Denmark

DENMARK

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Denmark Wikipedia



This article is about the European country. For other uses, see Denmark (disambiguation).
Kingdom of Denmark
Kongeriget Danmark
Red with a white cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side
FlagCoat of arms
Anthem: 


Der er et yndigt land


There is a lovely country

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Kong Christian stod ved højen mast[N 1]


King Christian stood by the lofty mast
Location of  Denmark[N 2]  (dark green)– in Europe  (green & dark grey)– in the European Union  (green)  –  [Legend]
Location of  Denmark[N 2]  (dark green)
– in Europe  (green & dark grey)

– in the European Union  (green)  –  [Legend]
Kingdom of Denmark: Greenland, the Faroe Islands (circled), and Denmark.
Kingdom of Denmark: Greenland, the Faroe Islands (circled), and Denmark.
Capital


and largest city
Lesser coat of arms of Copenhagen.svg Copenhagen


55°43′N 12°34′E / 55.717°N 12.567°E / 55.717; 12.567
Official languagesDanish
Recognised regional languages
  • Faroese
  • Greenlandic
  • German[N 3]
Demonym
  • Danish
  • Dane
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary


constitutional monarchy
 - MonarchQueen Margrethe II
 - Prime MinisterHelle Thorning-Schmidt
LegislatureFolketing
Establishment
 - Consolidationc. 10th century 
 - Democratisation

(Constitutional Act)
5 June 1849 
 - Danish Realm24 March 1948[N 4] 
Area
 - Denmark[N 2]42,915.7 km2 (133rd)

(16,562.1) sq mi
 - Greenland2,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi)
 - Faroe Islands1,399 km2 (540.16 sq mi)
Population
 - Jan 2014 estimate5,627,235 (113th)
 - Greenland56,370[N 5]
 - Faroe Islands49,709[N 5]
 - Density (Denmark)130/km2


336.7/sq mi
GDP (PPP)2013 estimate
 - Total$211.321 billion[N 6] (52nd)
 - Per capita$37,794 (19th)
GDP (nominal)2013 estimate
 - Total$324.293 billion[N 6] (34th)
 - Per capita$57,998 (6th)
Gini (2012)negative increase 28.1


low
HDI (2013)Increase 0.901[N 6]


very high · 15th
CurrencyDanish krone[N 7] (DKK)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on theright
Calling code+45[N 8]
ISO 3166 codeDK
Internet TLD.dk[N 9]
Denmark Listeni/ˈdɛnmɑːrk/ (Danish: Danmark),[N 10] is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, located southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark[N 11] comprises Denmark and two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. At 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq mi), with a population of around 5.6 million inhabitants, Denmark consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and the Danish archipelago of 407 islands, of which around 70 are inhabited. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. As Scandinavian nation, Denmark shares strong cultural and historic ties with its neighbours Sweden and Norway. The national language, Danish, is very closely related and mutually intelligible with Swedish and Norwegian.

Historically home to the Vikings, the unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Danish rule over the personal Kalmar Union, established in 1397, ended with Swedish secession in 1523. The following year, Denmark entered into a union with Norway until its dissolution in 1814. Denmark inherited an expansive colonial empire from this union, of which the Faroe Islands and Greenland are remnants. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several cessions of territory; these culminated in the 1830s with a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief, military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. Denmark joined NATO in 1949. An industrialized exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century, making the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.

The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy—the current monarch is Queen Margrethe II—organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city and main commercial centre. Denmark[N 2] exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Denmark became a member of the European Union in 1973, maintaining certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.

Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in numerous comparisons of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance, prosperity and human development. Denmark is frequently ranked as the happiest country in the world in cross-national studies of happiness. The country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, has one of the world's highest per capita income, and has one of the world's highest personal income tax rates. A large majority of Danes are members of the National Church, although the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Denmark, along with New Zealand, ranks 1st on the Corruption Perceptions Index, for government transparency and lack of corruption.

Contents

                Etymology

                Main article: Etymology of Denmark
                The etymology of the word Denmark, and especially the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as a single kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centred primarily on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. The issue is further complicated by a number of references to various Dani people in Scandinavia or other places in Europe in Greek and Roman accounts (like Ptolemy, Jordanes, and Gregory of Tours), as well as mediaeval literature (like Adam of Bremen, Beowulf, Widsith, and Poetic Edda).

                Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, and the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave", Sanskrit dhánuṣ- (धनुस्; "desert"). The -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig.

