EU Support Surges in Denmark as Brexit Scare Spreads in Nordicsby
Denmark became the latest Nordic country to experience rising public support for the European Union, defying predictions that a U.K. vote to exit would inspire other euro-skeptic corners of the bloc.
According to a Voxmeter poll published by Ritzau on Monday, 69 percent of Danes now back EU membership, up from 59.8 percent in a poll held prior to the U.K. vote. The poll also found that the proportion of respondents wanting a U.K.-style referendum had fallen to 32 percent from 40.7 percent.
“This poll confirms that nobody wants to put themselves in the kind of mess the British have created for themselves,” said Marlene Wind, a professor in political science at the University of Copenhagen. "Prior to the Brexit vote there were lots of predictions that a British exit would trigger others to put their EU membership on the line.”
Rather than stoking anti-EU sentiment, the financial and political chaos that’s enveloping the U.K. is for now shoring up support for the beleaguered bloc. The Spanish election following the Brexit referendum showed a revival for the main establishment party, while polls across the Nordic region have also indicated rising backing for the EU.
Ahead of the June 23 U.K. vote, analysts had warned of a possible "domino-effect" in other countries that have a lukewarm relationship with the EU. Like Britain, Denmark joined the bloc late, didn’t adopt the euro and has negotiated a number of opt-outs over the years.
A post-Brexit survey in Finland released last week also saw a surge in support for EU membership to 68 percent, from 56 percent in March.
In the other Nordic country’s EU member, Sweden, backing for EU membership was 52 percent, according to a TNS Sifo poll held on June 26. A Statistics Sweden survey published on June 2 put such backing at 49 percent.
The Brexit vote had generated "a wake-up call across Europe," with citizens now seeing it as "a big gamble" and associating it with "uncertainty," Wind said.
The leaders of Denmark, Sweden and Finland have all pledged to stay in the EU in the wake of the U.K. decision.