BRUSSELS The European Union and Denmark have found a way to continue police cooperation vital to counter-terrorism and crime fighting after Danes voted to leave Europol, the EU said on Thursday.
Foreshadowing Britain's vote to leave the 28-nation bloc in June, the Nordic country last December rejected a government proposal for new laws needed to keep the country inside the European police agency.
Since then, Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has sought a compromise to maintain police cooperation with the EU and access to Europol's database, crucial to acquire information from other EU police forces.
EU leaders Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk said in a joint statement with Rasmussen on Thursday that they had agreed on the need for operational arrangements, to minimise the negative impact of Denmark's departure in May.
The statement confirms what two EU sources had told Reuters on Wednesday.
The new deal will allow Denmark to request data from an Europol agent as long as it remains a member of the border-free Schengen area. The database is crucial to acquire information from other EU police forces.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio in Strasbourg and Teis Jensen in Copenhagen; Additional reporting by Annabella Pultz Nielsen in Copenhagen; Editing by Angus MacSwan)