                The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old (c. 955) and Harald Bluetooth (c. 965). The larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's baptismal certificate (dåbsattest), though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ "tanmaurk" ([danmɒrk]) on the large stone, and genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" (pronounced [danmarkaɽ]) on the small stone. The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "tani" ([danɪ]), or "Danes", in the accusative.

                History

                Main article: History of Denmark
                See also: History of Greenland and History of the Faroe Islands

                Prehistory




                The gilded side of the Trundholm sun chariot dating from the Nordic Bronze Age.
                The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age (1800–600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot.

                During the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC – AD 1), native groups began migrating south, although the first Danish people came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age (AD 1–400). The Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, and Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron.

                Historians believe that before the arrival of the precursors to the Danes, who came from the east Danish islands (Zealand) and Skåne and spoke an early form of North Germanic, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by Jutes. They were later invited to Great Britain as mercenaries by Brythonic King Vortigern and were granted the south-eastern territories of Kent, the Isle of Wight among other areas, where they settled. They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed by the invading Angles and Saxons, who formed the Anglo-Saxons. The remaining population in Jutland assimilated in with the Danes.

                A short note about the Dani in "Getica" by the historian Jordanes is believed to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic groups from whom modern Danes are descended. The Danevirke defence structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward and the sheer size of the construction efforts in AD 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king. A new runic alphabet was first used around the same time and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about AD 700.

                Viking and Middle Ages

                Main articles: Viking Age and Kalmar Union



                The Ladby ship, the largest ship burial found in Denmark.
                From the 8th to the 10th century, the Danes, Norwegians and Swedes were known as Vikings. They colonized, raided, and traded in all parts of Europe. Viking explorers first discovered Iceland by accident in the 9th century, on the way towards the Faroe Islands and eventually came across "Vinland" (Land of wine), also known today as Newfoundland, a province in Canada. The Danish Vikings were most active in the British Isles and Western Europe. They conquered and settled parts of England (known as the Danelaw) under King Sweyn Forkbeard in 1013, Ireland, and France where they founded Normandy. More Anglo-Saxon pence of this period have been found in Denmark than in England.
                Large stone containing a carved depiction of Jesus Christ


                Larger of the two Jelling stones, raised by Harald Bluetooth.
                As attested by the Jelling stones, the Danes were united and Christianised about 965 by Harald Bluetooth. It is believed that Denmark became Christian for political reasons so as not to get invaded by the rising Christian power in Europe, Germania, which was an important trading area for the Danes. In that case Harald built six fortresses around Denmark called Trelleborg and built a further Danevirke. In the early 11th century, Canute the Great won and united Denmark, England, and Norway for almost 30 years.

                Throughout the High and Late Middle Ages, Denmark also included Skåneland (Skåne, Halland, and Blekinge) and Danish kings ruled Danish Estonia, as well as the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Most of the latter two now form the state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.

                In 1397, Denmark entered into a personal union with Norway and Sweden, united under Queen Margaret I. The three countries were to be treated as equals in the union. However, even from the start Margaret may not have been so idealistic—treating Denmark as the clear "senior" partner of the union. Thus, much of the next 125 years of Scandinavian history revolves around this union, with Sweden breaking off and being re-conquered repeatedly. The issue was for practical purposes resolved on 17 June 1523, as Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of Stockholm.

                The Protestant Reformation came to Scandinavia in the 1530s, and following the Count's Feud civil war, Denmark converted to Lutheranism in 1536. Later that year, Denmark entered into a union with Norway.

                Early modern history (1536–1849)

                Main articles: Denmark–Norway and Danish colonial empire



                Portion of the Carta marina, an early map of Scandinavia, made around the start of the union with Norway.
                After Sweden permanently broke away from the Kalmar Union in 1523, Denmark tried on two occasions to reassert control over Sweden. The first was in the Northern Seven Years' War which lasted from 1563 until 1570. The second occasion was the Kalmar War when King Christian IV attacked Sweden in 1611 but failed to accomplish his main objective of forcing Sweden to return to the union with Denmark. The war led to no territorial changes, but Sweden was forced to pay a war indemnity of 1 million silver riksdaler to Denmark, an amount known as the Älvsborg ransom. This turned out to be the last great Danish victory over Sweden. In the following decades Sweden gained the upper hand in the battles for supremacy in Scandinavia. Even today Sweden remains the largest Scandinavian country in terms of area and population.

