Regions of Denmark
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Scandinavian country in Europe and a sovereign state. The southernmost and smallest of the Nordic countries, it is south-west of Sweden and south of Norway, Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has an area of 42,924 square kilometres. The country consists of a peninsula, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea, Denmark and Norway were ruled together under the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. Denmark and Norway remained under the monarch until outside forces dissolved the union in 1814. The union with Norway made it possible for Denmark to inherit the Faroe Islands, beginning in the 17th century, there were several cessions of territory to Sweden.
In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, 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, the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy, the government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nations capital, largest city and main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs, Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948, in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community in 1973, maintaining certain opt-outs, it retains its own currency, the krone. It is among the members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE.
The etymology of the word Denmark, and especially the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as a 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. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, and the name of the people, from a word meaning land, related to German Tenne threshing floor. The -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with 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 believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth
Constitution of Denmark
The Constitutional Act of Denmark, or simply the Constitution, forms a part of the supreme law of Kingdom of Denmark, applying equally in Denmark and the Faroe Islands. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles of governance and establishes the structure, powers, sections set out fundamental rights and the duties of citizens, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and compulsory military service. The Kingdom is governed on the basis of this Constitutional Act but it is complemented by Royal Law, the Act of Succession and devolution arrangements in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The government of Denmark, as described in Part One of the Constitutional Act, is a system under a constitutional monarchy. In its present form, the Constitutional Act is from 1953 and its adoption ended an absolute monarchy and introduced democracy. Denmark celebrates the adoption of the Constitution on 5 June—the date in which the Constitution was ratified—every year as Constitution Day, the Danish Parliament cannot make any laws which may be repugnant or contrary to the Constitutional Act.
However, Denmark has no court, and establishing such a court would require a constitutional amendment. Changes to the Act must be confirmed by a majority in two parliamentary terms and the approval of the electorate through a national referendum. The Danish Constitution differs from all other Danish laws by virtue of its superseding status, as such, these laws are not permitted to contravene the provisions of the Constitution Act. The main principle of the Constitutional Act was to limit the Kings power and it creates a comparatively weak constitutional monarch who is dependent on Ministers for advice and Parliament to draft and pass legislation. The Constitution of 1849 established a parliament, the Rigsdag, consisting of the Landsting. The most significant change in the Constitution of 1953 was the abolishment of the Landsting, leaving the unicameral Folketing and it enshrined fundamental civil rights, which remain in the current constitution, such as habeas corpus, private property rights and freedom of speech.
The Constitutional Act has been changed very few times, but always with the consent of Danish citizens, the wording in the Act is so general that it can still be applied today, despite major changes in society and political life in the intervening years. However, since Denmark lacks a Constitutional Court, scrutiny of legislation for compatibility with the Constitution is a matter for ordinary courts, significantly this means that the actual testing of compatibility can only be instigated by a citizen or company who is affected by the question. When reading the Danish Constitution, it is important to bear in mind that the King is meant to be read as the government because of the symbolic status. This is a consequence of sections 12 and 13, by which the King executes his power through his ministers, an implication of these sections is that the monarch cannot act alone in disregard of the ministers, so the Danish monarch does not interfere in politics. The Danish Parliament is the power, enacting the laws of the country.
The Cabinet is the power, formally acting out the role of the Monarch
The Folketing, known as the Danish Parliament in English, is the unicameral national parliament of the Kingdom of Denmark. Established in 1849, until 1953 the Folketing was the house of a bicameral parliament, called the Rigsdag. It meets in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, the Folketing passes all laws, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government. It is responsible for adopting the states budgets and approving the states accounts, as set out in the Danish Constitution, the Folketing shares power with the reigning monarch. In practice, the role is limited to signing laws passed by the legislature. The Folketing consists of 179 representatives,175 from Denmark,2 from Greenland, general elections must be held 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 government to resign.
Members are democratically elected by proportional representation,135 by the DHondt method and 40 by the Sainte-Laguë method, the Danish political system has traditionally generated coalitions. Most post-war governments have been minority coalitions ruling with the support of non-government parties, the most recent general election took place on 18 June 2015 and the Folketing reconvened on 6 October. The first sitting of the house was attended by Queen Margrethe II, from 1849 to 1953 the Folketing was one of the two houses in the bicameral parliament known as the Rigsdag, the other house was known as the Landsting. Since both houses, in principle, had power, the terms upper house and lower house were not generally used. The difference between the houses was voter representation, the Folketing was elected by common vote among men and consisted mainly of independent farmers and merchants as well as the educated classes. From 1915 both men and women had the right of vote for both houses, and the Landsting was elected by vote, although indirectly and with a higher age limit than for the Folketing.
