Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asiatisk Plads 2
1448 København K
Phone: +45 33 92 00 00
Design: Regeringens Kommunikationsenhed
ISBN 978-87-93760-96-7 (printed version)
ISBN 978-87-93760-98-1 (digital version)
Find the strategy online at www.um.dk
1. Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
2. Value diplomacy
A strong voice for Denmark in the world. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
3. Safety diplomacy
A more secure world that creates safety for Danes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
4. Climate diplomacy
Denmark as a green superpower . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
5. Migration diplomacy
A robust response to the pressure from migration and refugees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
6. Economic diplomacy
Fair and sustainable economic development that ensures Danish jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
7. A Denmark that can take action in the world . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
We see new threats flare up, while old threats
storm back onto the scene – from the Baltic Sea to
the Arctic, from cyberspace to the race for the technology of the future and for supply chains.
Throughout the world, democracy is on the retreat.
The climate crisis threatens. Protectionism is on
the rise. The world has not seen such refugee flows
since 1945, and in the meantime, the international
asylum system has broken down. And in the shadow
of globalisation, inequality and injustice thrive.
Russia’s aggressive conduct towards Ukraine is a
disturbing attempt to return foreign and security
policy to the Cold War’s cynical thinking in terms
of power and spheres of influence in Europe. In this
context, we must protect the principle that every
country has the right to freedom and self-determination. And we do that both in words and action.
At the same time, the economic and political gravity
continues, to an increasing degree, to shift towards
Asia. This is also reflected in the tensions and the
greater insecurity we are seeing in the Indo-Pacific,
which is an important region for a major shipping
country such as Denmark. In this context, there is
a need for forging stronger bonds and establishing
new partnerships. And we are already well on our
way to doing that.
In Afghanistan, 20 years of international efforts
ended with the return to power by the Taliban
extremists. It is heart-breaking to think of the consequences for the Afghan people – especially for
the Afghan women. That was not the way it was
supposed to end. But even though the international
community’s exit from Afghanistan ended both
suddenly and chaotically, we must not give up the
efforts to combat international terror and make
the way for peace, development, and fundamental
Denmark must continue to actively bear its responsibility – also when it is difficult. We must do that
together with our allies and partners. It is also a
matter of our own security and safety.
The world is in the midst of a global struggle over
values, which puts pressure on core Danish interests. We no longer live in a world where the strong
international institutions, which we have long
benefitted from, can be taken for granted. Where
rights trump power and agreements are upheld.
Where the shared rules that promote international
security, fair global trade, and transparent working
relations between nations are respected.
We risk becoming the first generation that passes
on a poorer, less secure, and less equal world. We
cannot let that happen.
Therefore, in the future, Denmark’s foreign and
security policy must set its course according to a
values-based compass. So that we know what we
are fighting for. Whom we are fighting with. And
what we are fighting against. That is how we best
advance Danish interests in a world without fixed
points of reference. Without a compass that faithfully points towards our Danish values, we will lose
We must dare to lead the way when we have the
most at stake and can make a difference. But taking
A compass for
With this strategy we are setting the course for Denmark’s foreign and security policy in the
years ahead. As a response to a historically unpredictable world, the strategy presents a new
value compass that will provide a course when difficult choices must be taken. Specific challenges come and go, but our values endure. Therefore, it is with our values as a guide that we can
best advance Denmark’s interests and safeguard Denmark’s safety, prosperity, and social
cohesion. Danish foreign policy must not become rigidly locked into a false contradiction between our interests and our values. We are setting a course that promotes our interests by
fighting for our values.
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 5
the lead does not mean going alone. Because we
must fight wisely. Through strong international
institutions such as the EU, which are crucial for
Denmark. Through NATO and together with allies
such as the USA, which are the linchpin for securing
Denmark’s security. Through the UN, because when
the countries of the world can reach consensus, we
can make progress – together. In green strategic
partnerships that open the doors to increased cooperation with the world.
We must choose tailor-made approaches. Because
there are few easy answers when interests and
values meet. Thus, we must allow space for analysis and room for nuances. A Danish foreign policy
based on values must never become empty political
rhetoric or meaningless political promises.
The way forward is built on three key words: values,
realities, and instruments – in that order and
The strategy takes its point of departure in
everything that we stand for and everything that we
will protect: the Danish welfare state. Our Danish
model. The actual freedom of individuals, equality,
democracy, strong cooperation, rights and duties,
safety, community spirit, and social cohesion. These
are our fundamental values.
Next, we must make it clear exactly what we are
facing. Thus, the strategy looks at the world exactly
as it is. A sober analysis of the challenges we are
facing and the opportunities we can choose to seize
if we take a step forward. These are the foreign
And, finally, the strategy presents the tools and initiatives we must bring into play in order to make a
difference for Denmark. These are our instruments.
