Denmark is a Kingdom which includes the constituent countries of Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark lies in southern Scandinavia, and its 68 km stretch of border with Germany is its only land boundary while it also borders the United Kingdom, Norway, Poland and Sweden by sea.
Denmark’s population is approximately 5.7 million, and it is both a member of the European Union and a Schengen country. Its contemporary market economy includes a modern small-scale and corporate industry and high-tech agriculture. It is among the most liberal of all the EU member states as far as policy on trade is concerned, and it is the 37th largest exporter globally.
The Danish economy puts much onus on foreign trade and sees a combined value of exports and imports equalling 99% of GDP. Inflation and energy prices are low, and the labour market is strong. The EU is the country’s most important trading zone and accounts for 75% of imports and 60% of exports.
All Danish citizens enjoy equal rights to social security under the national welfare system. Danish health and education are free to all citizens. The Danish welfare model is subsidised by the state, and as such Denmark’s taxation levels are among the highest in the world.
With a history steeped in Vikings and sea adventures, Denmark also has stunning natural sights such as floating sand dunes and majestic cliffs, islands, forests of pine trees and herds of wild horses. Museums include the Maritime Museum, Odense’s Hans Christian Andersen Museum and the AroS Art Museum which is topped by a halo of colour, the Rainbow Panorama, through which visitors can sightsee the city through every colour of the rainbow.
Birdwatchers, cyclists, hikers and tourist of all ages enjoy Thy National Park along the western coastline of Jutland. Egeskov Castle in Funen, complete with a beautiful working moat, is a renaissance style attraction resplendent with spires and featuring the impressive Knights’ Hall. The surrounding area is an added attraction with its large forest punctuated with local structures and trails.
Copenhagen alone has a vast array of appeal, from fairy tale inspirations to street vendors offering marijuana for sale. The amusement park, Tivoli Gardens, the sculpture of the Little Mermaid, Christiansborg Palace on the tiny island of Slotsholmen and the Throne of Denmark, a royal chair said to be made with unicorn horns. Freetown Christiania is an alternative neighbourhood started by hippies back in the day, through which you can browse and pick up many unusual items.
The European Union Travel Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) is a new pre-travel authorisation system similar to Australia’s ETA, to be implemented in 2021. While Schengen visas will still be required by those nationals not enjoying the visa liberalisation policy at present, this visa waiver will be required by non-EU passport holders before embarking for Europe.
The purpose of this authorisation system is the increased control of entry into the EU and Schengen zone. Increased terrorism and uncontrolled immigration into the European countries have caused the European Commission to implement these measures in an effort to safeguard Europeans and tourists alike.
Australia’s most visible example of Australian and Danish collaboration must be the Sydney Opera which was designed by the Danish Architect Jørn Utzon. Australian-born Mary Donaldson married Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik in 2004, further cementing relations between the two countries. The countries’ bilateral relationship has a foundation of close cooperation on international issues, commitment to global security, and two centuries of links following migration. More than 59,000 Australians claim Danish ancestry.
Danish migrants to Australia took many forms over the centuries. Many Danish men fled after the 1851 and 1864 Schleswig-Holstein wars; sailors abandoned ship while sailing past Australia, the prospect of gold in the 1850 and 1860 gold rush allured many and beneficiaries took advantage of the special government’s programmes for assisted passage. The end of World War II alone saw approximately 8,000 Danes leave home for Australia.
Bilateral agreements between Australia and Denmark cover trade, defence, extradition, taxation and social security. These include the Working Holiday Maker Arrangement and a Social Security Agreement as well as an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation. An estimated 700 Danes study in Australia annually. Bilateral education links between the countries’ tertiary institutions include partnership agreements between the University of Copenhagen and Sydney, and the Technological University of Denmark and the University of Queensland.
Estimated two-way merchandise trade between Australia and Denmark is a little over a billion dollars, largely in Denmark’s favour. Australia’s merchandise exports to Denmark include manufactured articles, alcohol, beef, and fruit and nuts. Imports from Denmark include meats other than beef, rotating electric plant and parts, medicaments and pharmaceutical products.
Danish investment in Australia is primarily green technology, shipping services, MedTech/pharmaceuticals and agribusiness valued at two-and-a-half billion dollars. Australia boasts more than 100 Danish companies and significant Australian companies are located in Denmark. Australian investment in Denmark is worth over three-and-a-half billion dollars.
Once ETIAS is in place, Australians wanting to visit Denmark will need this electronic pre-authorisation which is valid for 3 years. Danish citizens have long required the ETA pre-authorisation to visit Australia. Both systems are electronic and are for short-stay tourism, or business visits up to 90 days.