Denmark

Introduction Once the seat of Viking raiders and later a major north European power, Denmark has evolved into a modern, prosperous nation that is participating in the general political and economic integration of Europe. It joined NATO in 1949 and the EEC (now the EU) in 1973. However, the country has opted out of certain elements of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, including the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), European defense cooperation, and issues concerning certain justice and home affairs.
History

The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to 130,000 – 110,000 BC in the Eem interglacial period.[9] People have inhabited Denmark since about 12,500 BC and agriculture has been in evidence since 3,900 BC.[10] The Nordic Bronze Age (1,800–600 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[10] the first Danish people came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age,[11] 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 northwest 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 some islands were settled by Jutes. They later migrated to the British isles, together with Angles and Saxons to form the Anglo-Saxons.

The exact origins of the Danish nation have been lost in history. However, a short note[12] about the Dani in "The Origin and Deeds of the Goths" from 551 by historian Jordanes is believed by some to be an early mention of the Danes,[13] one of the ethnic groups from whom the modern Danish people are descended. The Danevirke defense structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward,[14] and the sheer size of the construction efforts in 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king.[14] The new runic alphabet was first used at the same time and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about 700 AD.

Viking age

During the 8th-11th centuries, the Danes were known as Vikings, together with Norwegians and Swedish Geats. Viking explorers first discovered and settled Iceland in the 9th century, on their way toward the Faroe Islands. From there, Greenland and Vinland (Newfoundland) were also settled. Utilizing their great skills in shipbuilding they raided and conquered parts of France and the British Isles. But they also excelled in trading along the coasts and rivers of Europe, running trade routes from Greenland in the north to Constantinople in the south via Russian rivers. The Danish Vikings were most active in the British Isles and Western Europe, and they raided, conquered and settled parts of England (their earliest settlements included Danelaw, Ireland, France, Normandy).

In the early 8th century, Charlemagne's Christian empire had expanded to the southern border of the Danes, and Frankish sources (F.ex. Notker of St Gall) provide the earliest historical evidence of the Danes. These report a King Gudfred, who appeared in present day Holstein with a navy in 804 AD where diplomacy took place with the Franks; In 808, the same King Gudfred attacked the Obotrite, a Wend people and conquered the city of Reric whose population was displaced or abducted, to Hedeby; In 809, King Godfred and emissaries of Charlemagne failed to negotiate peace and the next year, 810, King Godfred attacked the Frisians with 200 ships. The oldest parts of the defensive works of Dannevirke near Hedeby at least date from the summer of 755 and were expanded with large works in the 10th century. The size and amount of troops needed to man it indicates a quite powerful ruler in the area, which might be consistent with the kings the Frankish sources. In 815 AD, Emperor Louis the Pious attacked Jutland apparently in support of a contender to the throne, perhaps Harald Klak, but was turned back by the sons of Godfred, who likely were the sons of the above mentioned Godfred. At the same time Saint Ansgar traveled to Hedeby and started the Catholic Christianization of Scandinavia.

The Danes were united and officially Christianized in 965 AD by Harald Blåtand, the story of which is recorded on the Jelling stones. The exact extent of Harald's Danish Kingdom is unknown, although it's reasonable to believe that it stretched from the defensive line of Dannevirke, including the Viking city of Hedeby, across Jutland, the Danish isles and into southern present day Sweden; Skåne and perhaps Halland and Blekinge. Further more the Jelling stones attests that Harald had also "won" Norway. The son of Harald, Sweyn I mounted a series of wars of conquest against England, which was completed by Svend's son Canute the Great by the middle of the 11th century. The reign of Knud represented the peak of the Danish Viking age. King Knud's North Sea Empire included Denmark (1018), Norway (1028), England (1035) and held strong influence over the north-eastern coast of Germany.

