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Kalmar Union
Kalmarunionen
Flag of Kalmar Union
Coat of Arms of Kalmar Union Mid
Flag
Motto: Gud og Fedrelandet
(God and Fatherland)
Anthem: Kronens Sang
The Song of the Crown
Locator Map of Kalmar Union
Location of Kalmar Union
Capital Christiania
Largest city Stockholm
Official languages Norwegian-Danish
Recognised regional languages Swedish, Icelandic, Faroese, Kven and Sami
Government Parliamentary Monarchy
Frederik II of Kalmar Union
Ann Nilsson
Establishment
• Personal Union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden
03 December 1839
• Formal union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden
11 March 1951
Area
• 
3,046,249 km2 (1,176,163 sq mi)Excluding Queen Maud Land
• Water (%)
2
Population
• 2017 census
34,679,700
• Density
11.38/km2 (29.5/sq mi)
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
• Total
$2,218 billions
• Per capita
$63,956
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
• Total
$2,317 billions
• Per capita
$66,811
Currency Kalmar Krone (KK)
Date format DD-MM-YYYY
Drives on the right
Calling code +46
Internet TLD .ku


Kalmar Union is a nation that emerged as a result of the union of the former crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and the later incorporation of Iceland. It was established as a parliamentary monarchy ruled by a Monark (Monarch) with constitutional limited powers but still retaining a very important role.

The role of the Monarchy, as well as that of the Aristocracy, form a fundamental part of the political structure and organization of the state. This fundamental role is based on the widely held idea among the population, that "the nation is something more than its subjects, it is the great society of the living, the dead and those who are about to be born". Under this premise, nation has to be equiped with counterpowers that are above fads, short-term solutions and partisan political decisions that seek no more than immediate or particular interest. The fundamental role of the Monarchy, but also that of the Aristocracy and the Church, is to exercise that counterpower.


History

History of Scandinavian unions

From ancient times the idea of unifying the Scandinavian kingdoms and territories has always been present. Throughout history there have been many attempts that for one reason or another have ended up failing. Despite this, during the last 600 years Scandinavia and the kingdoms that formed it have been longer united than separated. The First Kalmar Union was a personal union that from 1397 to 1523 joined under a single monarch the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden (then including Finland), and Norway, together with Norway's overseas dependencies (then including Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Northern Isles). The Union was not quite continuous; there were several short interruptions. Legally the countries remained separate sovereign states, but with their domestic and foreign policies being directed by a common monarch.

One main impetus for its formation was to block German expansion northward into the Baltic region. The main reason for its failure to survive was the perpetual struggle between the monarch, who wanted a strong unified state, and the Swedish and Danish nobility which did not. Diverging interests (especially the Swedish nobility's dissatisfaction with the dominant role played by Denmark and Holstein) gave rise to a conflict that would hamper the union in several intervals from the 1430s until its definitive breakup in 1523 when Gustav Vasa became king of Sweden and Norway continued to remain a part of the realm of Denmark–Norway under the Oldenburg dynasty for nearly three centuries until its dissolution in 1814 when the Norwegians revolted, declared their independence, and elected crown-prince Christian Frederick (the future Christian VIII of Denmark) as their king. However, the Norwegian independence movement failed to attract any support from the European powers and Sweden declared war on Norway with the intention of annexing it.

From that moment, the king Christian Frederick moved the court to Nidaros and led a campaign of resistance to the Swedish invasion with a guerrilla war that took advantage of the Norwegian orography to wear the Swedish invader for 4 years. In 1818, the European powers began to sympathize with the Norwegian cause and allowed Denmark to come to the aid of the Norwegians. From that moment the course of the war changed radically and in June of 1821 Sweden signed its surrender and the Swedish king abdicated in Christian Frederick who becomes king of Sweden and Norway. Later, in 1839 he ascended to the throne as king of Denmark again unifying the crowns of the three Scandinavian kingdoms, although the three nations remained independent with their own parliaments and institutions in a new Kalmar Union. During the following decades until the 20th century, the three nations developed common elements that would serve to deepen their union, such as the monetary union of 1873, but the political classes of the three nations never wanted to go further.

In the first decades of the twentieth century and thanks to the common currency, there was a flourishing process of industrialization and both domestic and foreign trade. Kalmar Union remained neutral during the First World War and its neutrality served to give a definitive boost to its economy by becoming a supplier of both sides. During the interwar period the countries of the Kalmar Union became part of the most prosperous and advanced in Europe, although this economic prosperity was not used to deepen a political union, which in the end would be an important weakness when the Second World War started.