During the next decades, law-making mainly took place in the Folketing, in 1953, a revised constitution was adopted by popular vote. Among the changes was the elimination of the Landsting and the introduction of a unicameral parliament, Christiansborg Palace has been the domicile of parliament since 1849. The palace is located in the heart of Copenhagen, winning a seat in parliament requires only 2% of the vote. With such a low threshold, a large number of parties are represented in the chamber, making it all. No party has achieved this since 1901, all Danish governments since have been coalitions or one-party minority governments
Administrative divisions of Greenland
Greenland is divided into four municipalities – Kujalleq, Qaasuitsup and Sermersooq – as well as the large Northeast Greenland National Park which is unincorporated. The Thule Air Base is administered by the United States Air Force, Greenland was originally divided between the two colonies of North Greenland with its capital at Godhavn and South Greenland with its capital at Godthaab. These were directed by inspectors until 1924, when the officials were promoted to governors, the colonies were united in 1940 and the administration centralized at Godthaab. In 1953 a new Danish constitution promoted Greenland to full membership in the Danish state with all of its inhabitants given Danish citizenship, for statistical and some regulatory purposes the country was divided into three divisions in 1951, West Greenland, North Greenland and East Greenland. By 2008, Kitaa had 15 municipalities, Tunu 2, in 1908 Greenland was divided into 63 municipalities with elected municipal councils. After the modernization phase started in the 1950s these were consolidated, the structural reform in 2008-9 created 4 enlarged municipalities
Danish royal family
The Danish royal family consists of the dynastic family of the monarch. All members of the Danish royal family, except Queen Margrethe II, dynastic children of the monarch and of the heir apparent are accorded the style of His/Her Royal Highness, while other members of the dynasty are addressed as His/Her Highness. The Queen is styled Her Majesty, the Queen and her siblings belong to the House of Glücksburg, which is a branch of the Royal House of Oldenburg. The Queens children and male-line descendants belong agnatically to the family de Laborde de Monpezat, the Danish royal family enjoys remarkably high approval ratings in Denmark, possibly ranging from somewhere between 82% and 92%. During this time she was still a Princess of Denmark and thus a member of the Danish royal family, in 2005, her former mother-in-law granted her the additional title of grevinde af Frederiksborg, a personal title which would not be forfeited if Alexandra remarried. When she remarried on 3 March 2007, she lost the style of Highness and titular dignity of Princess of Denmark, until 1953 his dynastic male-line descendants remained in Denmarks order succession.
However, no Danish act has revoked usage of the title for these descendants, neither for those living in 1953. There are three members of the Greek royal family who are not known to bear the title of Prince/ss of Denmark with the qualification of His/Her Highness, the Ducal Family of Schleswig-Holstein descends in the legitimate male line from Christian III of Denmark. Danish princes who marry without consent of the Danish monarch lose their dynastic rights, the ex-dynasts are usually accorded the hereditary title Count of Rosenborg. Female descendants were eligible to inherit the throne in the event there were no surviving male dynasts born in the male line. As for the duchies and Lauenburg where the King ruled as duke, these lands adhered to Salic law, the duchies of Schleswig and Lauenburg were joined in personal union with the Crown of Denmark. That meant that the new King of Denmark would not be the new Duke of Schleswig or Duke of Holstein, in 2009, the mode of inheritance of the throne was once more changed, this time into an absolute primogeniture.
This imposed no immediate change on the line of succession as it was then, of the articles of this law, all except Article 21 and Article 25 have since been repealed. However, those who do reside in Denmark or its territories continue to require the prior permission to travel abroad. The wording excludes those whose blood cannot be traced to a Danish monarch, although all other articles of the Kongelov have been repealed by amendments to the Constitution in 1849,1853 and 1953, these two articles have thus far been left intact. 1Princess Benediktes children have no succession rights, since the children continued to be educated in Germany well past the mandatory schooling age, they are deemed to no longer have succession rights. Line of succession to the British throne Line of succession to the Greek throne Line of succession to the Norwegian throne Kongehuset. dk Official site of the Danish Monarchy
Monarchy of Denmark
The Monarchy of Denmark, colloquially known as the Danish Monarchy, is a constitutional institution and a historic office of the Kingdom of Denmark. The Kingdom includes not only Denmark, but the regions of Greenland. The Kingdom of Denmark were already consolidated in the late 8th century, originally an elective monarchy, it became hereditary only in the 17th century during the reign of Frederick III. A decisive transition to a constitutional monarchy occurred in 1849 with the writing of the first Constitution, the current Royal House is a branch of the princely family of Glücksburg, originally from Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, the same royal house as the Norwegian and former Greek royal families. The Danish Monarchy is constitutional and as such, the role of the monarch is defined and limited by the Constitution of Denmark, the monarch is, in practice, limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister. The monarch and his or her immediate family undertake various official, diplomatic, Queen Margrethe II ascended the throne on the death of her father, King Frederick IX, on 14 January 1972.