Medieval Denmark

From the Viking age towards the end of the 13th century, the kingdom of Denmark consisted of Jutland, north from the Elder River and the islands of Zealand, Funen, Bornholm, Skåne, Halland and Blekinge. From the end of the 13th century the lands between the Eider River and the river Kongeåen were separated from the kingdom as two vassal duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. In 1658 Skåne, Halland and Blekinge were ceded to Sweden.

Following the end of the 11th century, Denmark underwent a transition from a decentralized realm with a weak and semi-elected royal institution and little to no nobility, into a realm which more reflected European feudalism, with a powerful king ruling through an influential nobility. The period is marked by internal strife and the generally weak geopolitical position of the realm, which for long stretches fell under German influence. The period also featured the first of large stone buildings (mostly churches), a deep penetration by the Christian faith, the appearance of monastic orders in Denmark and the first written historical works such as the Gesta Danorum ("Deeds of the Danes"). German political as well as religious influence firmly ended in the last decades of the 12th century under the rule of King Valdemar the Great and his foster brother Absalon Hvide, Archbishop of Lund; through successful wars against Wend peoples of northeast Germany and the German Empire.

A high point was reached during the reign of Valdemar II, who led the formation of a Danish "Baltic Sea Empire", which by 1221 extended control from Estonia in the east to Norway in the north. In this period several of the "regional" law codes were given; notably the Code of Jutland from 1241, which asserted several modern concepts like right of property; "that the king cannot rule without and beyond the law"; "and that all men are equal to the law". Following the death of Valdemar II in 1241 and to the ascension of Valdemar IV in 1340, the kingdom was in general decline due to internal strife and the rise of the Hanseatic League. The competition between the sons of Valdemar II, had the longterm result that the southern parts of Jutland were separated from the kingdom of Denmark and became semi-independent vassal duchies/counties.

During the reign of Valdemar IV and his daughter Margrethe I, the realm was re-invigorated and following the Battle of Falköping, Margrethe I had her sister's son, Eric of Pomerania crowned King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden after the signing of the union charter of Kalmar (The Kalmar Union), Trinity Sunday 1397. 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 the June 17, 1523 as Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of Stockholm. Denmark and Norway remained in a personal union until the Congress of Vienna, 1814. The Protestant Reformation came to Scandinavia in the 1530's, and following the Count's Feud civil war, Denmark converted to Lutheranism in 1536.

Modern history

King Christian IV attacked Sweden in the 1611–13 Kalmar War 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.[15] King Christian used this money to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Glückstadt (founded as a rival to Hamburg), Christiania (following a fire destroying the original city), 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 Sri Lanka as a colony but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's Coromandel Coast. In the Thirty Year's War, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran states in Germany, but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter resulting in a Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein occupying and pillaging Jutland. 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. In 1643, Swedish armies invaded Jutland and in 1644 Skåne. 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.

Denmark tried to regain control of Skåne in the Scanian War (1675-79) but it ended in 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. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century due to its neutral status allowing it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality to continue the lucrative 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 the Danish capital. These events mark the end of the prosperous Florissant Age and resulted in the Dano-British Gunboat War. British control over the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy and in 1813, Denmark-Norway went bankrupt. The post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna demanded the dissolution of the Dano-Norwegian union, and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. Denmark-Norway had briefly hoped to restore the Scandinavian union in 1809, but these hopes were dashed when the estates of Sweden rejected a proposal to let Frederick VI of Denmark succeed the deposed Gustav IV Adolf and instead gave the crown to Charles XIII. Norway entered a new union with Sweden which lasted until 1905. Denmark kept the colonies of Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland. Apart from the Nordic colonies, Denmark ruled over Danish India (Tranquebar in India) from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast (Ghana) from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies (the U.S. Virgin Islands) from 1671 to 1917..

The Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s, and after the European Revolutions of 1848 Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy on 5 June 1849. After the Second War of Schleswig (Danish: Slesvig) in 1864, Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia, in a defeat that left deep marks on the Danish national identity. After these events, Denmark returned to its traditional policy of neutrality, also keeping Denmark neutral in World War I. Following the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the then-German region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area and insisted on a plebiscite concerning the return of Schleswig. The two Schleswig Plebiscites took place on 10 February and 14 March, respectively. On 5 July 1920 after the plebiscite and the King's signature (6 July) on the reunion document, Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 km². The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every year 15 June on Valdemarsdag.

Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940 – codenamed 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 the Navy sank most of the Danish fleet and sent as many of their officers as they could to Sweden. During the war, the government was extremely helpful towards Jews living in the country, and the resistance managed to get most of the Jews to Sweden and safety. Denmark led many "inside operations" or sabotage against the German facilities. Iceland severed ties to Denmark and became an independent republic, and in 1948 the Faroe Islands gained home rule. After the war, Denmark became one of the founding members of the United Nations and NATO and in 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) after a public referendum. Greenland gained home rule in 1979.

Geography Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula north of Germany (Jutland); also includes two major islands (Sjaelland and Fyn)
Geographic coordinates: 56 00 N, 10 00 E
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 43,094 sq km
land: 42,394 sq km
water: 700 sq km
note: includes the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and the rest of metropolitan Denmark (the Jutland Peninsula, and the major islands of Sjaelland and Fyn), but excludes the Faroe Islands and Greenland
Area - comparative: slightly less than twice the size of Massachusetts
Land boundaries: total: 68 km
border countries: Germany 68 km
Coastline: 7,314 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: temperate; humid and overcast; mild, windy winters and cool summers
Terrain: low and flat to gently rolling plains
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Lammefjord -7 m
highest point: Yding Skovhoej 173 m
Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone, chalk, stone, gravel and sand
Land use: arable land: 52.59%
permanent crops: 0.19%
other: 47.22% (2005)
Irrigated land: 4,490 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 6.1 cu km (2003)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 0.67 cu km/yr (32%/26%/42%)
per capita: 123 cu m/yr (2002)
Natural hazards: flooding is a threat in some areas of the country (e.g., parts of Jutland, along the southern coast of the island of Lolland) that are protected from the sea by a system of dikes
Environment - current issues: air pollution, principally from vehicle and power plant emissions; nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the North Sea; drinking and surface water becoming polluted from animal wastes and pesticides
Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note: controls Danish Straits (Skagerrak and Kattegat) linking Baltic and North Seas; about one-quarter of the population lives in greater Copenhagen
Politics

The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. As stipulated in the Danish Constitution, the monarch is not answerable for his or her actions, and his or her person is sacrosanct. The monarch appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and other ministers. Before being validated through royal assent, all bills and important government measures must be discussed in Statsrådet, a privy council headed by the monarch. The Danish privy council's protocols are secret.

While executive authority belongs to the monarch (as head of state), legislative authority is vested in the executive (Prime Minister) and the Danish parliament conjointly. Judicial authority lies with the courts of justice.

Executive authority is exercised on behalf of the monarch by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers who head departments. The cabinet, including the Prime Minister, and other ministers collectively make up the government. These ministers are responsible to Folketinget (the Danish Parliament), the legislative body, which is traditionally considered to be supreme (that is, able to legislate on any matter and not bound by decisions of its predecessors).

The Folketing is the national legislature. It has the ultimate legislative authority according to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, however questions over sovereignty have been brought forward because of Denmark’s entry into the European Union. In theory however, the doctrine prevails. Parliament consists of 179 members elected by proportional majority. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the Prime Minister to call one at his discretion before this period has elapsed. On a vote of no confidence the parliament may force a single minister or the entire government to resign.

The Danish political system has traditionally generated coalitions. Most Danish post-war governments have been minority coalitions ruling with parliamentary support.[16]

Since November 2001, the Danish Prime Minister has been Anders Fogh Rasmussen from the Venstre party, a center-right liberal party. The government is a coalition consisting of Venstre and the Conservative People's Party, with parliamentary support from the Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti). The three parties obtained a parliamentary majority in the 2001 elections and maintained it virtually unchanged in the 2005 election. On 24 October 2007 an early election was called by the Prime Minister for 13 November. Following the election the Danish People's party was strengthened while Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Venstre lost 6 mandates and the Conservative Party retained the same amount of seats in Parliament as prior to the election. The result ensured that Anders Fogh Rasmussen could continue as Prime Minister for a third term.

