1992 Danish Maastricht Treaty referendum

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Results by county

A referendum on the Maastricht Treaty was held in Denmark on 2 June 1992.[1] It was rejected by 50.7% of voters with a turnout of 83.1%.[2] The rejection was a blow to the process of European integration, although the process continued. The result of the referendum, along with the "petit oui" in the French Maastricht referendum signaled the end of the "permissive consensus" on European integration which had existed in most of continental Europe until then. This was expressed by Pascal Lamy, chef de cabinet for Jacques Delors, the president of the European Commission, who remarked that, "Europe was built in a Saint-Simonian [i.e., technocratic] way from the beginning, this was Monnet's approach: The people weren't ready to agree to integration, so you had to get on without telling them too much about what was happening. Now Saint-Simonianism is finished. It can’t work when you have to face democratic opinion."[3] From this point forward issues relating to European integration were subject to much greater scrutiny across much of Europe, and overt euroscepticism gained prominence.[4] Only France, Denmark and Ireland held referendums on Maastricht ratification.

As the Maastricht Treaty could only come into effect if all members of the European Union ratified it, the Edinburgh Agreement, negotiated in the months following the referendum, provided Denmark with four exceptions which eventually led to Denmark ratifying the Maastricht Treaty in a 1993 referendum.


Choice Votes %
For 1,606,442 49.3
Against 1,653,289 50.7
Invalid/blank votes 30,879
Total 3,290,610 100
Source: Nohlen & Stöver

By county[edit]

Region For Against Invalid/
Total Registered
Votes % Votes %
Copenhagen & Frederiksberg Municipality 137,578 38.3 221,515 61.7 3,552 362,645 444,174 81.6
Copenhagen County 191,954 48.9 200,458 51.1 3,125 395,537 458,562 86.3
Frederiksborg County 117,367 53.5 101,990 46.5 1,787 221,144 258,239 85.6
Roskilde County 74,092 51.6 69,423 48.4 1,159 144,674 167,297 86.5
West Zealand County 87,208 48.6 92,084 51.4 1,659 180,951 219,313 82.5
Storstrøm County 80,288 48.4 85,692 51.6 1,732 167,712 200,875 83.5
Bornholm County 13,474 49.3 13,875 50.7 440 27,789 35,020 79.4
Fyn County 141,626 48.1 152,999 51.9 2,878 297,503 358,277 83.0
South Jutland County 83,596 54.1 71,052 45.9 1,468 156,116 189,094 82.6
Ribe County 71,337 53.7 61,576 46.3 1,374 134,287 165,303 81.2
Vejle County 108,602 51.9 100,495 48.1 2,051 211,148 254,984 82.8
Ringkjøbing County 94,082 57.5 69,639 42.5 1,763 165,484 200,501 82.5
Århus County 187,219 48.7 197,130 51.3 3,543 387,892 463,044 83.8
Viborg County 75,392 53.6 65,222 46.4 1,629 142,243 174,357 81.6
North Jutland County 142,627 48.7 150,139 51.3 2,719 295,485 372,965 79.2
Source: European Election Database


The opt-outs are outlined in the Edinburgh Agreement and concern the EMU (as above), the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and the citizenship of the European Union. With these opt-outs the Danish people accepted the treaty in a second referendum held in 1993.

The EMU opt-out meant Denmark was not obliged to participate in the third phase of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, i.e. to replace the Danish krone with the euro. The abolition of the euro opt-out was put to a referendum in 2000 and was rejected. The CSDP opt-out originally meant Denmark would not be obliged to join the Western European Union (which originally handled the defence tasks of the EU). Now it means that Denmark does not participate in the European Union's foreign policy where defence is concerned. Hence it does not take part in decisions, does not act in that area and does not contribute troops to missions conducted under the auspices of the European Union. The JHA opt-out exempts Denmark from certain areas of home affairs. Significant parts of these areas were transferred from the third European Union pillar to the first under the Amsterdam Treaty; Denmark's opt-outs from these areas were kept valid through additional protocols. Acts made under those powers are not binding on Denmark except for those relating to Schengen, which are instead conducted on an intergovernmental basis with Denmark. The citizenship opt-out stated that European citizenship did not replace national citizenship; this opt-out was rendered meaningless when the Amsterdam Treaty adopted the same wording for all members. Under the Treaty of Lisbon, Denmark can change its opt-out from a complete opt-out to the case-by-case opt-in version that applies to Ireland whenever they wish.[5]


The June Movement, a Danish eurosceptic party and political organization was founded immediately after the referendum, and takes its name from the event.


  1. ^ Nohlen, Dieter; Stöver, Philip (2010). Elections in Europe: A data handbook. p. 525. ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7.
  2. ^ Eu-oplysningen.dk (in Danish)
  3. ^ Eriksen, Erik Oddvar; Fossum, John Erik, eds. (2000). "Preface". Democracy in the European Union: Integration Through Deliberation?. Routledge. p. xii.
  4. ^ Harmsen, Robert; Spiering, Menno, eds. (2004). Euroscepticism: Party Politics, National Identity and European Integration. Amsterdam: Radopi B.V. p. 25.
  5. ^ Europolitics (2007-11-07). "Treaty of Lisbon — Here is what changes!" (PDF). Europolitics № 3407. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2007-11-22.