På et officielt besøg hos EF-kommissionen den 18. juli 1967 gav Tyge Dahlgaard (1921-1985) (S), minister for nordiske anliggender og europæiske markedsspørgsmål, udtryk for den betydning som Danmark tillagde et dansk EF-medlemskab. Besøget i EF-kommissionen lå i forbindelse med Danmarks anden ansøgning om optagelse i EF. Danmark søgte første gang i 1961 sammen med bl.a. Storbritannien. Den danske regerings ansøgning var foranlediget af Storbritanniens beslutning om at søge optagelse i EF. Man havde betydelige handelsinteresser med Storbritannien, hvorfor Danmark betingede en eventuel optagelse i EF med Storbritanniens ditto. Samtidig kunne man retfærdiggøre ansøgningen over for de øvrige lande i EFTA-samarbejdet (de syv). Den franske præsident Charles de Gaulle så med stor skepsis på Storbritanniens optagelse i EF og nedlagde derfor veto herimod i 1963, hvorfor Danmark efterfølgende trak sin ansøgning tilbage.
I løbet af 1966 kom den danske landbrugseksport til specielt Tyskland under pres, hvorfor flere ønskede, at Danmark uden hensyntagen til Storbritannien og de øvrige EFTA-lande skulle genoptage ansøgningen til EF. Men en ansøgning udenom Storbritannien var dog ikke en politisk mulighed. I oktober 1966 blev Jens Otto Krag underrettet om, at den britiske regering ville undersøge mulighederne for at genoptage forhandlingerne med EF, og 11. maj 1967 kom det til en sådan ansøgning. Danmark fulgte trop samme dag, efter at de fire gamle partier havde givet sit tilsagn (Venstre, Socialdemokratiet, Det Konservative Folkeparti og Det Radikale Venstre). Herefter forsøgte regeringen at overbevise EF-landene om den danske vilje til at blive en del af EF. Hertil tjente også Thyge Dahlgaards besøg hos EF-kommissionen. I talen, som ses nedenfor, berøres primært markedsspørgsmålenes betydning for Danmark. Den franske præsident, Charles de Gaulle, var dog fortsat skeptisk og nedlagde endnu engang veto (27. november 1967) mod briternes optagelse. Den danske regering ønskede - ligesom i 1961 - ikke at fortsætte forhandlingerne.
Udtalelse af Tyge Dahlgaard
By Letters of June 6 and June 29, 1967, the European Communities informed the Danish Government, in response to Denmark’s application of May 11, 1967, for membership of the Communities, that the Council had decided to implement the procedures provided for in the relevant provisions of the treaties. The Danish Government wish to make the following statement in amplification of the observations made when the applications were submitted.
There is wide support in the Danish parliament and in the general public, of the decision to apply for membership. The Danish application for membership implies that Denmark is ready to undertake all the obligations set out in the treaties establishing the three Communities and the rules adopted on the basis of these treaties. Denmark wants to take full part in the work of the Communities and to contribute to their further economic and political development in consonance with the objectives of the treaties. Thus, Denmark aims at contributing actively towards the efforts of Western Europe to meet the great challenges of our time, be it within Europe or in Europe’s relations with the rest of the world.
Denmark has remained to the fore of Western European countries outside the European Communities in insisting upon the need to achieve broad European integration. This policy is natural for Denmark in view of her geographical position, the heavy concentration of her economic relations on countries in Western Europe, the vulnerability of a substantial part of Danish exports to Western Europe, and Denmark’s fundamental political interests in that Continent.
When Denmark joined the European Free Trade Association, one of the basic considerations was that the primary objective of this Organisation was to achieve broad European integration. The Danish Government recognize that the European Communities have created the strongest foundation seen so far, both in substance and in structure, for unification of the Western European countries. The Danish Government demonstrated this view already in 1961 by applying for membership of the European Communities together with the United Kingdom, reaffirming at the same time the Danish acceptance of the principles embodied in the Bonn Declaration of 1961.