People Population: 5,468,120 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.6% (male 520,669/female 494,228)
15-64 years: 66% (male 1,817,757/female 1,792,974)
65 years and over: 15.4% (male 363,828/female 478,664) (2007 est.)
Median age: total: 40.1 years
male: 39.2 years
female: 40.9 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.311% (2007 est.)
Birth rate: 10.91 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate: 10.3 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.053 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.014 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 0.977 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.96 years
male: 75.65 years
female: 80.41 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.74 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 5,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality: noun: Dane(s)
adjective: Danish
Ethnic groups: Scandinavian, Inuit, Faroese, German, Turkish, Iranian, Somali
Religions: Evangelical Lutheran 95%, other Christian (includes Protestant and Roman Catholic) 3%, Muslim 2%
Languages: Danish, Faroese, Greenlandic (an Inuit dialect), German (small minority)
note: English is the predominant second language
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark
conventional short form: Denmark
local long form: Kongeriget Danmark
local short form: Danmark
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Copenhagen
geographic coordinates: 55 40 N, 12 35 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: metropolitan Denmark - 5 regions (regioner, singular - region); Hovedstaden, Midtjylland, Nordjylland, Sjaelland, Syddanmark
note: an extensive local government reform merged 271 municipalities into 98 and 13 counties into five regions, effective 1 January 2007
Independence: first organized as a unified state in 10th century; in 1849 became a constitutional monarchy
National holiday: none designated; Constitution Day, 5 June (1849) is generally viewed as the National Day
Constitution: 5 June 1953 constitution allowed for a unicameral legislature and a female chief of state
Legal system: civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen MARGRETHE II (since 14 January 1972); Heir Apparent Crown Prince FREDERIK, elder son of the monarch (born 26 May 1968)
head of government: Prime Minister Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN (since 27 November 2001)
cabinet: Council of State appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch
Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly or Folketinget (179 seats, including 2 from Greenland and 2 from the Faroe Islands; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 13 November 2007 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 26.2%, Social Democrats 25.5%, Danish People's Party 13.9%, Socialist People's Party 13.0%, Conservative People's Party 10.4%, Social Liberal Party 5.1%, New Alliance 2.8%, Red-Green Alliance 2.2%, other 0.9%; seats by party - Liberal Party 46, Social Democrats 45, Danish People's Party 25, Socialist People's Party 23, Conservative People's Party 18, Social Liberal Party 9, New Alliance 5, Red-Green Alliance 4; note - does not include the two seats from Greenland and the two seats from the Faroe Islands
Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the monarch for life)
Political parties and leaders: Christian Democrats [Bodil KORNBEK] (was Christian People's Party); Conservative Party [Bendt BENDTSEN] (sometimes known as Conservative People's Party); Danish People's Party [Pia KJAERSGAARD]; Liberal Party [Anders Fogh RASMUSSEN]; New Alliance [Naser KHADER]; Red-Green Unity List (Alliance) [collective leadership] (bloc includes Left Socialist Party, Communist Party of Denmark, Socialist Workers' Party); Social Democratic Party [Helle THORNING-SCHMIDT]; Social Liberal Party [Margrethe VESTAGER]; Socialist People's Party [Villy SOEVNDAL]
Political pressure groups and leaders: NA
International organization participation: ADB (nonregional members), AfDB, Arctic Council, Australia Group, BIS, CBSS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, ESA, EU, FAO, G- 9, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NC, NEA, NIB, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMOGIP, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Friis Arne PETERSEN
chancery: 3200 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 234-4300
FAX: [1] (202) 328-1470
consulate(s) general: Chicago, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador James P. CAIN
embassy: Dag Hammarskjolds Alle 24, 2100 Copenhagen
mailing address: PSC 73, APO AE 09716
telephone: [45] 33 41 71 00
FAX: [45] 35 43 02 23
Flag description: 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; the banner is referred to as the Dannebrog (Danish flag)
note: the shifted design element was subsequently adopted by the other Nordic countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden
Culture