On her accession, Queen Margrethe II became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margrethe I, ruler of the Scandinavian countries in 1375‒1412, during the Kalmar Union. Danish regnal names have traditionally alternated between Frederick and Christian, Margrethe has taken the place of a Christian, and accordingly her heir apparent is Crown Prince Frederik. The modern Kingdom of Denmark dates back to Harthacnuts son, Gorm the Old, the first King of a united Scotland was King Kenneth MacAlpin who died around 80 years before Gorm the Old was born. The Danes were united and officially Christianized in 965 CE by Harald Bluetooth, the Jelling stones attests that Harald had won Norway. The son of Harald, Sweyn Forkbeard, mounted a series of wars of conquest against England, the reign of Cnut represented the peak of the Danish Viking age, his North Sea Empire included Denmark, Norway and held strong influence over the north-eastern coast of Germany. The last monarch descended from Valdemar IV, Christopher III of Denmark, Count Christian of Oldenburg, descendant of Valdemar IVs aunt Richeza, was chosen as his successor and became the next monarch of Denmark, ruling under the name Christian I.
Originally the Danish monarchy was elective, but in practice the eldest son of the monarch was elected. Later a Coronation Charter was signed by the king to restrict the powers of the Danish monarch, in 1657, during the Second Northern War, King Frederick III launched a war of revenge against Sweden which turned into a complete disaster. The war became a disaster for two reasons, because Denmarks new powerful ally, the Netherlands, remained neutral as Denmark was the aggressor and Sweden the defender. Secondly, the Belts froze over in an occurrence during the winter of 1657-1658. In the following Treaty of Roskilde, Denmark–Norway capitulated and gave up all of Eastern Denmark, in addition to the counties of Bohuslän, but the Second Northern War was not yet over. Three months after the treaty was signed, Charles X Gustav held a council of war where he decided to simply wipe Denmark from the map
Socialist People's Party (Denmark)
The Socialist Peoples Party is a green and popular socialist political party in Denmark. The SF was founded on 15 February 1959 by Aksel Larsen, Larsen was removed from the ranks of the DKP for his criticism over the Soviet intervention in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Larsen and the new SF sought to form a way between Denmarks United States-oriented social democracy and Soviet Union–oriented communism, which sought to combine democracy with socialism. He was joined by a share of the members of the DKP. They all supported the idea of independence from the Soviet Union, in the 1960 elections the party entered the Folketing with eleven seats. The DKP lost all of its six seats, in the 1964 elections the party lost one seat. During the 1960s the SF became involved in the peace movement and it sought to walk on two legs, by combining its parliamentary work with involvement in grass roots movements. In the 1966 elections the Social Democrats and the SF won a majority in parliament. A Social Democrat minority government was formed, which was supported by the SF, the cooperation lasted only one year, but lead to considerable conflict within the SF, in 1967 the Left Socialists broke away from the SF.
In the subsequent 1968 elections the SF lost nine seats and the VS entered parliament with four, in 1969 the party chairperson Larsen stood down, he was replaced by Sigurd Ømann. In the 1971 elections the party regained ground on the VS, gaining six seats, in 1972 the party led the referendum campaign against Denmarks entry into the European Economic Community. The Danish voters voted in favour of the European by a narrow margin, because of its opposition to the EEC however boosted the SFs membership and support. In the subsequent 1973 landslide elections, the SF lost six seats, in 1974 Ømann stood down as party chairperson in favour of Gert Petersen. In the 1975 elections the SF lost two seats and the VS re-entered the Folketing as well, in 1977 the party reached an all-time low with only seven seats. During the 1970s the SF began to change its program and electoral appeal, where it had been a male-domined workers party it became broader left-wing political party that was oriented towards new voters and new social movements.
It became more focused on the environment and gender politics, in 1979 the party won four seats as the DKP lost its six seats. In the 1981 elections the party almost doubled from eleven to twenty-one, in the 1984 elections it remained stable. In the 1986 referendum on the Single European Act the SF campaigned together with the Social Democrats, the SEA was adopted by a narrow margin
Municipalities of Denmark
Denmark is divided into five regions, which contain 98 municipalities. This structure was established per an administrative reform, effective Monday 1 January 2007 which replaced the counties with five regions, the 270 municipalities were consolidated into 98 larger units, most of which have at least 20,000 inhabitants. The reason was to give the new municipalities greater financial and professional sustainability, many of the responsibilities of the former counties were taken over by the enlarged municipalities. Presented in a report put forward as a proposal by the government in April 2004, the report on the structural reform of the public sector was first presented 9 January 2004 by the commission which was set up by the government 1 October 2002. The archipelago of Ertholmene is not part of any municipality, but is administered by the Ministry of Defence, the existing coat of arms of the municipalities. The average land area of a Danish municipality is 432.59 km2,167.08 square miles, the Constitution of Denmark states, Article 82.