                King Christian used the money from the war reparations to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Glückstadt (founded as a rival to Hamburg), Christiania (following a fire destroying the original city of Oslo), Christianshavn, Christianstad, and Christiansand. Christian also constructed a number of buildings, most notably Børsen, Rundetårn, Nyboder, Rosenborg, a silver mine, and a copper mill. Inspired by the Dutch East India Company, he founded a similar Danish company and planned to claim Ceylon as a colony, but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's Coromandel Coast. Denmark's large colonial aspirations were limited to a few key trading posts in Africa and India. The empire was sustained by trade with other major powers, and plantations – ultimately a lack of resources led to its stagnation.

                In the Thirty Years' War, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran states in Germany but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein was able to invade, occupy, and pillage Jutland, forcing Denmark to withdraw from the war. Denmark managed to avoid territorial concessions, but Gustavus Adolphus' intervention in Germany was seen as a sign that the military power of Sweden was on the rise while Denmark's influence in the region was declining. Swedish armies invaded Jutland in 1643 and claimed Skåne in 1644. According to Geoffrey Parker, "The Swedish occupation caused a drop in agricultural production and a shortage of capital; harvest failure and plague ravaged the land between 1647 and 1651; Denmark's population fell by 20 per cent."

                In the 1645 Treaty of Brømsebro, Denmark surrendered Halland, Gotland, the last parts of Danish Estonia, and several provinces in Norway. In 1657, King Frederick III declared war on Sweden and marched on Bremen-Verden. This led to a massive Danish defeat and the armies of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden conquered both Jutland, Funen, and much of Zealand before signing the Peace of Roskilde in February 1658 which gave Sweden control of Skåne, Blekinge, Trøndelag, and the island of Bornholm. Charles X Gustav quickly regretted not having destroyed Denmark completely and in August 1658 he began a two-year long siege of Copenhagen but failed to take the capital. In the following peace settlement, Denmark managed to maintain its independence and regain control of Trøndelag and Bornholm.



                The Battle of Öland during the Scanian War, between an allied Dano-Norwegian-Dutch fleet and the Swedish navy, 1 June 1676.
                Denmark tried to regain control of Skåne in the Scanian War (1675–79) but this attempt was a failure. Following the Great Northern War (1700–21), Denmark managed to restore control of the parts of Schleswig and Holstein ruled by the house of Holstein-Gottorp in 1721 and 1773, respectively. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality[citation needed] and trade with both France and the United Kingdom and joined the League of Armed Neutrality with Russia, Sweden, and Prussia. The British considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in both 1801 and 1807, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet, in the other, burning large parts of Copenhagen.

                This led to the so-called Danish-British Gunboat War. The British control of the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy and in 1813, Denmark-Norway went bankrupt. The Danish-Norwegian union was dissolved by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. In the treaty the Danish monarchy "irrevocably and forever" renounced claims to the Kingdom of Norway in favour of the Swedish king. After the dissolution of the union with Norway, Denmark kept the possessions of Iceland (which retained the Danish monarchy until 1944), the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.

                Constitutional monarchy (1849–present)




                Den Grundlovsgivende Rigsforsamling – The Constitutional Assembly of the Realm was assembled by King Frederick VII in 1848 to adopt the Constitution of Denmark
                A nascent Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s; after the European Revolutions of 1848, Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849. A two-chamber parliament was established. Denmark faced war against both Prussia and Habsburg Austria in what became known as the Second Schleswig War, lasting from February to October 1864. Denmark was easily defeated and obliged to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia. This loss came as the latest in the long series of defeats and territorial loss that had begun in the 17th century. After these events, Denmark pursued a policy of neutrality in Europe.

                Industrialization came to Denmark in the second half of the 19th century. The nation's first railroads were constructed in the 1850s, and improved communications and overseas trade allowed industry to develop in spite of Denmark's lack of natural resources. Trade unions developed starting in the 1870s. There was a considerable migration of people from the countryside to the cities, and Danish agriculture became centred around the export of dairy and meat products.

                Denmark maintained its neutral stance during the First World War. After the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area without a plebiscite. The two Schleswig Plebiscites took place on 10 February and 14 March 1920, respectively. On 10 July 1920, Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding some 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 square kilometres (1,538 sq mi). The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every 15 June on Valdemarsdag.

                Denmark signed a 10-year non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany in 1939. Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940 – code-named Operation Weserübung – met only two hours of military resistance before the Danish government surrendered. Economic co-operation between Germany and Denmark continued until 1943, when the Danish government refused further co-operation and its navy scuttled most of its ships and sent as many of their officers as they could to Sweden. The government was helpful towards the Jewish minority and the Danish resistance performed a daring rescue operation that managed to get most of them to Sweden and safety shortly before the Germans planned to round up the Danish Jews. Danish citizens volunteered to fight Russia in co-operation with Germany as part of Frikorps Danmark. Iceland severed ties to Denmark and became an independent republic in 1944; Germany surrendered in May 1945; in 1948, the Faroe Islands gained home rule.

