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Germany and Denmark: Bilateral relations

01.10.2022 - Article

Relations between Denmark and Germany are characterised by good neighbourliness and close cooperation in all areas. There are frequent meetings and intensive dialogue at all political levels. There are also a large number of visits at state and parliamentary level. Land Schleswig-Holstein maintains particularly close relations with Denmark.

The positive and lively interaction between the German minority in North Schleswig and the neighbouring Danish minority in South Schleswig also shapes bilateral relations. The successful minority policies on both sides are founded on the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations of 1955. As part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the referendums and the demarcation of the border between Denmark and Germany, the Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe-Institut staged the German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship in 2020 under the patronage of the two Foreign Ministers. On 26 August 2022, Foreign Minister Baerbock and Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod adopted a Joint Action Plan for future cooperation. The Joint Action Plan builds on close neighbourly relations and, in view of the two countries’ highly ambitious climate policy, is focused on promoting a genuinely green transition.

Economic relations are close and intensive. Germany is one of Denmark’s most important trading partners. German imports from Denmark include industrial products, machinery, food, agricultural products and medical and pharmaceutical products. Its main exports to Denmark include machinery and motor vehicles, chemicals, consumer goods and food.

Close cultural ties between Denmark and Germany have existed for centuries. Of key importance in the extremely diverse cultural exchange is the Danes’ good command of German compared to nationals of other European countries. The Goethe-Institut in Denmark supports cultural exchange and offers language courses as part of its wide-ranging programme. University and student exchanges also take place on a large scale at university level.

Germany and Denmark are also pursuing joint cooperation projects in the defence policy sphere. In addition to numerous mutual training activities in the maritime field, Denmark, together with Germany and Poland, is a troop contributor for the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin.

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