The following opinion piece was written by Kathrine Richter, country lead of Volt Denmark, and published in Altinget, a digital newspaper on Danish politics.
The existing parties have lost their edge and this is why the Erasmus generation have stepped up and founded a new party.
A party which transcends borders in the best sense of the word and with the overall purpose of changing the way politics is being done in Europe and in our respective countries, by engaging as many as possible in the decision making process.
In Denmark, we need a fundamentally pro-European party and this is Volt. It is time to recognize that Denmark is part of a greater union and we must therefore have a party which looks beyond our own borders. For Volt, it is not necessarily about how the individual Dane should behave – it’s about putting the Danish ideas in play in a European and global context.
The removal of our reservations
This is why we have to look very critically at the Danish EU opt-outs and actively work to create a new understanding in the Danish conversation and the Danish mentality of why the reservations must go.
Our legal cooperation must be strengthened, we should strengthen our police and their ability to act and we should for example be able to collect student debt abroad. This means removing the legal opt-out.
Our Danish Krone has been tied in a number of communities; first in Scandinavia from 1870s with Sweden and Denmark, later the German Mark in the 1980s and finally with the Euro. Our currency is fixed and we therefore lack the possibility to exert one of the traditional monetary tools: the devaluation.
It is time we take our small, open economy and take part, fully and completely in the financial community so we can influence the economic policies in Europe.
We are a proud member of NATO and Danish troops fight bravely and effectively in the world’s hotspots. It is time we take a step towards our European neighbours and remove the defense opt-out that disable us from taking part in EU led efforts in conflict zones.
It is our clear opinion that we benefit greater by directing ourselves towards the EU cooperation than continue to put our faith in USA.
So what can Volt do?
We want to make Denmark a proactive partner in the European community.
We want to challenge the foot-dragging attitude towards the EU which is so prevalent among certain politicians. Latest, the Social Democrats who do not want to challenge the opt-outs.
By having a European platform we are able to work across borders and we can benefit from each other to sharpen our solutions.
It is difficult for Danish parties to ask Danes to change their habits – if the rest of the world doesn’t. We therefore need a Pan European party that is not only focused on climate and take this seriously, but also have the infrastructure and the ambitions to act.
We do not have to first negotiate about what we want – we have already laid out our overall ambitions in a 189-page document.
As is evident from the document, these are no easy solutions and it is completely right that we make policies that stretch well over the next election period.
This makes Volt an antithesis to the populist agendas which sell short sighted ideas based on fear.
Status quo is not the aim, development is!
Country Lead in Volt Danmark