In 1992, the "euro" was established under the Maastricht Treaty. In order to get into the European Monetary Union, you had to be a country which showed some measure of fiscal responsibility. There were benchmarks, called economic convergence criteria, that you had to meet. Two of these were:
1) Government deficit below 3% of GDP 2) Government debt not to exceed 60% of GDP
According to what I've heard and read, the U.S. would currently fail these 2 benchmarks for fiscal responsibility.
Back in about 1982 I was in Denmark looking at some sailboats. There were a number of fairly large, wooden boats that were being converted from North Sea fishing boats to recreational sailing vessels. Just one small part of the condition for their being admitted to the EU was that Denmark reduce the size of its fishing fleet - they were taking up more than their 'share'. (Had I been willing to go with a boat of 40ft or longer, and fairly heavy in displacement, I could have had a great deal. I felt sorry for the Danes. They are a very honest people as cultures go and it was clear that some of the sleazier elements of Europe were taking advantage of them.)
Just to be clear, you are talking about requirements for Denmark's membership in the EU, which is different from being a member of the European Monetary Union. Denmark, I believe, is a member country of the EU which did not join the EMU. In other words, I think that they have their own, non-"euro" currency.
Sweden and the UK are the other members of the EU who did not join the EMU.
As a Swede (who recently lived in Denmark) I can only second the opinion that the Nordic countries got taken advantage of by having to do all sorts of concessions to be allowed to join. Basically we were forced, under threat of heavy import/export taxes, to join and as such the major players could decide what the conditions should be and we had very little wriggle room. Since Swedens economy is mainly based on export of goods this was of course perceived as a big threat and we ended up joining. But we never joined the fiscal union, and as Ed points out neither did Denmark and England. I for one am happy that that is the case. Norway never joined any of them and they seem to be doing just as well as before (and they were not forced under threat of hefty fines to reduce their fishing fleet).
With 20/20 hind-sight I guess we can now say that even quite a lot of the EMU countries did not qualify for the EMU - and probably never have since! This should have been obvious to a lot of people and an interesting question is why no one blew the whistle earlier? Or, if people did, why didn't anyone listen?
[an error occurred while processing this directive]