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Denmark is the smallest as well as the most southerly and most low-lying of the three Scandinavian countries and consists of the peninsula of Jutland and an archipelago of more than 400 islands of which 72 are inhabited. Denmark borders Germany to the south, is connected to Sweden by a road and rail bridge and has a tidal coastline of 7 314 km.
The most important sectors of Denmark’s economy in 2012 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (23.9 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.4 %) and industry (17.0 %).
Denmark’s main export partners are Germany, Sweden and the UK, while its main import partners are Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Geographical size: 42 915.7 km²
Population: 5 580 516 (2012)
Population as % of total EU population: 1.1 % (2012)
GDP: € 245.252 billion (2012)
Official EU language(s): Danish
Political system: parliamentary constitutional monarchy
EU member state since: 1 January 1973
Seats in the European Parliament: 13
Currency: Danish krone DKK
Passport-free travel? Yes, Schengen Area member since 19 December 2001
Presidency of the Council: Denmark has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 7 times between 1973 and 2012.
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Danish government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
Dates of Danish presidencies:
Jul-Dec 1973 | Jan-Jun 1978 | Jul-Dec 1982 | Jul-Dec 1987 | Jan-Jun 1993 | Jul-Dec 2002 | Jan-Jun 2012
More on the current presidency of the Council of the EU.
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Denmark has 9 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
Denmark has 9 representatives on the Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Denmark also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Denmark's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.
Breakdown of Denmark's finances with the EU in 2012:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
The money paid into the EU budget by Denmark helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.
Find out more about how Denmark benefits from EU funding.