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On October 2, 1972, the Danes said 'yes' to joining to what was then called the European Economic Community (EEC). More than 63% of those voting cast a ballot in favour of joining the EEC as of January 1, 1973. The 'yes' vote was motivated as much by pragmatic economic concerns as by European idealism, stresses the Danish press, 40 years to the day after the referendum. The press also agrees that, over all, the Danes were right to vote 'yes'.

Yet, the centre-left daily, Information, which, for the occasion, used the same front-page as on October 2, 1972 (Before the Vote: For or Against), wonders about the ability of the EU to respond to the rising problems of democracy such as: "must we act in solidarity with the catastrophic economies of Southern Europe? And can we speak of a democratic community when Germany takes important decisions alone?"

For the centre-right Jyllands-Posten, Denmark has not played a sufficiently active role within Europe. There have been six European referendums in Denmark since 1972 and these have undermined the discussion about Europe in the country. "These lacked nuance, and there was no room to discuss the future development of the Union," the paper notes. This point of view is shared by conservative daily Berlingske, which urges a greater Danish involvement in the European project. To do that, the paper says, the Danish opt-out clauses (regarding the single currency, defence, the free circulation of people and European citizenship) must be discarded. This would also standardise the Danish debate on Europe, the paper says.