                Post-war (1945–present)



                Denmark became a member of the European Union in 1973 and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007.
                After World War II, Denmark became one of the founding members of the European Free Trade Association, NATO, and the United Nations. During the 1960s, the EFTA countries were often referred to as the Outer Seven, as opposed to the Inner Six of what was then the European Economic Community (EEC).

                In 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, Denmark joined the European Economic Community after a public referendum. The Maastricht Treaty, which involved further European integration, was rejected by the Danish people in 1992; it was only accepted after a second referendum in 1993, which provided for four opt-outs from European Union policies (as outlined in the 1992 Edinburgh Agreement). The Danes rejected the euro as the national currency in a referendum in 2000. Greenland gained home rule in 1979 and was awarded self-determination in 2009. Neither the Faroe Islands nor Greenland are members of the Union, the Faroese having declined membership of the EEC in 1973 and Greenland in 1986, in both cases because of fisheries policies.

                Constitutional change in 1953 led to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation, female accession to the Danish throne, and Greenland becoming an integral part of Denmark. The Social Democrats led a string of coalition governments for most of the second half of the 20th century in a country generally known for its liberal traditions. Poul Schlüter then became the first Prime Minister from the Conservative People's Party in 1982, leading a centre-right coalition until 1993, when he was succeeded by the Social Democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

                A centre-right coalition, headed by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, came to power in 2001 promising tighter immigration controls. A third successive centre-right leader, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, was Prime Minister from 2009 to 2011 due to Anders Fogh Rasmussen resigning to become the Secretary General of NATO. The Rasmussen governments were dependent on the right-wing populist Danish People's Party throughout the 2000s to push through legislation, during which time immigration and integration emerged as major issues of public debate. Helle Thorning-Schmidt from the Social Democrats became Denmark's first female Prime Minister in 2011, ending a decade of centre-right rule.

                Despite its modest size, Denmark has participated in generally UN-sanctioned, and often NATO-led, military and humanitarian operations, including: Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Korea, Egypt, Croatia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Libya.

                Geography

                Main article: Geography of Denmark
                Satellite image


                A satellite image of Jutland and the Danish islands. The peninsula in the upper right is Sweden.
                Also related: Geography of the Faroe Islands and Geography of Greenland
                Much of Denmark is highly urbanised, such as Copenhagen, the capital city.
                Beech trees are common throughout Denmark, especially in the sparse woodlands.
                The Danish landscape is characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts.
                Located in Northern Europe, Denmark[N 2] consists of the peninsula of Jutland and 443 named islands (1,419 islands above 100 square metres (1,100 sq ft) in total). Of these, 72 are inhabited, with the largest being Zealand and Funen. The island of Bornholm is located east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden; the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand; and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands. The largest cities with populations over 100,000 are the capital Copenhagen on Zealand; Aarhus and Aalborg in Jutland; and Odense on Funen.

                The country occupies a total area of 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq mi) The area of inland water is 700 km2 (270 sq mi). The size of the land area cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human land reclamation projects (to counter erosion). A circle enclosing the same area as Denmark would be 234 kilometres (more than 145 miles) in diameter with a circumference of 742 km (461 mi). It shares a border of 68 kilometres (42 mi) with Germany to the south and is otherwise surrounded by 7,314 km (4,545 mi) of tidal shoreline (including small bays and inlets). No location in Denmark is further from the coast than 52 km (32 mi). On the south-west coast of Jutland, the tide is between 1 and 2 m (3.28 and 6.56 ft), and the tideline moves outward and inward on a 10 km (6.2 mi) stretch.

                Denmark's northernmost point is Skagen's point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45' 7" northern latitude; the southernmost is Gedser point (the southern tip of Falster) at 54° 33' 35" northern latitude; the westernmost point is Blåvandshuk at 8° 4' 22" eastern longitude; and the easternmost point is Østerskær at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude. This is in the archipelago Ertholmene 18 kilometres (11 mi) north-east of Bornholm. The distance from east to west is 452 kilometres (281 mi), from north to south 368 kilometres (229 mi).