Scandinavism

Skandinavism

Pan Scandinavian poster in mid 19th century

Scandinavism (also called Pan-Scandinavianism) and Nordism are literary and political movements that support various degrees of cooperation among the Scandinavian or Nordic countries. Scandinavism and Nordism are interchangeable terms for the literary, linguistic and cultural movement that focuses on promoting a shared Nordic past, a shared cultural heritage, a common Scandinavian mythology and a common linguistic root in Old Norse, and which led to the formation of joint periodicals and societies in support of Scandinavian literature and languages. However, political Scandinavism and political Nordism are two distinct political movements which emerged at different times.

Voltaire described Karl XII and Peter the Great as Nordic rulers, while we are talking of the war between them as "The Great Northern War." In the early 1700s there was no clearly defined Nordic area. It seemed to have been comprised by Denmark, Sweden and Russia, which included the Norwegian, Finnish and Baltic provinces. In other words, "Norden" (the North) or the Northern countries applied essentially to the maritime region north of Germany and Poland. The area that we currently define as Nordic crystalized much later.

It was created in the beginning of the 20th century but its roots are in the literary "Nordism" of the 1700s and the "Scandinavianism" of the 1800s, which attempted to transform former enemies into allies to defend against external threats.

The latter movement harboured a nation-building ambition based in a common Scandinavian language and partly common history. The struggle for Scandinavian unity was carried out in parallel with the struggle for German and Italian unity. Compared to contemporary Germany and Italy, Scandinavia was relatively unified linguistically, religiously and politically, but contrary to the others, the Scandinavian state-building project foundered. A Swedish dominance aroused Norwegian apprehension, while Sweden was (contrary to Prussia in the case of Germany) too weak to guarantee Denmark's security. But attempted approaches between these small and linguistically similar countries continued with the 19th and 20th century Nordism - largely because Nordism provided Danes and Swedes with a way of dealing with their disappointment. Denmark's and Sweden's territorial losses were traumatic events that could be tempered by the creation of "Norden" - which included the independent Norway (1905) and Finland (1917) and the autonomous Iceland (1918), as a "symbolic regaining of lost provinces." The Nordic Association was started by Swedish initiatives in 1919. Note that a phrase in the Swedish national anthem is "I want to live and want to die in Norden" - not in Sweden - as if Sweden's greatness was beyond its borders, in the Nordic region.

This is not the whole truth. Several of Nordic initiatives have been forwarded by Denmark with the support of Norway and Iceland with references to cultural ties and historical attachments. The Scandinavian languages, the Protestant religion and common judicial system, Viking history, pre-Christian mythology and joint - albeit disputed- territories, which have been controlled by first the one and then the other, have combined to create the basis for a common Nordic identity. Denmark of the Middle Ages included Norway and large parts of todays Sweden and Estonia. The Kalmar Union of the 1400s was comprised of the entire Nordic area, while the Swedish Baltic Sea realm of the 1600s encompassed the former Danish territory in southern Sweden and the Baltic while still including Finland and the present St. Petersburg area. The Swedish, or rather the Swedish-Finnish-Baltic, East Nordic kingdom faced the Danish-Norwegian West Nordic kingdom.

The Nordic region of the last centuries has been characterised by the transfer of people and territories from the one power to the other along with the weakening of first Denmark and then Sweden - with the splitting off of Norway, Finland and Iceland. The new states rose up against their former mother countries while, for the lack of administrative experience, they more or less copied their political and administrative system. The Nordic region evolved in the 20th century into a system of small homogeneous states without any strong central power that could hold them together. Sweden, which in many instances assisted the other states militarily and potentially could have acted as such a central power, refrained from defending Denmark in 1864, Finland in 1918 and 1939, or Norway in 1940.

Kalmar Union in WWII

Main article: Kalmar Union in WWII

During the years before the Second World War, the countries of the Kalmar Union strove to maintain their neutrality in the face of the coming conflict. However, the lack of common policies and, above all, of a joint defense strategy made it impossible to maintain neutrality when hostilities broke out in Europe. From the very beginning, the governments of Denmark, Norway and Sweden found themselves in the midst of German and British ambitions.

Having maintained its neutrality during World War I, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish foreign and military policies since 1933 was largely influenced by three factors:

  • Fiscal austerity promoted by the conservative parties;
  • Pacifism promoted by Labour Parties;
  • A doctrine of neutrality, on the assumption that there would be no need to bring the three nations into a war if they remained neutral.

These three factors met resistance as tensions grew in Europe in the 1930s, initially from the naitonal military staffs and right-wing political groups, but increasingly also from individuals within the mainstream political establishment and, it has since come to light, by the king, behind the scenes. By the late 1930s, the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish parliamenst had accepted the need for a strengthened military and expanded the budget accordingly, even by assuming national debt. As it turned out, most of the plans enabled by the budgetary expansion were not completed in time.