Hans Christian Andersen is known beyond Denmark for his fairy tales, such as The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, and The Ugly Duckling. Karen Blixen (pen name: Isak Dinesen), Nobel laureate author Henrik Pontoppidan, Nobel laureate physicist Niels Bohr, the comedic pianist Victor Borge and the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard have also made a name for themselves outside Denmark.

The capital city of Copenhagen includes the Tivoli gardens, the Amalienborg Palace (home of the Danish monarchy), and The Little Mermaid sculpture.

The second biggest city in Denmark is Aarhus. Aarhus is an old Viking Age city and one of the oldest cities in the country. The biggest cathedral in Denmark and the second biggest cathedral in Northern Europe is Aarhus Cathedral.

Historically, Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbors, has been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. For example, in 1969, Denmark was the first country to legalize pornography.[57] And in 1989, Denmark enacted a registered partnership law, being the first country in the world to grant same-sex couples nearly all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.[58]

Cinema

The three big internationally important waves of Danish cinema have been:
The erotic melodrama of the silent era.
The increasingly explicit sex films of the 1960s and 1970s.
The Dogme95-movement of the late 1990s.

Danish filmmakers of note include:
Carl Th. Dreyer (1889-1968), one of the most acclaimed directors in the history of cinema.
Erik Balling, Oscar-nominated creator of Olsen-banden (1968).
Gabriel Axel, Oscar-winner for Babette's Feast (1987).
Bille August, Oscar-winner for Pelle the Conqueror (1987).
Thomas Vinterberg, celebrated for Festen (1998), co-creator of Dogme95.
Lars von Trier, Oscar-nominated for Dancer in the Dark (2000), co-creator of Dogme95 and of Zentropa.

A locally popular film genre is the charmingly simplistic "folkekomedie" (folk comedy), which originated in the 1930s and gained widespread dominance from the 1950s until the 1970s, usually scorned by critics and loved by the audience. Notable folkekomedie-films include Barken Margrethe (1934), De røde heste (1950), Far til fire (1953) and Olsen-banden (1968).

Since the 1980s, Danish filmmaking has been almost completely controlled by the state through The Danish Film Institute, which was founded in 1972. This has resulted in a much criticized lack of innovation (Dogme95 happened in spite of strong resistance from the Film Institute) and frequent accusations of nepotism and cronyism, but also a high level of professionalism even if more or less reserved for a few selected genres and production companies (mainly Nordisk Film, Zentropa and Nimbus Film).[7]

Danish cinema remains highly respected internationally, and Danish films (today almost exclusively consisting of social realist dramas, social realist comedies, children's films and documentaries) receive many awards at major international film festivals.

Sports

The most popular sport in Denmark is football (soccer). Sailing and other water sports are popular, as are indoor sports such as badminton, handball and various forms of gymnastics. In Denmark there is also a small group of people doing motorsport, but with some success. The most successful driver on the 24 Hours of Le Mans race ever, with seven 1st places is Tom Kristensen, who comes from Denmark. In speedway Denmark has won several World Championships. Other notable Danish sportspeople include American football's National Football League all-time leading scorer Morten Andersen, cyclists Bjarne Riis, Rolf Sørensen, and Michael Rasmussen, badminton-player Peter Gade and Camilla Martin, table tennis-player Michael Maze and football players Michael and Brian Laudrup and Peter Schmeichel. Teenager Caroline Wozniacki is rising up the rankings on the WTA tennis tour. Denmark is also the home and birthplace of former WBA & WBC Supermiddleweight boxing champion, Mikkel Kessler.

