda.

The daily The Boersen sums up the strategy of the yes camp after the referendum in the following way in its editorial on October 2, entitled "The Agenda after the No": "The no should not, however, only have economic consequences, that is, that the government abandons its idea, put forward in the draft budget for 2001, of posing more taxes on the business and industry, but political consequences as well. It will be a long and hard struggle before another referendum can be held. The precondition is that a larger part of the population will accept the development of the European cooperation. And even though the national election campaign has started, this is a task of all the yes-parties and the Danish business and industry, working together in a cross-party collaboration. Whether existing organisms like the European Movement can be used, or new ones have to be created, is of minor importance. What is important is that the work begins as soon as possible so that Denmark does not replace its present B-membership of the EU, which is rather a C-membership, with a membership that is even poorer, or none at all, in an upcoming referendum. This is the real agenda after the no."

The mouthpiece of the capital is completely aware of that the Danes will not become happier with the Union in the years to come where fast steps towards the United States of Europe will be taken, with the Nice Treaty in December, the series of tax, social and other reforms, the citizen rights charter, which can later be incorporated in a real constitution, and the army build-up as new steps. All this is on the agenda of the Nice Summit and the time hereafter.

According to the plan of Schroeder and Co., a government conference with the participation of all EU member state governments shall adopt a real constitution.

Staking everything on one throw?

Of course, the Danish yes camp is completely aware of the above-mentioned scenario and the resistance to all aspects of it in the population who because of this shall not be convinced or become supporters of it, but merely be persuaded to "accept the development". Having in mind the time perspective, it is very likely that the yes camp will go for an "everything or nothing referendum" up to, or in connection with, a EU constitutional conference or maybe stake everything on one throw a little before, in 2002-03.

Everything or nothing – all provisos at the same time, complete affiliation to what will be present at the time of the referendum – this is, at least, a probable scenario. The method of taking the provisos one by one turned out to be a boomerang.

At the same time, the yes camp will reject any referendum until they are able fully to decide its agenda; the yes camp will furiously oppose a referendum on The Nice Treaty, a referendum, which the whole no camp must demand. The tactical game like in 1992 is persistent and ongoing. This time, both popular movements, the People’s Movement against the EU and the June Movement, are left out in the cold, and the Socialist People’s Party, the Unity List (Red-Greens), the Conservative People’s Party and the Danish People’s Party are all treated individually in the parliamentary play in this situation where elections to parliament are coming up.

Now: Fight for Danish secession from the EU!

The situation on which the working class and the consistent resistance to the EU must prepare themselves is fundamentally to agitate for the ability of "Denmark" to stand outside the EU and that this is the best, in any case, for the majority of the Danish population.

In order to win the above-described referendum, the struggle for winning the lukewarm EU-opponents and the sceptical EU-supporters, who in total constitutes about one third of the entire population and is comprised of both yes and no voters in the September 28 referendum, is very decisive and is going to be very hard. This one third of the population includes no voters who support the reformist Socialist People’s Party and the far right-wing Danish People’s Party that both are in favour of the EU, of a "two-speed EU" etc., but are against the euro and more Union integration, as well as doubters who were pushed to vote yes.

We can assume, approximately, that the consistent resistance to the Union, working for getting Denmark completely out of the EU, makes out about one third of the entire Danish population. The consistent EU-supporters constitute another third.

Therefore, this struggle has to start now on the basis of the popular unity that was achieved by the no (53.1 %). We have analysed the social composition of the no camp. This composition is as it should be and it can be extended considerably. Politically, it is more fragile, comprising of people who vote Pia Kjaersgaard (national leader of the Danish People’s Party), of "centre" Social Democrats, of the left wing and of a number of political parties which all can get "influential posts" by betraying the no.

The workers’ no and the consistent no must, in order to win the battle for secession from the EU, be at the head of the anti-Union movement. How? This demands a careful thought, careful planning, a good programme based on the interaction between the two right no’s, with the workers’ no as the core.

No support for a Union government!

The actual situation after the no shows fully the fragility of the no camp: Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen of the Social Democratic Party and Minister of Economy Affairs Marianne Jelved of the Social Liberal Party did not even resign after having suffered a clear defeat at the referendum as would have been normal according to present parliamentary practice, partly because the referendum was a defeat for the openly bourgeois opposition, too, and partly because of the many-sided weakness of the no camp.

Instead of resigning, Nyrup Rasmussen could open the parliamentary sessions, delivering a very foggy opening speech and stay in power. Instead he could start working towards a "red state budget" by trying to get the support of the Socialist People’s Party and the Unity List (Red-Greens) that he needs so badly, thereby splitting the no camp. Both these parties are willing to help out Nyrup Rasmussen of his difficult situation, to give him and his government new legitimacy by getting a few "red fingerprints" on the state budget. They are both absolutely crazy about being able to vote for a state budget.

Obviously, the working class has no interest in saving Nyrup Rasmussen; to vote for a state budget together with the top Union government is an overt treachery to both the working class and the consistent resistance to the EU.

Nyrup Rasmussen should have resigned immediately after the referendum, but the national elections are coming up. The result of these can be an openly bourgeois government, the result of Nyrup Rasmussen’s own policy, or less probable, Nyrup Rasmussen stays in power, but with some kind of mandate.

Especially in this situation, in these elections, the only possible line for defending the interests of the working class and the people is, on the basis of the no and as the consequence of the struggle for securing and broadening it, not to support any of the two government alternatives – they are both Union, NATO and anti-workers’ governments – and not to support any of the nominated parties which all support their own anti-popular bloc.

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