In 1939, Hitler offered nonaggression pacts to the Scandinavian nations but Denmark, Norway and Sweden refused. With the beginning of WWII that fall, they declared their neutrality. Nevertheless, Germany (so as to secure communications for its invasion of Norway) occupied Denmark on April 9, 1940, meeting limited resistance and started the invasion of Norway at the same time. After the invasion of Denmark and Norway, the Swedish government hastened to break the Union and negotiate on its own neutrality with British and Germans. The former accepted to avoid the extension of the conflict to all Scandinavia and the latter to guarantee access to the Swedish iron supply. This was considered a treason by Danes and Norwegians, but also by large sectors of the Swedish population who did not understand the attitude of their government. During the first weeks, thousands of volunteers crossed the border and joined the Norwegian troops that resisted in the north. The King never directly accused the Swedish government of treason and always showed an understanding attitude towards a decision that somehow protected the Swedish citizens from the war.

In spite of the resistance that the Norwegian army and Swedish volunteers showed in the north of Norway, the Germans conquered Norway in a few weeks and the King settled in the United Kingdom from where he directed the activities of the resistance. In October 1944, Norwegian, Danish and British troops landed in northern Norway, beginning the liberation, while Denmark was liberated weeks before the end of the war.

Danish annexation of Southern Schleswig

At the end of the Second World War, Denmark aspired to recover the territories of the south lost in the Second Schleswig War. During the last part of the war, Danish and Norwegian troops tried to occupy these territories although they were finally under British jurisdiction at the end of the war. Negotiations were held at the highest level with the British occupation authorities and they ended with an agreement in 1946 whereby the Southern Schleswig would be administered by Denmark and Norway. Meanwhile, the Danish government held secret negotiations with the USSR to get its support for a possible annexation.

From that moment the Danish authorities worked to recover the danish inheritance by setting the toponymics prior to the German occupation and reusing Danish as a common language in the region. Considering Schleswig as an integral part of Denmark, Danish authorities were concerned that people did not perceive them as an occupation force. In this way they endeavored to make the population feel like full citizens of Denmark. Unlike the rest of the occupied areas of Germany, the industry was not dismantled nor war payments or reparations were demanded.

When the British, Americans and French decided to merge their zones to form the Federal Republic of Germany, they met opposition from Denmark to include their administered area in the new state. On the other hand, the Soviets also objected, arguing that the new state would be too big. Faced with this situation, with the threat of a worsening in the tense relationship with the Soviet Union and the risk of discomfort among the population of Southern Schleswig, the allies accepted the annexation and the region became an integral part of Denmark in 1950.

Creation of current Kalmar Union

At the end of the Second World War, Scandinavian sentiment resurfaced in society. The events happened during WWII and the need to prevent them from happening again provoked a new Scandinavian movement that advocated the need for a new unified state capable of defending itself and becoming an important player in world politics. In the summer of 1948 a large group of intellectuals, artists and renowned professionals from Denmark, Norway and Sweden published the "Manifesto for the Unification" urging the leaders of the three countries to explore possible ways to unification. Initially they also tried to involve Finland, but due to its Paasikivi-Kekkonen policy of neutrality and FCMA treaty with the USSR, could not participate in any unification attempt.

This social pressure led Danish Prime Minister Hans Hedtoft to propose, in April 1949, a consultative inter-parliamentary committee to study the feasibility of the union. This proposal was agreed by Denmark, Iceland (which had achieved a high degree of autonomy during the war), Norway and Sweden and committee's first session was held in the Danish Parliament on 2 July, 1949. It was proposed that the Nordic countries would unify first their foreign policy and defence, remain neutral in the event of a conflict and not ally with NATO, which some were planning at the time. The Conference of American States, keen on getting access to bases in Scandinavia and believing the Nordic countries incapable of defending themselves, stated it would not ensure military support for Scandinavia if they did not join NATO. Despite the public outcry and promises made from the three governments, CAS pressure motivated that political classes of the three countries did not reach any agreement, partly because neither party leaders in the three countries was willing to give up their share of power.

Given the political impasse, using their great popular support and surprising the leaders of the respective governments, on February 3 1950, the King appeared in a unprecedented statement to tell society that he was ready to lead the change process. This statement was criticized by the major political parties in the three countries that accused the King and his supporters of exceeding their constitutional mandate, but supporters of unification, with Danish Prime Minister Hans Hedtoft leading the way, used the royal decision to get political support and move forward in the union process. In addition to Hans Hedtoft, the families of the aristocracy of the three countries and the leaders of the national churches became catalysts of the growing popular pro-unification sentiment. This fact led to a significant increase in the leadership of both institutions in society.

