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A Smart State Handling a Differentiated Integration Dilemma? Concluding on Denmark in the European Union?

Lee Miles, Anders Wivel

Denmark has traditionally been portrayed as an outlier when it comes to European integration. Depicted as an 'anxious' or 'reluctant' European and a member of the 'other', i.e. Nordic, European Community, this respective view has been commonplace both at the elite and at the public level within Denmark and among discussions within other states on Denmark. This paper tells a slightly different and more complex story of Denmark and the European Union, and seeks to present a more nuanced appreciation of Denmark in the European Union. Playing the game of differentiated integration in a Union characterized by increasing diversity, Denmark has accepted Europeanization as a fundamental condition for policy-making, even in policy areas affected by the Danish opt-outs. From this point of departure, the paper explores Denmark may be seen as an active European handling a differentiated integration dilemma.

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