                The country is flat with little elevation; having an average height above sea level of 31 metres (102 ft). The highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 metres (560.56 ft). A sizeable portion of Denmark's terrain consists of rolling plains whilst the coastline is sandy, with large dunes in northern Jutland. Although once extensively forested, today Denmark largely consists of arable land. The country is drained by a dozen or so rivers, and the most significant include the Gudenå, Odense, Skjern, Suså and Vidå—a river that flows along its southern border with Germany.

                The Kingdom of Denmark also includes the much larger, self-governing territory of Greenland, situated near North America and the autonomous territory of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Phytogeographically, the Kingdom belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Arctic, Atlantic European, and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of Denmark proper can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Atlantic mixed forests and Baltic mixed forests. The Faroe Islands are covered by the Faroe Islands boreal grasslands, while Greenland hosts the ecoregions of Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra and Kalaallit Nunaat low arctic tundra.

                Climate

                Denmark has a temperate climate, characterised by mild winters, with mean temperatures in January and February of 0.0 °C (32.0 °F), and cool summers, with a mean temperature in August of 15.7 °C (60.3 °F). Denmark has an average of 121 days per year with precipitation, on average receiving a total of 712 millimetres (28 in) per year; autumn is the wettest season and spring the driest.

                Because of Denmark's northern location, there are large seasonal variations in daylight. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 8:45 am and sunset 3:45 pm (standard time), as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:30 am and sunset at 10 pm (daylight saving time).

                The Faroe Islands has a mean temperature in January of 4.5 °C (40.1 °F), in July the mean temperature was 10.1 in 2012 and all that year it was 6.7 °C (44.1 °F). In 2012 the Faroe Islands had 195 days with precipitation and received a total of 1,262 millimetres (50 in) that year.

                Environment

                Denmark has historically taken a progressive stance on environmental preservation; in 1971 Denmark established a Ministry of Environment and was the first country in the world to implement an environmental law in 1973. To mitigate environmental degradation and global warming the Danish Government has signed the following international agreements: Antarctic Treaty; Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol etc.

                Copenhagen is the spearhead of the bright green environmental movement in Denmark. Copenhagen's most important environment research institutions are the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School, Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy and the Technical University of Denmark, which Risø is now part of. Leading up to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference (Copenhagen Summit), the University of Copenhagen held the Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions conference where the need for comprehensive action to mitigate climate change was stressed by the international scientific community. Notable figures such as Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, Professor Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Report, and Professor Daniel Kammen all emphasised the good example set by Copenhagen and Denmark in capitalising on cleantech and achieving economic growth while stabilising carbon emissions.

                Denmark's greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of value produced has been for the most part unstable since 1990, seeing sudden growths and falls. Overall though, there has been a reduction in gas emissions per dollar value added to its market. It lags behind other Nordic countries such as Norway and Sweden.

                Administrative divisions

                Main articles: Regions of Denmark and Municipalities of Denmark
                Denmark, with a total area of 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq mi), is divided into five administrative regions (Danish: regioner). The regions are further subdivided into ninety-eight municipalities (kommuner). The easternmost land in Denmark, the Ertholmene archipelago, with an area of 39 hectares, is neither part of a municipality nor a region but belongs to the Ministry of Defence.

                The regions were created on 1 January 2007 to replace the sixteen former counties. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger units, reducing the number from 270. Most municipalities have a population of at least 20,000 to give them financial and professional sustainability, although a few exceptions were made to this rule. The administrative divisions are led by directly-elected councils, elected proportionally every four years; the most recent Danish local elections were held on 19 November 2013. Other regional structures use the municipal boundaries as a layout, including the court districts and the electoral wards, which had to be adjusted following the merging of municipalities.

                Regions

                Midtjylland
                Nordjylland
                Syddanmark
                Hovedstaden
                Sjælland
                The governing bodies of the regions are the regional councils with forty-one members elected for four-year terms. The head of the council is the regional council chairman (regionsrådsformand), who is elected by the council. The areas of responsibility for the regional councils are the national health service, social services and regional development. Unlike the counties they replaced, the regions are not allowed to levy taxes, and the health service is primarily financed by a national health care contribution of eight per cent (sundhedsbidrag) combined with funds from both government and municipalities. The wider responsibilities of the counties were transferred to the new, enlarged municipalities.