With these three building blocks, the strategy
introduces our values diplomacy approach where
we work harder for the defence of democracy and
strong international institutions. A safety diplomacy
approach that is to increase our security in a world
with an ever more complex threat landscape. A
climate diplomacy approach where we lead the way
in raising the global level of ambition.
A migration diplomacy approach in which we fight
for a more just and humane asylum system that will
help more people, in a better way, and more rapidly
than the current international asylum system is able
to. And an economic diplomacy approach where
we promote a triple bottom line; a strong Danish
economy with more new Danish jobs which is to
ensure that we are in the black. A green, just, and
sustainable global transition – with Danish solutions
at the centre – is to ensure that the green accounts
are balanced. And a strengthened focus on workers’
rights and conditions is to ensure that our values
and the Danish model is not just protected but is
also strengthened internationally.
With this strategy, we are setting out the collective
direction and framework for Denmark’s foreign
and security policy across Danish priorities and
instruments. Thus, the strategy also constitutes a
framework for other strategies with an international focus – including the Global Climate Strategy,
the Strategy for the Danish Defence Industry, the
Government’s Action Plan for Economic Diplomacy,
and the Strategy for Development Cooperation
that are based on broad support from the parties
of the Danish Parliament (Folketinget). And for
future strategies as well as a new European political
agreement that the Government will take action
on together with the interested parties of the
The priorities of the strategy reflect the fact that,
today, foreign policy and domestic policy are intrinsically linked. The changes we are fighting for in
Denmark require that we also fight for Danish interests and values throughout the world. Defending
the Danes’ safety, welfare, and social cohesion does
not stop at the Danish borders. It requires a global
engagement. And the changes we are creating here
at home must be shared with the world.
Yes, we do have great ambitions on behalf of Denmark. If we are to achieve our goals, we will need
to prepare the Danish Foreign Service for the task.
Thus, the Government has carried out a comprehensive structural reorganisation of the Foreign
Service to ensure that we maximize our diplomatic
clout in the places where we can reap the biggest
benefit for Denmark and for Danish values. Finally,
the Government has broken with the many years of
massive cutbacks in the Foreign Service.
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Boost and future-proof Danish exports in the light of the
With the export packages, the Government has mobilised a swift,
strategic effort, in close cooperation with the business community,
for placing Danish solutions at the centre with regard to economic
recovery projects, especially in the EU and the USA. 27 missions
were strengthened with 65 advisors to assist in bringing Danish
solutions in the fields of digitisation, health care, and a green transition into play.
Significant foreign and security
policy initiatives since the
Government’s accession 2019
Based on the Government’s foreign and security policy line –
from which the new strategy takes its starting point – a range
of significant initiatives have already been carried out since
the Government’s accession in summer 2019:
Active value-based Danish membership in the UN’s Human
Through three years of membership, we have achieved a range
of important victories. Among other things, in September 2021,
Denmark first brought together the EU and subsequently a wider
group of countries in order to gain broad backing in the Council
for establishing a special rapporteur for monitoring the human
rights situation in the Taleban-controlled Afghanistan. At a meeting in the Council in September 2020, Denmark was responsible
for a statement that received record backing (33 countries). The
statement criticised the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia
with a focus on the suppression of women’s rights, the continued use of torture, and the persecution and the use of the death
sentence for political dissidents. Denmark has had, moreover, a
significant role in the adoption of the strong resolutions regarding
the situation in Belarus, Ethiopia, and Myanmar.
Support to democratic forces in our eastern neighbourhood region
In the spring of 2021, the Government established The New
Democracy Fund with 50 million DKK. The fund supports democratic forces and civil society in Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova,
Armenia, and Azerbaijan. In Belarus, Denmark has, i.a., supported
advocates of human rights in the fight against authoritarian regimes
by suppling camera equipment to journalists and legal assistance in
connection with the regime’s assault. In Ukraine, Denmark is contributing to the support for the key anti-corruption institutions that
are leading the way when it comes to investigating and providing
evidence – an effort that has led to convictions in a number of major
corruption cases. And in 2020, the Government brought about the
creation of a Ukrainian-Danish Youth House in Kyiv, as a platform
for developing a strong local civil society that can hold the people in
A stronger EU must lead the way in the international fight for
The Government has played a key role in connection with the
establishment of the EU’s joint human rights sanction regime so
that we in the EU can respond strongly to human rights violations. With Denmark leading the way, the EU has, e.g., imposed
sanctions on the Lukashenko regime in Belarus in connection with
the absolutely unacceptable attempt to instrumentalise migration
Defence for digital democracy
The Government has launched the Tech for Democracy initiative,
where Denmark leads the way in a strong defence of online democratic dialogue and for setting the parameters for, among other
things, the work of the major tech companies, so that neither
human rights nor democratic values are suppressed. The Tech
for Democracy initiative is a key Danish contribution to the US
Summit for Democracy meeting.
