On July 1, Denmark takes over the rotating Presidency of the European Union (EU) – at least in part. The country’s complex system of treaty exemptions – the so-called opt-outs – means that Danish ministers will head negotiations in policy areas where Denmark has chosen to stay outside certain provisions. In crucial areas such as defence and monetary policy, Greece will be presiding.
In recent months, politicians – notably those in Pia Kjaersgaard’s Danish People’s Party – have captured international headlines with moves to tighten national asylum and immigration legislation. Paradoxically, the opt-out on justice and home affairs has the unintended consequence that the Danish government may set the EU agenda in this high-proﬁle policy area, but will not necessarily be implementing legislation adopted under its supervision.