                The area and populations of the regions vary widely; for example, the Capital Region, which encompasses the Copenhagen metropolitan area and the island of Bornholm, has a population three times larger than that of North Denmark Region, which covers the more sparsely-populated area of northern Jutland. Under the county system certain densely-populated municipalities, such as Copenhagen Municipality and Frederiksberg, had been given a status equivalent to that of counties, making them first-level administrative divisions. These sui generis municipalities were incorporated into the new regions under the 2007 reforms.
                Danish nameEnglish nameAdmin. centreLargest city

                (populous)
                Population

                (April 2014)
                Total area

                (km²)
                HovedstadenCapital Region of DenmarkHillerødCopenhagen1,753,9762,568.29
                MidtjyllandCentral Denmark RegionViborgAarhus1,278,84013,095.80
                NordjyllandNorth Denmark RegionAalborgAalborg581,1157,907.09
                SjællandRegion ZealandSorøRoskilde817,4297,268.75
                SyddanmarkRegion of Southern DenmarkVejleOdense1,203,07712,132.21
                Source: Regional and municipal key figures

                Greenland and the Faroe Islands

                The Kingdom of Denmark is a unitary state that comprises, in addition to Denmark, two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. They have been integrated parts of the Danish Realm since the 18th century, however, due to their separate historical and cultural identities, these parts of the Realm have extensive autonomy and have assumed legislative and administrative responsibility in a substantial number of fields. The Faroe Islands gained home rule in 1948 and Greenland in 1979, having previously had the status of counties

                The two territories have their own home governments and legislatures and are effectively self-governing in regards to domestic affairs. High Commissioners (Rigsombudsmand) act as representatives of the Danish government in the Faroese Løgting and in the Greenlandic Parliament, but they can not vote. These devolved legislatures are subordinate to the Danish Parliament (Folketinget), where the two territories are represented by two seats each. The Faroese home government is defined to be an equal partner with the Danish national government, while the Greenlandic people are defined as a separate people with the right to self-determination.
                Constituent countryPopulation (2013)Total areaCapitalNational parliamentPrime Minister
                 Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)56,3702,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi)Nuuk Coat of Arms.gif NuukInatsisartutAleqa Hammond
                 Faroe Islands (Føroyar)49,7091,399 km2 (540.16 sq mi)Coat of arms of Tórshavn.svg TórshavnLøgtingKaj Leo Johannesen

                Governance

                Main article: Politics of Denmark
                See also: Politics of the Faroe Islands and Politics of Greenland
                Margrethe II,


                Queen since 1972.
                Helle Thorning-Schmidt,


                Prime Minister since 2011.
                The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, in which Queen Margrethe II is the head of state. The monarch officially retains executive power and presides over the Council of State (privy council). However, following the introduction of a parliamentary system of government, the duties of the monarch have since become strictly representative and ceremonial, such as the formal appointment and dismissal of the Prime Minister and other ministers in the executive government. The monarch is not answerable for his or her actions, and the monarch's person is sacrosanct.

                The Economist Intelligence Unit, while acknowledging that democracy is difficult to measure, listed Denmark 4th on its index of democracy. Denmark, along with New Zealand, ranks 1st on the Corruption Perceptions Index, for government transparency and lack of corruption.

                Political system

                Main articles: Folketing and Cabinet of Denmark
                The Danish political system operates under a framework laid out in the Constitution of Denmark. Changes to it require an absolute majority in two consecutive parliamentary terms and majority approval through a referendum (and the referendum majority must constitute at least 40 per cent of the electorate). It has been revised four times, most recently in 1953.



                The debating chamber of the national legislature, the Folketing.
                The Folketing (Folketinget, "the people's assembly") is the unicameral national parliament, the supreme legislative body of Denmark. In theory, it has the ultimate legislative authority according to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty; it is able to legislate on any matter and not bound by decisions of its predecessors. Legislation may be initiated by the government or by members of parliament. All bills passed must be presented before the Council of State to receive Royal Assent within thirty days in order to become law.

                Denmark is a representative democracy with universal suffrage. Membership of the Folketing is based on proportional representation of political parties, with a 2% electoral threshold. Danes elect 175 members to the Folketing, with Greenland and the Faroe Islands electing an additional two members each. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the Prime Minister to ask the monarch to call for an election before the term has elapsed. On a vote of no confidence, the Folketing may force a single minister or the entire government to resign.



                Christiansborg Palace houses the Folketing, the Supreme Court, and the Prime Minister's Office.
                Executive authority is exercised on behalf of the monarch by the Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers, who head ministries. The position of Prime Minister is allocated to the member of parliament who can obtain the confidence of a majority in the Folketing; this is usually the current leader of the largest political party or, more effectively, through a coalition of parties. A single party generally does not have sufficient political power in terms of the number of seats to form a government on its own. Denmark has often been ruled by coalition governments, themselves sometimes minority governments.