Green pioneer country and climate diplomacy
Immediately after the Government’s accession, Denmark’s first
climate ambassador was appointed. Denmark has managed to
create a significant green footprint by entering into green strategic
partnerships with, among others, India, in the fight against coal and
fossil fuels and especially at COP26, where Denmark succeeded
in assembling more than 150 private actors in the Getting-to-Zero
Coalition, which is working for climate-neutral shipping in 2025.
And, from 2023, the Danish contribution to international climate
financing will amount to approx. DKK 78 billion a significant boost
for the Danish green climate financing to developing countries.
The Danish Realm and the Arctic capacity package
The Government has decided to spend DKK 1.5 billion for a
capacity package that, starting from 2023, will strengthen the
Danish Armed Forces’ monitoring and presence in the Arctic and
the North Atlantic. With investments in, for example, long-range
drones, radars, and satellite monitoring, both the Armed Forces’
military capacity and its ability to support civil society through rescue operations, environmental monitoring, inspections of fishery
activities, climate monitoring, and research. The Government has
a strong focus on increasing the cooperation in the Danish Realm,
and when the American Secretary of State visited Denmark in the
summer of 2020, for the first time a joint meeting was held with
the participation of a Danish foreign minister, and Greenlandic
and Faroese colleagues.
Danish candidature for a seat on the UN Security Council in 2025-
Denmark takes responsibility for preventing, managing, and solving
the conflicts of the world that cost lives, create instability, and lead
to migration flows and irregular migration. Therefore, the Government has launched the Danish candidature for a seat on the UN
Security Council. Denmark will be the shop steward to the world
in the Security Council and stand guard for an international order
based on rules and rights.
Maritime security and free navigation
As one of the biggest shipping nations in the world, the right to free
navigation is part of Denmark’s DNA. Therefore, the Government
has appointed a special representative for maritime security and
boosted funding for initiatives to counter maritime crime. Denmark
has provided another naval contribution and has led the maritime
mission in the Strait of Hormuz, EMASOH, since 2020 as well as
contributing to the engagement in the Bay of Guinea in 2021-2022.
Trade policy forum for a fair and sustainable trade policy
The Government has set a new focus on trade policy – not just
free trade, but fair and sustainable trade. And a strengthened
focus on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation. Therefore, as early as in the autumn of 2019, the Government
established a new trade policy forum. In this forum, representatives from the trade union movement, business organisations, civil
society, and experts are to provide inspiration for the Government’s trade policy.
6 7 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Denmark must engage more strongly in the fight for common rules, democratic values, and
respect for human rights. With swifter help to the defenders of democracy and human
rights who are fighting on the front lines. By objecting when countries, including countries
within Europe, do not respect shared rules and principles. And by standing together with
other democracies around the word in a stronger defence of the democratic societal model.
In this context, American and EU value-based leadership are crucial – and they must have
our support. The EU can and should become a significantly stronger value policy actor on
the international scene. Because when Europe stands strong, transatlantic cooperation and
the West as a collective actor is also strengthened in the global fight over values that has
been picking up speed in recent years.
Around the world, democracy has been on the retreat for over a decade. Human rights
violations are on the rise. Inequality and a lack of freedom are increasing. Religious fanaticism, including militant Islamism, is spreading. Protectionism is increasing. An agreement is
no longer an agreement. And the rules that provide predictability and security between
countries are coming under increasing pressure.
Denmark is safer in a world with common rules that are based on the values we believe in.
Denmark is bigger in a world where cooperation between countries is on an equal footing,
where the biggest countries cannot just steamroll the small ones. And Denmark’s welfare
increases in a world with fair trade.
The fight over values is also a fight for the trust in our strong international institutions such
as the EU, the UN, and NATO. Multilateral cooperation has promoted security, justice, and
social progress throughout the world for 70 years. But we must also face the truth: Many
people feel that this very same international cooperation seem distant. That not enough is
being done to solve the problems that concern them in their daily lives. Or that they do not
share in the prosperity that globalisation has created. That they are being left out of the
community. This is a valid criticism – we must do better.