Music

Denmark has long been a center of cultural innovation. Its capital, Copenhagen, and its multiple outlying islands have a wide range of folk traditions, while an extensive recording industry has produced pop stars and a host of performers from a multitude of genres. The famous drummer Lars Ulrich from Metallica is from Denmark. Among other names, the '90's pop band Aqua as well as current (March 2008) US hitlist top name Ida Corr also come from Denmark.

Food

The cuisine of Denmark, like that in the other Nordic countries (Finland, Norway, Iceland, and Sweden), as well as that of northern Germany, its neighbour to the south, consists mainly of meat and fish. This stems from the country's agricultural past, as well as its geography and climate of long, cold winters.

Traditional Danish food includes frikadeller (fried meatballs, often served with potatoes and various sorts of gravy), karbonader/krebinetter (another sort of fried meatballs), steaks and so on, usually eaten with potatoes. Fish is also widely eaten, especially on the west coast of Jutland. A traditionally favourite condiment, remoulade, is eaten with french fries, on fried plaice, on salami or roast beef sandwiches. Smoked fish dishes (herring, mackerel, eel) from local smoking houses or røgerier, especially on the island of Bornholm, are increasingly popular.

One of the most interesting aspects of Danish food is the wide variety of attractive open rugbrød (Rye-bread) sandwiches or smørrebrød traditionally served for the mid-day meal or frokost. This usually starts with fish such as marinated herring, smoked eel or hot fried breaded plaice. Then come meat sandwiches such as cold roast beef with remoulade and fried onions, roast pork and crackling with red cabbage, hot veal medallions, Danish meat balls (frikadeller) or liver paté with bacon and mushrooms. Some typically Danish items are Sol over Gudhjem, literally 'sun over Gudhjem', consisting of smoked herring, chives and with raw egg yolk (the "sun") on top; or Dyrlægens natmad, 'vet's late-night bite', with liver paté, saltmeat (corned veal), onions and jellied consommé. Finally cheese is served with radishes, nuts or grapes. Lager beer accompanied by small glasses of snaps or aquavit are the preferred drinks for a Danish frokost.