                Lars Løkke Rasmussen was Prime Minister from April 2009 until September 2011. He headed a right-wing coalition cabinet consisting of Venstre (a conservative-liberal party) and the Conservative People's Party, with parliamentary support from the national-conservative Danish People's Party. Following the September 2011 election the right wing lost to the opposing left-wing coalition, led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who on 3 October 2011 formed a new cabinet consisting of the Social Democrats, the Danish Social Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party. A second Thorning-Schmidt cabinet was formed on 3 February 2014 following the withdrawal of the Socialist People's Party.

                Judicial system

                Main articles: Law of Denmark and Courts of Denmark
                The judicial system of Denmark is a civil law system divided between courts with regular civil and criminal jurisdiction and administrative courts with jurisdiction over litigation between individuals and the public administration. The Kingdom of Denmark does not have a single unified judicial system – Denmark has one system, Greenland another, and the Faroe Islands a third. However, decisions by the highest courts in Greenland and the Faroe Islands may be appealed to the Danish High Courts. The Danish Supreme Court is the highest civil and criminal court responsible for the administration of justice in the Kingdom.

                Articles sixty-two and sixty-four of the Constitution ensure judicial independence from government and Parliament by providing that judges shall only be guided by the law, including acts, statutes and practice.

                Foreign relations and the military

                Main articles: Foreign relations of Denmark and Danish Defence
                See also: Denmark and the European Union and Military history of Denmark
                Foreign relations are substantially influenced by membership of the European Union (EU), which Denmark joined in 1973. It held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on seven occasions, most recently from January to June 2012. Following World War II, Denmark ended its two-hundred year long policy of neutrality. It has been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since its founding in 1949, and membership in NATO remains highly popular. Denmark is today pursuing an active foreign policy, where human rights, democracy and other crucial values are to be defended actively. In recent years Greenland and the Faroe Islands have been guaranteed a say in foreign policy issues such as fishing, whaling, and geopolitical concerns.



                Danish MP-soldiers conducting advanced law enforcement training.
                The Kingdom of Denmark's armed forces are known as the Danish Defence (Danish: Forsvaret). During peacetime, the Ministry of Defence in Denmark employs around 33,000 in total. The main military branches employ almost 27,000: 15,460 in the Danish Army, 5,300 in the Royal Danish Navy and 6,050 in the Royal Danish Air Force (all including conscripts). The monarch is commander-in-chief of the Danish Defence, and serves as chief diplomatic official abroad.

                The Danish Emergency Management Agency (Beredskabsstyrelsen) employs 2,000 (including conscripts), and about 4,000 are in non-branch-specific services like the Danish Defence Command, the Danish Defence Research Establishment and the Danish Defence Intelligence Service. Furthermore around 55,000 serve as volunteers in the Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet).

                The country is a strong supporter of international peacekeeping. The Danish Defence has around 1,400 staff in international missions, not including standing contributions to NATO SNMCMG1. The three largest contributions are in Afghanistan (ISAF), Kosovo (KFOR) and Lebanon (UNIFIL). Between 2003 and 2007, there were approximately 450 Danish soldiers in Iraq. It has been involved in coordinating Western assistance to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) in the Alliance.

                Economy

                Further information: Economy of Denmark



                Lego bricks are produced by The Lego Group, headquartered in Billund.
                Denmark has a modern, prosperous and developed mixed economy, ranking 21st in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita and 10th in nominal GDP per capita. A liberalisation of import tariffs in 1797 marked the end of mercantilism and further liberalisation in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century established the Danish liberal tradition in international trade that was only to be broken by the 1930s. Property rights have enjoyed strong protection. Denmark's economy stands out as one of the most free in the Index of Economic Freedom and the Economic Freedom of the World. Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD and The Economist. The country also ranks highest in the world for workers' rights. It has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree holders in the world. GDP per hour worked was the 13th highest in 2009. Denmark has the world's lowest level of income inequality, according to the World Bank Gini (percentage), and the world's highest minimum wage, according to the IMF.

                As a result of its acclaimed "flexicurity" model, Denmark has the most free labour market in Europe, according to the World Bank. Employers can hire and fire whenever they want (flexibility), and between jobs, unemployment compensation is very high (security). The World Bank ranks Denmark as the easiest place in Europe to do business. Establishing a business can be done in a matter of hours and at very low costs. Denmark has a competitive company tax rate of 25% and a special time-limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is broad based, with a 25% VAT, in addition to excise taxes, income taxes and other fees. The overall tax burden (sum of all taxes, as a percentage of GDP) is estimated to be 46% in 2011.