In the last days of 1950 was presented to the public the "Act of Union" which would become the the new supreme legal text and gave the new elected Sovereign powers over those who held their predecessors. Monarchy had proved to be an institution worthy of support and affection of citizens being above party interests of political leaders. Social pressure forced the three national parliaments to pass the Act of Union and finally on March 11, 1951 King Frederik IX of Denmark, Norway and Sweden became Frederik I of Kalmar Union.

From that moment the King appointed a parliament composed of representative members of Danish, Norwegian and Swedish societies that was responsible for defining the legislative body of the new Union. A government that emerged from that parliament immediately assumed the defense and international representation of the Union and oversaw the policies of the governments of the three countries in order to be agree with the interests of the Union. Finally, in late January 1953, the Fundamental Laws of the Union were drawn up and were approved by Parliament and the King. The King dissolved parliament and called elections which were held on April 23, 1953 resulting in the first parliament and later the first government elected by the citizens of the Union.

The definitive Act of Union was approved by the new Parliament and was endorsed in referendum by the people in October 1957. Since its formation, the Union has had clear its intention to become a leading player in international politics. To get this goal government worked from the beginning to strengthen its diplomatic and military capabilities. The success of the Union and the integration process became an burst for the economy and after the first five years of the Union, GDP increased by 27% over that founding member had separately.

Development and growth of the new Union

Kalmar Union in the new millenium

Geography

Attending to its geography, Kalmar Union is divided into four major geographical units and seven minor units (regions):

  • Artic Islands
  • Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden)
  • Greenland
  • Antartic Territories

Area and boundaries

(All data excluding Queen Maud Land)

Area:

  • Total: 3,046,249 km² (excluding Quenn Maud Land with 2,700,000 km²)
  • Land: 98%
  • Water: 2%

Land boundaries:

  • Total: 1,679 km

Border countries:

Coastline: 82,172 km

Maritime claims:

  • Kalmar Union continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
  • Exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)
  • Territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)

Elevation extremes:

  • Lowest point: Greenland central basin: −300 m
  • Highest point: Gunnbjørn, Greenland: 3,694 m

Physical geography

Main articles: Physical Geography of Kalmar Union, Climate of Kalmar Union, Wildlife of Kalmar Union

Political geography

See: Kalmar Union Administrative Divisions

Kalmar Union's complex geography and the wide distribution of the population has led to a number of conventions for it subdivisions. These have changed somewhat over time, and various reforms are still under continuous consideration.

Since the beginning of the formation of the Union, there has been a big controversy over the state organization and specially the role of the traditional fylker or counties. On the one hand those who thought they were too small units that should be grouped and another who felt that the success of the administrative organization of a state is in close proximity to citizens. After long debates the winning idea was that the traditional fylker were the essence of participatory democracy in Union and the construction of the new state should be put on the fylker. Although there are territorial divisions bringing together several fylker (counties), called landsdeler (regions), these divisions do not have any legal entity. The regional division is also used to coordinate the provision of certain services that by their nature are to be shared by several counties. (Some police services, military organization, electricity or gas grids, etc.)

The political administration of Kalmar Union takes place at four levels:

  • Kongeriket (kingdom), covering all of metropolitan Union including its integral overseas areas of Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Faroe Islands, Greenland and Bouvet Island.
  • Landsdeler, (region).
  • Fylke, (county). These derive in part from divisions that preceded the former nations constitutions but have been reformed in 2005. The fylker also function as constituencies during elections for Parliament.
  • Kommune, (municipality).
  • Dependencies, Queen Maud Land and Peter I Island on Antarctica which both are subject to the Antarctic Treaty System.

Politics

According to the Act of Union, Kalmar Union is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, wherein the Monark is the head of state and the Statsminister is the head of government on behalf of the Monark. Power is separated between the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, as defined by the Act of Union, which serves as the country's supreme legal document.

Although the 1957 Act of Union grants important executive, legislative and judicial powers to the Monarch, these are almost always exercised by the Statsrådet (Council of State), the Unionsparlamentet (Parliament) or the Kongelige Domstoler (Royal Courts of Justice) in the name of the Monark. Parliamentary practice has replaced the direct appointment of the Government by the King, who use to accept what is proposed by the Unionsparlamentet. Nevertheless, the reserve powers vested in the Monarch by the Act of Union are very importants and this become very important the role of the Monarchy.

Executive branch

TBU Government Building

Kalmar Union Government Palace, Stockholm.

