Jihadism, migration in focus as Denmark votes on EU opt-out

COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Eurosceptic Denmark goes to the polls Thursday in a referendum on stepping up its participation in EU police and judicial cooperation, with the outcome uncertain amid fears ranging from jihadist attacks to the migrant crisis.


Held three weeks after the Paris attacks that left 130 people dead, the referendum was originally scheduled to take place in 2016 but was moved up so it wouldn’t interfere with the campaign for Britain’s EU referendum, due to be held before 2017.


A majority of left- and right-wing parties in the Danish parliament approved the principle of a referendum in December 2014, despite the opposition of the eurosceptic, anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (DPP).


The party, which emerged as the country’s second-biggest in June legislative elections, has held significant sway over Danish politics for more than a dozen years, providing right-wing minority governments with support to pass legislation in parliament in exchange for its tighter immigration policies.


“More EU? No thanks,” read the DPP’s campaign posters.


The party claims Denmark risks losing control over its immigration policy, a strong argument for voters worried that Denmark could be forced to accept obligatory EU refugee quotas in the future.


The number of asylum seekers in Denmark has only been about a tenth of those received by neighbouring Sweden so far this year.


Read More: Jihadism, migration in focus as Denmark votes on EU opt-out – Yahoo News