The right of municipalities to manage their own affairs independently, under State supervision,2,522 municipal councillors were elected on Tuesday 15 November 2005 being the first councils elected since the new reform. The number of councillors was reduced to 2,468 in the 2009 elections, in 1997 there were 4,685 municipal and 374 county councillors in the 275 municipalities and 14 counties. As an example of the reduction in the number of councillors, Bornholm had a total of 122 councillors in five municipalities, after the merger on 1 January 2003, of the five municipalities and the county, there was one single municipal council with 27 municipal councillors. These guidelines replaced the old guidelines with the elections in 2005 after the laws initiating the structural reform were passed in parliament. Council elections are held on the third Tuesday of November every four years, the previous were held on 19 November 2013 and the next are due to be held on 21 November 2017. 32 municipalities including those of the recently formed Ærø Municipality and Bornholm Regional Municipality remained unchanged and were not merged with other municipalities, copenhagen County was not included in the municipal reform of 1 April 1970.
This is probably because the municipality was extremely populous. Thus the number of municipalities was 277 from 1 April 1970 to 1 April 1974, the reform is called The municipal reform of 1970, because the decisive changes happened 1 April 1970, when 1098 municipalities were reduced to 277. Also on 1 April 1974, Avedøre, which was part of Glostrup Municipality, was conjoined with Hvidovre Municipality and this combination was logical, as Avedøre bordered Hvidovre, but was separated from Glostrup. This brought the number of municipalities down to 271 from 1 January 2003, the final agreement from 2005 included more parties. Until 1978 the fiscal year from 1 April to 31 March was in use in the sector since a law was passed in 1849. As a consequence of a law passed by the Folketing in 1976, many reforms and laws passed prior to 1979 therefore have effect from 1 April
Social Democrats (Denmark)
The Social Democrats is a social-democratic political party in Denmark. It was the coalition partner in government from the 2011 parliamentary election. After the 2015 parliamentary election, the party is no longer in government, though it is still the largest party in the Danish parliament, founded by Louis Pio in 1871, the party first entered the Folketing in 1884. By the early 20th century it had become the party with the largest representation in the Folketing and it first formed a government in 1924 under Thorvald Stauning, the longest-serving Danish Prime Minister of the 20th century. During Staunings government, the Social Democrats exerted an influence on Danish society. From 2002 to 2016 the party used the name Socialdemokraterne in some contexts, a member of the Party of European Socialists, the Social Democrats have three MEPs in the European Parliament. Since its foundation the lemma of the party has been Liberty and Brotherhood, the leader of the party is Mette Frederiksen. She succeeded Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who stepped down after the left blocs defeat in the 2015 General Election, deputy leaders are Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, and Mogens Jensen.
The secretary general is Henrik Dam Kristensen, the party secretary is Lars Midtiby, in the Cabinet of Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the party had ten ministers including the Prime Minister. The party was founded in 1871 by Louis Pio, Harald Brix og Paul Geleff, the goal was to organize the emerging working class on a democratic and socialist basis. The industrialization of Denmark had begun in the mid 19th century, the social democratic movement emerged from the desire to give this group political rights and representation in parliament. In 1876 the Party held a conference, adopting the first party manifesto. In the 1924 parliamentary elections the Social democratic party won the majority with 36.6 percent of the vote, the same year he appointed the worlds first female minister Nina Bang, nine years after womens suffrage had been given in Denmark. Stauning stayed in power until his death in 1942, his party laying the foundations for the Danish welfare state, in January 1933 Staunings government entered into what was the most extensive settlement yet in Danish politics — the Kanslergade settlement — with the liberal party Venstre.
In 1935, Stauning was reelected with the famous slogan Stauning or Chaos, through the 1940s and until 1972 Denmark was governed by the following Social Democratic prime ministers. 1939 –1955, Hans Hedtoft 1955 –1960, H. C, the Cabinets of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen maintained a parliamentary majority during the period from 1993 to 2001 by virtue of their support from the Socialist Peoples Party and the Red-Green Alliance. Towards the end of the 1990s, a surplus of 30 billion kroner turned into a deficit. To combat this, the government increased taxes, limiting private consumption, after being defeated by the Liberal Party in the 2001 election, the party chairmanship went to former finance and foreign minister Mogens Lykketoft