The Statsrådet (Council of State) is formally convened by the reigning Monarch. It consists of a Statsminister and his council, formally appointed by the Monarch. Parliamentarism entails that the cabinet must not have the parliament against it, and that the Monarch uses to appointment what is proposed by the Unionsparlamentet. The council must have the confidence of Kalmar Union legislative body, known as the Unionsparlamentet. In practice, the Monarch will ask the leader of a parliamentary block that has a majority in the Storting to form a government. After elections resulting in no clear majority to any party or coalition, the leader of the party most likely to be able to form a government is appointed Statsminister. The Statsminister designates the rest of the members of the Statsrådet who are then appointed by the Monarch. He directs the activities of the government as a whole. The Statsminister can also designate various vice presidents (although it is not mandatory). The work of the Government is leaded and coordinated by the Statsministerens Kontor (Office of the Prime Minister).

Legislative branch

Stortingsbygningen

Kalmar Union Stortingsbygningen, Stockholm.

The Unionsparlamentet is the Parliament of the Kalmar Union. It is the supreme legislative body of the Kalmar Union and the Crown dependencies. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in Kalmar Union and its territories. Its head is the Monarch of the Kalmar Union (currently King Frederik II) and its seat is the Stortingsbygningen (Union Storting Building) in the city of Stockholm. It is a bicameral parliament consisting of an overhuset (upper house) called Landsting and an underhuset (lower house) called Storting. The Monarch forms the third component of the legislature (the King-in-Parliament).

The Landsting includes two different types of members: the Herrer Åndelig (Lords Spiritual), consisting of the 14 most senior bishops of Den Kalmarunionen Kirke (Church of Kalmar Union), and the Herrer Temporal (Lords Temporal), consisting of 14 Livets Jævnaldrende (life peers), appointed by the Monarch, the 6 Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd (High Royal Officials) and of 41 Arvelige Jævnaldrende (hereditary peers), sitting either by hereditary right or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers.

The Storting is an elected chamber with 349 single member elected in every Fylke (county).

The two Houses meet in separate chambers in the Stortingsbygningen in Sotckholm, but the Landsting uses to meet also in Christiansborg Slot (Christiansborg Palace), in Copenhagen.

By political convention, all government ministers, including the Statsminister, are members of the Storting and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Almost all public agencies of Kalmar Union are subordinate to the government, but two ombudsmen, the Parliamentary Intelligence Committee and the Office of the Auditor General are directly subordinate to parliament.

Unionsparlamentet was formed in 1951 following the ratification of the Act of Union passed by the Parliament of Denmark, the Parliament of Norway and the Parliament of Sweden. The Act of Union stating, "That the Kalmar Union is represented by one and the same Parliament to be stiled the Unionsparlamentet".

Judiciary branch and law enforcement

See: Law of Kalmar Union, Kongelige Domstoler (Royal Courts of Justice), Kalmar Union Påtalemyndigheten (Kalmar Union Prosecution Authority), Kongelige Gendarmeri (Royal Gendarmerie)

Højesteret

The entrance to the Supreme Court at Christiansborg Palace, København.

Kalmar Union uses a civil law system where laws are created and amended in Unionsparlamentet and the system is regulated through the Kongelige Domstoler. It consists of the Royal Supreme Court, appellate courts, county courts and conciliation councils. The judiciary, although traditionally a third branch of government, is independent of executive and legislative branches. While the Statsminister nominates Supreme Court Chief Justice for office, their nomination must be approved by Unionsparlamentet and confirmed by the Monark. Judiciary is exercised by professional judges and magistrates. Judges have security of tenure and may not be promoted (or demoted) without their consent. Seats in the Royal Appellate Courts and Royal Supreme Court members are elected by the judges from among the judges who meet the minimum required by law. There are 16 Appellate Courts through the nation. (14 in Scandinavia, 1 in Greenland and 1 in Iceland.)

The public prosecutors, on the other hand, takes order from the Justis- og Sikkerhetdepartementet (Ministry of Justice and Security) through the Kalmar Union Påtalemyndigheten (Kalmar Union Prosecution Authority). The status of public prosecutors and their ties to government are frequently topics of debate but the law guarantees the total independence of the prosecutor's office, which in no case can receive orders from the government.

Law enforcement in Kalmar Union is carried out by the Kongelige Gendarmeri (Royal Gendarmerie) at the national level, and at the county level every county is able to maintain their own County Police. Only certain designated police officers at the national level have the power to conduct criminal investigations, and such investigations are supervised by prosecutors.

Currently Kalmar Union has one of the lowest crime rate in the world.

Foreign relations and military

Foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of Kalmar Union

The foreign policy of Kalmar Union is based on its identity as a sovereign state in Europe and the Arctic. As such its primary foreign policy focus is on its relations with other nations as a sovereign state. As heir of Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, Kalmar Union has maintained good diplomatic relations with most of the countries from the beginning. However, unlike its predecessor states, Kalmar Union has distanced itself from the traditional nordic policy of neutrality and non-intervention to become in recent years a leading player in world politics with a strong "active international policy". This leadership is based on a strong sense of independence and the refusal to cede sovereignty to other supranational organizations, in a broad and active diplomatic network, and in a powerful armed forces well equipped and ready to be used at any time and place.

