European Union

Denmark

Overview

Flag of Denmark

Political system

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. It has a representative parliamentary system with a head of government - the prime minister - and a head of state - the monarch - who officially retains executive power, although duties are strictly representative and ceremonial. The kingdom also comprises 2 autonomous constituent countries in the Atlantic, neither of which are EU members: the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Location on the EU map

Trade and economy

The most important sectors of Denmark’s economy in 2016 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.3 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.3 %) and industry (18.8 %).

Intra-EU trade accounts for 62 % of Denmark’s exports (Germany 16%, Sweden 12 % and United Kingdom 6 %), while outside the EU 8% go to the United States and 6 % to Norway.

In terms of imports, 71 % come from EU Member States (Germany 21%, Sweden 12 % and the Netherlands 8 %), while outside the EU 7% come from China and 6 % from Norway.

Denmark in the EU

European Parliament

There are 13 members of the European Parliament from Denmark. Find out who these MEPs are.

European Parliament office in Denmark

Council of the EU

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.

Presidency of the Council of the EU

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

Presidency of the Council of the EU

The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU

European Commission

The Commissioner nominated by Denmark to the European Commission is Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for Competition.

The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".

Commission representation in Denmark

European Economic & Social Committee

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.

European Committee of the Regions

Denmark has 9 representatives on the European 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.

Permanent representation to 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.

Budgets and Funding

How much does Denmark contribute and receive?

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 2017: 

  • Total EU spending in Denmark: € 1.459 billion
  • Total EU spending as % of Danish gross national income (GNI): 0.5 %
  • Total Danish contribution to the EU budget: € 1.927 billion
  • Danish contribution to the EU budget as % of its GNI: 0.65 % 

More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:

EU-funded projects in Denmark

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.

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