Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. The constitution was adopted in 1849, amended in 1915 and 1953, when a unicameral parliament was created and women were allowed to become heads of state. Check computerminus for political system of Denmark.
Administrative division – 14 amts – Bornholm, Vejle, Viborg, West Jutland, Copenhagen, Aarhus, Ribe, Ringkoping, Roskilde, North Jutland, Storstrom, Frederiksborg, Funen, South Jutland; the cities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg are separated into independent administrative units. The largest cities: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Aalborg, Odense.
The head of state is the king, who exercises legislative power in conjunction with a unicameral parliament. The highest body of legislative power is the Folketing. Executive power belongs to the monarch and is exercised on his behalf by the government. The Government is appointed by the Prime Minister, approved by the Folketing and is responsible to it. It consists of 24 ministers (their number may vary). The head of state is Queen Margrethe II (since January 14, 1972). Head of Government – Anders Fogh Rasmussen (since November 27, 2001).
179 deputies (including 2 from the Faroe Islands and 2 from Greenland) of the Folketing are elected by universal (from the age of 18), direct and secret suffrage according to the proportional system for a period of 4 years. As a result of the 2001 parliamentary elections, the Venstre party received 56 seats, the Social Democratic Party of Denmark – 52, the Danish People’s Party – 22, the Conservative People’s Party – 16, the Socialist People’s Party – 12, the Radical Left – 9, the Christian People’s Party – 4, the Single List – 4.
In administrative-territorial units – communes (there are 275 of them in Denmark) there are elected municipal councils headed by burgomasters. In their competence the decision of all local questions. In addition, 14 amts (districts) are governed by elected district councils headed by a chairman. Their functions include the implementation of projects that are beyond the power of individual communes, such as the construction of roads and hospitals. Elections to district and municipal councils, as well as to parliament, are held every 4 years.
Major political parties. The Social Democratic Party of Denmark, founded in 1871, is the largest party in the country. It unites workers and employees, small proprietors, part of the intelligentsia. Member of the Socialist International. Venstre, founded in 1870, is a left-wing liberal party that expresses the interests of large and medium landowners and part of industrial entrepreneurs. The Conservative People’s Party was founded in 1916 and represents the interests of business and financial circles, part of the landowners and leaders of the state apparatus. The Radical Left Party arose in 1905 and unites the middle strata of the city and countryside, and part of the intelligentsia. The Christian People’s Party was founded in 1970 as a clerical party. The Socialist People’s Party, founded in 1959, unites part of the workers, employees, and intelligentsia, and takes positions close to social democracy. Created in 1972, the Danish People’s Party (formerly the Progress Party) is a populist movement representing the interests of right-wing smallholders who oppose state regulation of the economy and restrictions on free enterprise. The Single List is a left-wing socialist bloc that unites former communists (the Communist Party of Denmark dissolved itself in 1991) and representatives of other left-wing organizations – the Left Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers’ Party.
The leading business organization, the Danish Employers’ Association, has approx. 30 thousand members (early 2000s).
The largest branch trade unions, uniting up to 85% of the country’s workers, are part of the Central Association of Trade Unions of Denmark. Civil society also includes cooperatives and various other interest unions.
Foreign policy. Based on the experience of the 2nd World War, Denmark abandoned the policy of neutrality and joined NATO. The Danish government adheres to the principles of non-deployment of nuclear weapons and foreign military bases on the territory of the country in peacetime. However, Denmark has given the United States the opportunity to conduct military activities at bases in Greenland.
Denmark’s activity in the EU is a priority direction in the country’s foreign policy. Denmark plays an active role in the development of European cooperation. Denmark provides assistance to developing countries, which in the 1990s. was 1% of GDP. The traditional northern cooperation continues to develop.
The armed forces consist of the Ground Forces, the Navy, and the Air Force. The draft age is 18 years. Military spending – 1.4% of GDP. After World War II, St. 40 thousand Danish soldiers served in the UN forces, incl. as observers in different parts of the world.
Denmark has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on June 18, 1924, interrupted on June 22, 1941, restored on May 10-16, 1945).
In the Faroe Islands, the legislature is the Lagting with 32 deputies elected by popular vote for a term of 4 years. The supreme executive body is the Landsture. The Danish government on the islands is represented by a rigsombudsman appointed by royal decree. In 1984, the Lagting decided to declare the Faroe Islands a nuclear-weapon-free zone. Denmark has a naval base on the islands, as well as a radar complex, which is part of the NATO warning system. The Faroe Islands have never been part of the EU. The main political parties are the Social Democratic Party (founded in 1925), the Republican Party (founded in 1945), the People’s Party (founded in 1936), and the Union Party (founded in 1906). Republicans and the People’s Party are in favor of strengthening independence.
In Greenland, the legislature is the Landsting, and the self-governing government is the Landsture. In 18 communes, local authorities are elected for a term of 4 years. Denmark on the island is represented by rigsombudsman. In 1973, Greenland, along with Denmark, joined the EU, but after a referendum in 1982, it left it on February 1, 1985. Political parties of various directions operate on the island: the social democratic Siumut (Forward, founded in 1977) advocates the expansion of autonomy; the left-socialist “Inuit atakvatigiit” (“Community of the Inuit-Eskimos”, created in 1977) stands for complete separation from Denmark; moderate bourgeois party Atassut (“Cohesion”, founded in 1978).