Kalmar Union is a member of:

Military

Main article: Forsvaret av Kalmarunionen, Kalmar Union nuclear weapons program, World Military Contractors (Altverse)

Today, Kalmar Union military doctrine is based on the concepts of national independence, nuclear deterrence and military self-sufficiency. Forsvaret (Kalmar Union Armed Forces) are the military and paramilitary forces of Kalmar Union, under the Monark as supreme commander. They consist of the Kongelige Hæren (Royal Army)), Kongelige Sjøforsvaret (Royal Navy)), the Kongelige Luftforsvaret (Royal Air Force), the Kongelige Heimevernet (Royal Home Guard), the Kongelige Strategiskestyrker (Royal Strategic Forces) and the Kongelige Gendarmeri (Royal Gendarmerie), which acts as an integral police force. Together they are among the largest armed forces in the world.

While the Kongelige Gendarmeri (Royal Gendarmerie) is an integral part of the Forsvaret (gendarmes are career soldiers), and therefore under the purview of the Forsvarsdepartementet (Ministry of Defense) it is operationally attached to the Justis- og Sikkerhetdepartementet (Ministry of Justice and Security) as far as its civil police duties are concerned.

Until the formation of the Union, traditionally in the old countries the military base was made up of conscripts. From the outset, the new government realized that the security of Kalmar Union needed a fully professionalized armed forces. Kalmar Union armed forces are based on a perfect mix of quality and quantity. The technological superiority of the Union guarantees the most advanced levels of equipment and armaments.

Getting the troops needed to maintain the professionalism of the armed forces is no easy task. So the staff is well paid and enjoy many other social benefits both in their working lives and in their integration into civilian life. Currently, the armed forces are composed of almost 400.000 troops allocated between different branches of the armed forces. Of these, 120,000 are foreigners who get their nationality after a period of service. With the current restrictive immigration laws, immigrants can reach the nationality after a service period in the armed forces, so this is a good way to get the necessary troops. In 2007, compulsory military service was reactivated. Since then, all men and women at the age of 18 must complete a 6-month basic military training course, which will be complemented by courses of 1 or 2 months in subsequent years until they reach 12 months. The law provides for the possibility of replacing military training with other types of social services of equal duration for cases of conscientious objection.

Kalmar Union nuclear deterrence relies on complete independence and is carried out by the Kongelige Strategiskestyrker (Royal Strategic Forces). The current Kalmar Union nuclear force consists of 4 Eirik Raude Class submarines equipped with submarine-launched ICBMs and about 8 ICBM mobile launchers. During the 1980s, several launch silos were built but they have been decommissioned in 2012. In addition to the submarine fleet and the mobile launchers, it is estimated that Kalmar Union has about 80 medium-range air-to-ground/sea-to-ground missiles with nuclear warheads.

Kalmar Union has major military industries with some of the largest aerospace and defense industries in the world. Kalmar Union is a major arms seller, with most of its arsenal's designs available for the export market with the notable exception of nuclear-powered devices and nuclear weapons.

Economy

Main article: Economy of Kalmar Union

Kalmar Union enjoys one of the highest GDP per-capita in the world. The Union maintain the second place in the world UNDP Human Development Index (HDI).

Union's economy is an example of a mixed economy, a prosperous welfare state featuring a combination of free market activity and state ownership in certain key sectors. The state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, such as the strategic energy and military ones. Kalmar Union is a major shipping nation and has one of the world largest merchant fleet, with 1,924 Union-owned merchant vessels.

The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum, coal, hydropower, fish, forest, and minerals. Kalmar Union has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world in part by having a large amount of natural resources compared to the size of the population. The Union welfare state makes public health care free, and parents have 12 months paid parental leave. The income that the state receives from natural resources includes a significant contribution from petroleum production and the substantial and well-managed income related to this sector. Kalmar Union has a very low unemployment rate, currently 2.1% The hourly productivity levels, as well as average hourly wages in the Union are among the highest in the world. The egalitarian values of the Union society ensure that the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies is much smaller than in comparable western economies. This is also evident in Kalmar Union´s low Gini coefficient.

The standard of living in Kalmar Union is among the highest in the world. International organizations judge the Union to be one of the the world's most well-functioning and stable country.

Economy in Kalmar Union is an export-oriented economy featuring a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labour force. Union's engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. Agriculture and livestock account for 3% of GDP and 2% of employment.

In terms of structure, the Union industry is characterized by a large, knowledge-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing sector.