                Once a predominantly agricultural country on account of its arable landscape, since 1945 Denmark has greatly expanded its industrial base so that by 2006 industry contributed about 25% of GDP and agriculture less than 2%. Denmark is known for its cooperative movement within the food industry (Danish Crown), dairy production (Arla Foods), retailing (Brugsen), and community wind energy, among other areas. Many large companies are also headquartered in Denmark, such as: A.P. Moller – Maersk Group (shipping), Vestas (wind turbines), Carlsberg (brewery), Danske Bank (banking), DONG Energy (power and natural gas), ECCO (shoes), H. Lundbeck (pharmaceuticals), Novo Nordisk (pharmaceuticals), Coloplast (pharmaceuticals), Danfoss (industrial services), Grundfos (pump manufacturer) and Lego Group (toys).



                Denmark is part of the Schengen Area and the EU single market, although it has opted out of the Eurozone.
                Denmark's currency, the krone (DKK), is pegged at approximately 7.46 kroner per euro through the ERM. Although a September 2000 referendum rejected adopting the euro, the country in practice follows the policies set forth in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union and meets the economic convergence criteria needed to adopt the euro. The majority of the political parties in the parliament are for the euro, but as yet a new referendum has not been held, despite plans; scepticism of the EU among Danish voters has historically been strong.

                Support for free trade is high – in a 2007 poll 76% responded that globalisation is a good thing. 70% of trade flows are inside the European Union. As of 2011[update], Denmark has the 10th highest export per capita in the world. Denmark's main exports are: industrial production/manufactured goods 73.3% (of which machinery and instruments were 21.4%, and fuels (oil, natural gas), chemicals, etc. 26%); agricultural products and others for consumption 18.7% (in 2009 meat and meat products were 5.5% of total export; fish and fish products 2.9%). Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has for a number of years had a balance of payments surplus while battling an equivalent of approximately 39% of GNP foreign debt or more than DKK 300 billion.

                StatBank is the name of a large statistical database maintained by the central authority of statistics in Denmark. Online distribution of statistics has been a part of the dissemination strategy in Denmark since 1985. By this service, Denmark is a leading country in the world regarding electronic dissemination of statistical data.

                Energy




                Middelgrunden, an offshore wind farm near Copenhagen.
                Main article: Energy in Denmark
                Denmark has considerably large deposits of oil and natural gas in the North Sea and ranks as number 32 in the world among net exporters of crude oil and was producing 259,980 barrels of crude oil a day in 2009. Most electricity is produced from coal, but 25–28% of electricity demand is supplied through wind turbines. Denmark is a long-time leader in wind energy, and in May 2011[update] Denmark derived 3.1% of its gross domestic product from renewable (clean) energy technology and energy efficiency, or around €6.5 billion ($9.4 billion). Denmark is connected by electric transmission lines to other European countries. On 6 September 2012, Denmark launched the biggest wind turbine in the world, and will add four more over the next four years.

                Denmark's electricity sector has integrated energy sources such as wind power into the national grid. Denmark now aims to focus on intelligent battery systems (V2G) and plug-in vehicles in the transport sector.

                Transport

                Main article: Transport in Denmark



                Copenhagen Airport is the largest airport in Scandinavia and 15th busiest in Europe.
                Significant investment has been made in building road and rail links between regions in Denmark, most notably the Great Belt Fixed Link, which connects Zealand and Funen. It is now possible to drive from Frederikshavn in northern Jutland to Copenhagen on eastern Zealand without leaving the motorway. The main railway operator is DSB for passenger services and DB Schenker Rail for freight trains. The railway tracks are maintained by Banedanmark. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are intertwined by various, international ferry links. Construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, connecting Denmark and Germany with a second link, will start in 2015.

                Copenhagen has a Metro system, the Copenhagen Metro, and the Greater Copenhagen area has an extensive electrified suburban railway network, the S-train. In the four biggest cities - Copenhagen, Århus, Odense, Aalborg - light rail systems are planned to be in operation around 2020. The light rail in Greater Copenhagen will traverse 11 municipalities, providing a much needed corridor from Lyngby in the north to Ishøj in the south . With Norway and Sweden, Denmark is part of the Scandinavian Airlines, and Copenhagen Airport forms the largest hub in Scandinavia.

                Cycling in Denmark is a common form of transport, particularly for the young and for city dwellers. With a network of bicycle routes extending more than 12,000 km and an estimated 7,000 km of segregated dedicated bicycle paths and lanes, Denmark has a solid bicycle infrastructur
                Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark )
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