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Federal Republic of Denmark
Flag of Denmark
Motto: none
Anthem: Der er et yndigt land
Capital. Copenhagen
Largest City. Copenhagen
Official languages Danish
Recognized regional languages Faeroese, Greenlandic
Demonym Danish
Plural Danes
Government

 - President
Republic
Lise Groth
FormationFederal Republic of DenmarkJanuary 1, 2000
Population
 - 2009 census
.

6.534.980
GDP (PPP)
 - Total
 - Per capita
2009 estimate
$403.201 billion
Currency
Kroner (DKK)
Gini 24.4
HDI 0.955
Drives on the Right
Internet TLD .dk

Denmark (Officially: Federal Republic of Denmark danish: Den føderale republik Danmark) is a country in northern Europe located in the southest part of Scandinavia.

The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Greenland (Grønland), Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), The faeroe islands (Færøerne), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea; before the digging of the Kiel Canal water passage to the Baltic was possible only through the three channels known as the "Danish straits".

Denmark is a constitutional federal republic with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark has a federal level government, state governments in 5 states and local governments in 108 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone. Denmark is a founding member of NATO and the OECD. Denmark is also a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Planetary Alliance for Freedom.


Denmark, with a mixed market capitalist economy and a large welfare state, ranks as having the world's highest level of income equality. Denmark has the best business climate in the world, according to the U.S. business magazine Forbes. From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world", based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2009 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after New Zealand. In 2009, Denmark was ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking second only to New Zealand.

History

From prehistoric to 1998 see History of Denmark

From monarchy to republic (2007 - 2009)

In the 2007 parliament election in Denmark, a new party called Republicans (republikanerne) was running for the election for the first time. There main issue was to abolish the monarchy and replace it with a republic. In the beginning most people laughed at the party saying it would never happen. The weeks up to the election, the republicans had a very aggresive election campaign, and won more and more support. On the night of the election the party got a great result with 85 seats out of 179 in parliament giving them, together with the social-liberal party, majority of the parliament. It was the biggest numer of seats ever won by a single party. Many royalists were angry and accused the republican for electoral fraud. There was a recount, but that didn't change anything.

In December 2007 the primeminister announced that a constitutional referendum would be held in maj 2008 to solve the question if Denmark should abolish the monarchy. The republicans, The social liberals and the socialist peoples party was for while the Liberal party and th Danish Peoples party were against. Right before the referendum in 2008 the queen of denmark held a speech to the public stating that "I will do whatever my people want me to do. what's best for enmark is best for me". It was analysed by many, that the queen had surrendered, and many blame that speech for beeing the doom of monarchy in Denmark.

In the referendum 65% voted yes and 31% voted no. Denmark ha abolished the monarchy. 1 january 2000 the federal republic of Denmark was declared. The first President was the former prime minister Jack Hansen from the republicans. He held office untill december 2009 when the first free presidential election was held.

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; Endangered Species Act. These agreements have helped in the reduction in CO2 emissions by Denmark.

Denmark was ranked as the 10th best country in the world for "Living Green" by a 2007 Readers Digest survey.,[49] and Copenhagen is recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world.[50] Much of the city's success can be attributed to a strong municipal policy combined with a sound national policy, in 2006 Copenhagen Municipality received the European Environmental Management Award. The award was given for long-term holistic environmental planning. Recently many of Denmarks smaller Municipalities such as Lolland and Bornholm have also become environmental leaders. Denmark is home to four of the worlds ten largest central solar heating plants (CSHP).

Copenhagen is the spearhead of the bright green environmental movement in Denmark. In 2008, Copenhagen was mentioned by Clean Edge as one of the key cleantech clusters to watch in the book The Cleantech Revolution. The city is the focal point for more than half of Denmark's 700 cleantech companies and draws on some 46 research institutions. The cluster employs more than 60,000 people and is characterised by a close collaboration between universities, business, and governing institutions. The capital's most important cleantech research institutions are the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School,[52] 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 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

Administrative Division

Denmark is divided into five states and a total of 104 municipalities. The states were created on 1 January 2009 as part of the abolishment of the monarvhy. At the same time, smaller municipalities (kommuner) were merged into larger units, cutting the number of municipalities from 270 to 104. .

Most of the new municipalities have a population of at least 20,000 people, although a few exceptions were made to this rule.

The Ertholmene archipelago (96 inhabitants (2008)) is neither part of a municipality nor a region but belongs to the Ministry of Defence.

States

  • Zealand
  • Funen
  • Jutland
  • Greenland
  • Faeroe Islands

Economy

Denmark's mixed economy features efficient markets, above average European living standards, and high amount of free trade. Denmark ranks 16th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita and ranks 5th in nominal GDP per capita.