See also:

Energy

Kalmar Union is one of the largest oil exporter (and producer) on Earth, producing around 3 million barrels of oil/day, and one of the largest producer of natural gas, having significant gas reserves in the North Sea. Recnt investigations in the Barents Sea have shown that the Union can get a huge ammount of oil in the region. Kalmar Union also possesses some of the world's largest potentially exploitable coal reserves on earth. With this starting point, the energy in the Union has undergone many changes in recent years.

The global economy is increasingly dependent on oil, especially the more powerful nations. However, oil is still important to the millions of people around the world. Oil production of Kalmar Union is intended almost entirely for export as fuel. Only a fraction is used for fabricaión petroleum compounds.

Although domestic consumption of natural gas is higher than oil, most production is exported to other countries
TBU Hydroplant Salten

Hydro Powerplant in Salten

.

In the early 90's, social pressure motivated by environmental awareness led to a race to find better and more ecologic ways to produce needed energy and while energy consumption has increased slightly, CO2 emissions have been reduced by less than half. This "miracle" has been possible using the mix nuclear - renewable - clean coal - hydrogen. Kalmar Union is a global leader in carbon capture and storage technologies, as well as in hydrogen fuel cells. Light vehicles with combustion engines, except those with hydrogen combustion, have almost disappeared and their use will be totally banned from 2020. Union automotive industry based on hydrogen is leading the world.

See also:

Transport

Due to the extension, low population density, orography, narrow shape and long coastlines, public transport in Kalmar Union are less developed than in other high developed countries, especially outside the cities. As such, Kalmar Union has old water transport traditions. Sice the formation of the Union in 1991, Ministry of Transport and Communications has in recent years implemented policies to encourage rail, road and air transport. There are numerous state owned subsidiaries in order to develop the country's infrastructure and the government is encouraging private investment with toll highways and railway private licenses.

Internal tasks related to public transport and some roads have been delegated to the counties and municipalities.

Road transport

See: Road transport in Kalmar Union

Kalmar Union has a road network of 794,310 km of wich 523,245 are paved and 14,704 motorway. There are four tiers of road routes; Motorway, national, county and municipal with only the motorways and national roads numbered en route.

Rail transport

See: Union National Rail Administration

The Union main railway network consists of 40,125 kilometres of standard gauge lines, of which 18,214 kilometres is double track and 460 kilometres high-speed rail (>300 km/h) while 57% is electrified at the standard centroeuropean 15 kV 16⅔ Hz AC. There is about 4,000 kilometres of private railways.

Air transport

See: Air transport in Kalmar Union

Aviation has become an important passenger transport mode in scandinavia since the 1960s. Aircraft are a common used mode of transport on longer distances, and some regional routes are all among the ten largest in Europe. With the difficult terrain and lack of rail transport, regional airline travel provides quick travel within the region or to the capital. Since the formation of the Union in 2001 and with the new periferic regions added later, a strong airline network becames necessary to vertebrate the new nation.

Water transport

See: Water transport in Kalmar Union

Kalmar Union is one of the largest beneficial shipowning country, with 8% of the world's fleet; though a portion of these are registered in flags of convenience, Union has nearly 27 million gross tonnes of ships under its flag.

Demography

Religion

Kalmar Union is a nation with strong religious traditions in which religion plays a fundamental role in all areas of life. It is among the most religious nations in the world according to data from numerous surveys with 93% of the population considered religious and about 50% of the population regularly participating in religious services of different religions. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Act of Union, although there is a "state religion", Den Kalmarunionen Kirke, that is an integral and fundamental part of the social and political life of the nation.

Religion Year Membership  % of population
Den Kalmarunionen Kirke 968 25,755,730 75.53%
Den Evangelisk Lutherske Frikirke av Kalmarunionen 1961 1,885,730 5.53%
Den Katolske Kirke av Kalmarunionen 968 1,769,791 5.19%
Ancient Scandinavian Religions 1991 (rebirth) 1,265,110 3.71%
Other minoritatian (evangelic, baptist, hindu, muslim,...) 1957 1,040,050 3.05%
Irreligious ---- 2,352,911 6.99%

Education

Main article: Education in Kalmar Union

Most pre-tertiary education is arranged at municipal or county level and the school system is largely financed by taxes. Union´s government treats public and independent schools equally by introducing education vouchers in 1999. School lunch is free for all students in Kalmar Union which usually includes one or two different kinds of hot meals, a meal for vegetarians, salad bar, fruit, bread, and milk and/or water for drink. Some schools, especially kindergartens and middle schools, even serve breakfast for free to those who want to eat before school starts.

Children aged 1–5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kindergarten if desired, nevertheless pre-school education is rare compared with other western countries and formal education is usually started at the age of 6. Primary school takes normally six years and lower secondary school three years.