Economy Economy - overview: The Danish economy has in recent years undergone strong expansion fueled primarily by private consumption growth, but also supported by exports and investments. This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade. Unemployment is low and capacity constraints are limiting growth potential. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and enjoys a comfortable balance of payments surplus. Government objectives include streamlining the bureaucracy and further privatization of state assets. The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), but so far Denmark has decided not to join 15 other EU members in the euro. Nonetheless, the Danish krone remains pegged to the euro. Economic growth gained momentum in 2004 and the upturn continued through 2007. The controversy over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad printed in a Danish newspaper in September 2005 led to boycotts of some Danish exports to the Muslim world, especially exports of dairy products, but the boycotts did not have a significant impact on the overall Danish economy. Because of high GDP per capita, welfare benefits, a low Gini index, and political stability, the Danish living standards are among the highest in the world. A major long-term issue will be the sharp decline in the ratio of workers to retirees.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $204.6 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $310.7 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $37,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 1.6%
industry: 26.3%
services: 72.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force: 2.9 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 3%
industry: 21%
services: 76% (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate: 3.5% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 24% (2000 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 24 (2005)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 23.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget: revenues: $167.9 billion
expenditures: $156.1 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt: 26.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products: barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets; pork, dairy products; fish
Industries: iron, steel, nonferrous metals, chemicals, food processing, machinery and transportation equipment, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, shipbuilding and refurbishment, windmills, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production: 43.35 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 82.7%
hydro: 0.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 17.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption: 34.02 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports: 13.72 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - imports: 6.77 billion kWh (2006)
Oil - production: 342,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - consumption: 171,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports: 320,000 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports: 164,000 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 1.328 billion bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production: 9.87 billion cu m (2006 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 4.775 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 5.35 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 75.66 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance: $4.699 billion (2007 est.)
Exports: $102.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and instruments, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, pharmaceuticals, furniture, windmills
Exports - partners: Germany 17.3%, Sweden 14.1%, UK 8.7%, US 6.2%, Netherlands 5.4%, Norway 5.4%, France 4.9% (2006)
Imports: $101.3 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, raw materials and semimanufactures for industry, chemicals, grain and foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners: Germany 21.4%, Sweden 14.2%, Norway 6.5%, Netherlands 6.3%, UK 5.7%, China 5%, France 4.4% (2006)
Economic aid - donor: ODA, $2.13 billion (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $31.08 billion (2006 est.)
Debt - external: $492.6 billion (30 June 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $138.4 billion (2006 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $150.1 billion (2006 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $178 billion (2005)
Currency (code): Danish krone (DKK)
Currency code: DKK
Exchange rates: Danish kroner per US dollar - 5.4797 (2007), 5.9468 (2006), 5.9969 (2005), 5.9911 (2004), 6.5877 (2003)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 3.098 million (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 5.841 million (2006)
Telephone system: general assessment: excellent telephone and telegraph services
domestic: buried and submarine cables and microwave radio relay form trunk network, 4 cellular mobile communications systems
international: country code - 45; a series of fiber-optic submarine cables link Denmark with Canada, Faroe Islands, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and UK; satellite earth stations - 6 Intelsat, 10 Eutelsat, 1 Orion, 1 Inmarsat (Blaavand-Atlantic-East); note - the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) share the Danish earth station and the Eik, Norway, station for worldwide Inmarsat access
Radio broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 355, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 6.02 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 26 (plus 51 repeaters) (1998)
Televisions: 3.121 million (1997)
Internet country code: .dk
Internet hosts: 3.114 million (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 13 (2000)
Internet users: 3.171 million (2006)
Transportation Airports: 91 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways: total: 28
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 3 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 63
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 60 (2007)
Pipelines: condensate 11 km; gas 4,073 km; oil 617 km; oil/gas/water 2 km (2007)
Railways: total: 2,644 km
standard gauge: 2,644 km 1.435-m gauge (636 km electrified) (2007)
Roadways: total: 72,257 km
paved: 72,257 km (includes 1,032 km of expressways) (2005)
Waterways: 400 km (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 299 ships (1000 GRT or over) 8,767,265 GRT/10,604,081 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 7, cargo 64, chemical tanker 57, container 84, liquefied gas 2, livestock carrier 2, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 41, petroleum tanker 22, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 8, specialized tanker 4
foreign-owned: 25 (Canada 1, Germany 13, Greece 4, Greenland 1, Norway 1, Sweden 4, UK 1)
registered in other countries: 468 (Antigua and Barbuda 15, Bahamas 66, Belgium 3, Brazil 2, Cayman Islands 3, Cyprus 1, Egypt 1, Estonia 2, France 3, Gibraltar 9, Hong Kong 12, Isle of Man 41, Italy 2, Jamaica 1, Liberia 12, Lithuania 9, Malta 10, Marshall Islands 9, Mexico 2, Netherlands 19, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 26, Panama 32, Portugal 3, Singapore 68, South Africa 1, Spain 2, St Vincent and The Grenadines 16, Sweden 4, UK 61, US 29, Venezuela 3) (2007)
Ports and terminals: Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Ensted, Esbjerg, Fredericia, Kalundborg
Military Military branches: Defense Command: Army Operational Command, Admiral Danish Fleet, Island Command Greenland, Tactical Air Command (2006)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months according to specialization; reservists are assigned to mobilization units following completion of their conscript service; women eligible to volunteer for military service (2004)
Manpower available for military service: males age 18-49: 1,175,108
females age 18-49: 1,150,627 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 18-49: 955,168
females age 18-49: 935,643 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually: males age 18-49: 31,317
females age 18-49: 29,558 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.5% (2006; 1.28% 2007 est.; 1.24% 2008 projected)
Transnational Issues Disputes - international: Iceland, the UK, and Ireland dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm; Faroese continue to study proposals for full independence; sovereignty dispute with Canada over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Ellesmere Island and Greenland