According to World Bank Group, Denmark has the most flexible labour market in Europe; the policy is called flexicurity. It is easy to hire, fire, and find a job. Denmark has a labour force of about 3.9 million. Denmark has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree holders in the world. GDP per hour worked was the 10th highest in 2007. Denmark has the world's lowest level of income inequality, according to the UN, and the world's highest minimum wage, according to the IMF. As of June 2009 the unemployment rate is at 6.3%, which is below the EU average of 8.9%.

Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD, and The Economist. According to rankings by OECD, Denmark has the most free financial markets in EU-15 and also one of the most free product markets.

Denmark has a company tax rate of 25% and a special time limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is both broad based (25% VAT, not including excise, duty and tax) and has the world's highest income tax.

Denmark's national currency, the krone (plural: kroner), is de facto linked to the Euro through ERM. The exchange rate is pegged at approx. 7.45 kroner per euro. The government has met the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (the common European currency—the Euro) of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU), but Denmark, in a September 2000 referendum, rejected The Monetary Union. The Government of Fogh Rasmussen, re-elected in November 2007, announced a new referendum on the euro for 2008 or 2009 at the latest.[66]

Denmark is known from the Danish cooperative movement within among others farming, the food industry (Danish Crown), dairy production (Arla Foods), retailing (Brugsen), wind turbine cooperatives, and co-housing associations.

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. Denmark has the 9th highest export per capita in the world. Main exports include: machinery, animals and foodstuff, chemicals and oil and gas.[68] 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 3% of GNP foreign debt or more than 300 billion DKK. Also of importance is the sea territory of more than 105,000 km² (40,000+ sq mi).

Denmark has ranked as the world's 11th most free economy, of 162 countries, in an index created by the Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation, the Index of Economic Freedom 2008. The Index has been categorised as using inappropriately weighted indicators for economic freedom, leading to wealthy and/or conservative countries with barriers to trade placing high on the list, while poor and/or socialist countries with fewer restrictions on trade place low. The Index has only a 10% statistical correlation with a standard measure of economic growth at GDP per capita. Neither does the Index account for the actions of governments to nurture business in the manner of the Japanese Zaibatsus during the late 20th century that helped lead to the Japanese economic miracle.


Education

The Danish education system provides access to primary school, secondary school, and most kinds of higher education. Attendance at "Folkeskole" or equivalent education is compulsory for a minimum of 9 years. Equivalent education could be in private schools or classes attended at home. About 99% of students attend elementary school, 86% attend secondary school, and 41% pursue further education. All college education in Denmark is free; there are no tuition fees to enroll in courses. Students in secondary school or higher may apply for Student Support which provides fixed financial support, disbursed monthly.

Primary school in Denmark is called "den Danske Folkeskole" ("Danish Public School"). It runs from the introductory "kindergarten class"/0'th grade ("børnehaveklasse"/ "0. Klasse") to 10th grade, though 10th grade is optional. Students can alternatively attend "free schools" ("Friskole"), or private schools ("Privatskole"), i.e. schools that are not under the administration of the municipalities, such as christian schools or Waldorf Schools. The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, ranked Denmark's education as the 24th best in the world in 2006, being neither significantly higher nor lower than the OECD average.

Following graduation from Folkeskolen, there are several other educational opportunities, including Gymnasium (academically oriented upper secondary education), Higher Preparatory Examination (HF) (similar to Gymnasium, but one year shorter), Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX) (with focus on Mathematics and engineering), and Higher Commercial Examination Programme (HHX) (with a focus on trade and business), as well as vocational education, training young people for work in specific trades by a combination of teaching and apprenticeship.

Gymnasium, HF, HTX and HHX aim at qualifying students for higher education in universities and colleges.

Denmark has several universities; the largest and oldest are the University of Copenhagen (founded 1479) and University of Aarhus (founded 1928).

Folkehøjskolerne, ("Folk high schools") introduced by politician, clergyman and poet N.F.S. Grundtvig in the 19th century, are social, informal education structures without tests or grades but emphasising communal learning, self-discovery, enlightenment, and learning how to think.

Military

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 Danish Navy and 6,050 in the Danish Air Force (all including conscripts).

The Danish Emergency Management Agency (Danish: 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 Defense Intelligence Service. Furthermore around 55,000 serve as volunteers in the Danish Home Guard (Danish: Hjemmeværnet).

The Danish Defence has around 1,400 staff in international missions, not including standing contributions to NATO SNMCMG1.

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