The flexible curriculum is set by the Ministry of Education and Research. Education is compulsory between the ages of 7 and 16. After lower secondary school, graduates may either enter the workforce directly, or apply to trade schools or gymnasiums (upper secondary schools). Trade schools offer a vocational Education: Approximately 40% of an age group choose this path after the lower secondary school. Academically oriented gymnasiums have higher entrance requirements and specifically prepare for tertiary education. Graduation from either formally qualifies for tertiary education.

In tertiary education, two mostly separate and non-interoperating sectors are found: the profession-oriented polytechnics and the research-oriented universities. Education is free and living expenses are to a large extent financed by the government through student benefits. There are 50 universities and 70 polytechnics in the country. Some of Union universities are ranked as top universities in the world. The World Economic Forum ranks Union's tertiary education No. 1 in the world. Around 39% of residents have a tertiary degree. The proportion of foreign students is 5% of all tertiary enrollments while in advanced programs it is 9.3%.

More than 30% of tertiary graduates are in science-related fields. Forest improvement, materials research, energy, petroleum industry, environmental sciences, neural networks, low-temperature physics, fuel cells, brain research, biotechnology, genetic technology and communications showcase fields of study where Union researchers have had a significant impact.

Kalmar Union has a long tradition of adult education, and by the 2012 nearly two million Unions were receiving some kind of instruction each year. Forty percent of them did so for professional reasons. Adult education appeared in a number of forms, such as secondary evening schools, civic and workers' institutes, study centres, vocational course centres, and folk high schools. Study centres allowed groups to follow study plans of their own making, with educational and financial assistance provided by the state. Folk high schools are a distinctly Kalmar Union institution. Originating in Denmark in the nineteenth century, folk high schools became common throughout the region. Adults of all ages could stay at them for several weeks and take courses in subjects that ranged from handicrafts to economics.

Kalmar Union is highly productive in scientific research. In 2012, Union had the second most scientific publications per capita of the OECD countries.

Science and technology

Being an advanced industrial nation, research and development plays a key role for economic growth as well as for society at large. Though a relatively small country in population terms, Kalmar Union has long been at the forefront of research and development. For several decades Kalmar Union government has prioritized scientific and R&D activities. This strong engagement has helped make the country a leading country in terms of innovation. For many years, the nation has been a leading player among advanced countries in terms of its investments in and use of advanced technology. Altogether, the public and the private sector in Kalmar Union allocate nearly four per cent of GDP to research & development (R&D) per year, which makes the Union one of the countries that invest most in R&D in terms of percentage of GDP. The standard of Kalmar Union research is high and is a world leader in a number of fields. Kalmar Union tops Europe in comparative statistics both in terms of research investments as a percentage of GDP as well as in the number of published scientific works per capita.

In international comparison, high-technology manufacturing is relatively large in all high-technology segments, and particularly in telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, military and energy.

Culture

Main article: Culture in Kalmar Union

Kalmar Union has a rich intellectual and artistic heritage that has people internationally recognized in the field of arts (literature, painting, sculpture, music, etc.) and sciences (astronomy, physics, botany, zoology, etc.). It has numerous Nobel Prize winners in all fields. Culture of Kalmar Union is closely linked to the country's history and geography and is the heritage of those from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It combines indigenous heritage that has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws, with elements from European culture. From the last 70s and specially after the formation of the Union, authorities have promoted the traditional common Nordic culture and values as a way of strengthening social cohesion of the nation. Anyway, there are still cultural differences between Union's regions. In seeking to strengthen Nordic culture and national identity, traditional Norwegian culture has proved stronger for being less influenced by the mix of cultures, and has slowly been gaining importance in all walks of life to the point that now the Norwegian language is the most used in official circles.


Based in the Nordic heritage of egalitarianism, Kalmar Union has continued been a progressive country, which has adopted legislation and policies to support civil rights. Union people have an egalitarian outlook. They generally express themselves in very modest terms, especially when it comes to compliments and praises. They arescrupulous about honesty in communication, often to the point of pointing out the negatives in their own proposals in greater detail than the positives. The combination of private property values and the old viking culture has produced an atmosphere that encourages hard work and honesty. Kalmar Union has one of the lowest levels of corruption in the whole world.

Environmentalism and animal protection are important values in Kalmar Union too.

Media

Reporters Without Borders ranks Kalmar Union 1st in its Worldwide Press Freedom Index. Freedom of the press in the Union dates back to the Norwegian and Sweden constitutions of the 10th century. Kalmar Union media is mostly privately owned and self-regulated but still there are an important public participation; however there is a press support. Press support is a Kalmar Union state subsidy available for newspapers and online media. The subsidy is twofold; the first part is a direct subsidy to the newspapers by subscribers. The other subsidy is that newspaper are subject to no sales tax (as are books).

See: Union Media Authority

Sports

Main article: Sports in Kalmar Union