Before departing for Copenhagen, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement:
A century ago, Germans and Danes voted in two referendums on the border between our two countries. They did so peacefully and democratically after the mindless bloodshed in Europe during World War One. This proximity as neighbours has today evolved into a unique form of co‑existence between Germans and Danes.
The German-Danish Cultural Year of Friendship in 2020 which we are opening today in a ceremony attended by Queen Margarete demonstrates not just the closeness of our cultural ties. At a time when we are seeing a resurgence in nationalism, this Year of Friendship is also an important and decisive commitment to our peaceful co‑existence in Europe – an achievement which we must never take for granted.