Denmark’s entry into the European Communities together with the United Kingdom, accompanied by as many other EFTA countries as possible, would be in true harmony with the aims which Denmark has pursued in European economic integration since the mid-fifties and contribute decisively towards fulfilling the objectives of economic co-operation in Europe since the last war. Denmark can take her proper place in the Communities without upsetting their internal balance and without disturbing their character.
Denmark is prepared to take such action as will be necessary to implement Danish entry into the Communities. Danish membership will require no modifications of the treaties, except for such adjustments as the admission of a new member country implies (participation in the Institutions and financial contributions to the Communities).
The Danish Government hope that other EFTA countries will apply for and be enabled to conduct negotiations for membership or other suitable arrangements with the Communities. In view of the close ties existing between the Nordic countries it is the earnest wish of the Danish Government that satisfactory solutions be found to the relations of the other Nordic countries with the Communities. To this end, the elimination of duties in intra-EFTA trade should remain in force for a certain period of time if that is necessary to allow any EFTA country a reasonable time for completion of its negotiations with the Communities.
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The Danish Government wish to explain their views on the following specific questions connected with Danish entry into the European Communities:
(1) A short period of adjustment will probably enable Danish industry to adjust itself to the new conditions of competition, following the removal of trade barriers and Denmark’s adoption of the common external tariff. Practical and technical reasons may indicate a need in the new member countries as well as in the Communities for additional short-term adjustment. The Danish Government expect that balance will be maintained between the interests of present and new member countries with regard to the substance, duration and geographical scope of any such adjustment.
(2) Adjustments in Denmark to the EEC common agricultural policy could probably be completed prior to Denmark entering the Communities. Hence, there is no need for a transitional period in respect of Danish agriculture.
(3) Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the EEC concerning incorporation of the British food market in the EEC common agricultural policy will have a decisive impact on vital Danish interests. Danish participation in these negotiations from the very beginning and, in a suitable manner, currently through the negotiations is therefore essential to Denmark.
(4) Efforts will be made to complete the necessary adjustment of Danish rules and regulations to those of the Communities in matters falling within the purview of the economic union by the time of Denmark entering the Communities.
Consultations may be required on certain practical questions relating to the implementation in Denmark of the Community rules, i.e. where such rules stipulate time limits or apply to only a few of the present member countries. Consultations may also be needed in order to elucidate the manner in which Denmark can meet her obligations most expediently, for instance with regard to social security for migrant workers.
The Danish Government will also appreciate consultations on the implementation of the rules laid down in the Treaty of Rome on establishment, particularly as far as acquisition of farm holdings for commercial purposes is concerned.
(5) In view of the special conditions prevailing in Greenland and the Faroe Islands with regard to constitutional law, economic activity and development, the Danish Government reserve their position with regard to these areas. In consultation with the authorities of these regions the Danish Government will consider the possibility of solutions for the Faroe Islands and Greenland, for instance along the lines adopted for certain French overseas departments in pursuance of Article 227(2) of the Rome Treaty and the Council Decision of February 1964. In view of the preponderant dependence of the Faroe Islands and Greenland on fishing, special attention should be given to the conditions prevailing in the two areas when a future common fisheries policy is formulated for a wider Community.
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Denmark is prepared to accept the existing rules as well as the broad economic and political aims of the European Communities. The Danish Government are therefore convinced that Denmark will be able to contribute fully and constructively to the attainment of these objectives.
Denmark has submitted her application for membership at the same time as the United Kingdom, and the Danish Government expect that Denmark will be given the opportunity to negotiate concurrently with the United Kingdom with a view to Denmark joining the Communities together with that country.
It is the wish of the Danish Government that negotiations may be opened soon so that the extension of the membership can become effective at the earliest convenience.
Greater economic strength and closer political co-operation are the means of achieving greater European influence on the world’s destiny. The means are interrelated. Without economic strength — which clearly requires economic integration of the EEC and EFTA countries — closer political co-operation will exercise a modest impact only. Moreover, without broad economic integration in Western Europe such political co-operation will be difficult to establish. And without political co-operation it is unlikely that economic integration could be carried far.
It is this interplay between the factors determining European unity which is the perspective in and the fundamental reason why the Danish Government and the vast majority of the Danish Parliament wish to join the European Communities.