We must work for an EU that, to an even greater degree, creates results that are close to
home and that everyone in Denmark can share in. And we must push the EU up into the
global weight class so that we in Europe can better promote our own values and interests in
an ever more cynical and insecure world. We must work for a NATO that is prepared for the
future, supported by an even stronger transatlantic bond and with Denmark at the centre.
We must work for a UN that gives Denmark a bigger voice in the world and makes Denmark
safer. With the Danish candidacy for the UN Security Council, we will make Denmark the
world’s shop steward and renew the Danish UN engagement. We will fight for a global
community that brings the world together around real and sustainable solutions – to
inequality, irregular migration, sustainability, the climate crisis, and conflicts.
2. Value diplomacy
A strong voice for Denmark in the
the EU’s global
A strong voice for
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 9
Denmark leads the way in
supporting the democratic forces in Belarus
Denmark led the way in condemning the attacks on the peaceful demonstrators in
Belarus and mobilised support for significant EU sanctions against the people responsible for gross human rights violations and manipulation of the presidential election in
August 2020. With a New Democracy Fund with DKK 50 million, we are supporting the
ever-more beleaguered Belarusian civil society as well as the people and organisations
that are fighting for democracy and free media in Belarus and other countries in the eastern neighbourhood region. The people of Belarus must know that Denmark continues to
support their demand for a free and democratic future.
Responsible, democratic and secure technology
Digital technologies have become a regular part of our democratic debate. This entails enormous benefits for society, but it
also provides authoritarian regimes new opportunities for
surveillance, behaviour control, oppression and censorship.
With the Tech for Democracy initiative, Denmark wishes to
focus attention on how technology can support democracy
and human rights rather than undermine them. Together with
the EU, the US and likeminded countries, we are engaging in a
strong defence for the democratic conversation – not least
online where we must provide the framework for, among others, the big tech giants’ role in society, so that neither human
rights nor democratic values are oppressed.
Strengthened cooperation between the
democracies of the world
We must strengthen the bonds to the democracies of the world in a time
when the global fight over values is raging. We must build further on the
global alliance of countries that puts the respect for democracy and human
rights first – and we must dare to look inward and also take on the internal
challenges. That is why Denmark assumes an active role in a number of
American high-level meetings on democracy. With our strong tradition of
democracy and human rights, we are building broad alliances within, for
example, the protection of democratic rights online. And we are
strengthening the cooperation with democracies around the world, for
example in the IndoPacific.
Denmark leads the way in strengthening the EU’s influence around the world
The EU constitutes Denmark’s most important foreign policy platform – and is therefore key lever for promoting
Danish values and interests around the world. Therefore, we work determinedly to strengthen the EU’s global clout
and ensure that the EU has the right instruments to assert its influence. Denmark has, for example:
• Gathered 22 countries together to provide concrete proposals for strengthening the EU’s foreign and security
• Played a key role in establishing the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime so that we can respond strongly to
human rights violations.
• Led the work for a general strengthening of the EU’s sanctions policy so that the Lukashenko regime in Belarus
could be sanctioned in connection with its completely unacceptable attempt to instrumentalise migration.
• Pushed for the adoption of the EU’s first sanctions in response to a cyberattack.
engagement in the
UN and is a candidate for a seat in
the UN Security
Denmark is strengthening its engagement in
the UN and is upgrading
its diplomatic presence
because as bridge builders, we will contribute
to ensuring a modern UN
that contributes to tackling the global challenges
that are of importance to
Denmark’s values, safety,
and welfare. Especially regarding the UN
Security Council, where
we have undertaken the
difficult role of facilitating
negotiations on reforms.
Therefore, we have also
injected new resources in
the form of posted diplomats to our UN mission
in New York and the UN
offices in Copenhagen
Denmark is a candidate for a seat in the
UN Security Council in
because we take responsibility for preventing,
managing and solving
the conflicts of the world
that cost lives, create
instability and lead to refugee flows and irregular
migration. Our candidacy
is about safeguarding
the international order
based on rules and rights.
Denmark will be the shop
steward for the world
in the Security Council.
Looking out for our
world and thus looking
out for Denmark. Our
in the UN Peacebuilding
Commission in 2023-24
will contribute to this
A strong Danish
voice for human
Human rights are under
pressure in a number of
countries and also in the
international communities that are supposed
to protect them. For example, in 2020, 87%
of the world’s population
lived in countries where
civil society has restricted or no room to maneuver.(3) That is something
we cannot accept. That is
why Denmark is a significant voice in the fight for
In September 2021,
Denmark led the way
– first in the EU group
later with regard to a
wider group of countries
– in obtaining a broad
mandate in the UN
Human Rights Council
for establishing a special
rapporteur on the
human rights situation
in the Taliban controlled
Denmark has played an
active role in building
the rule-based international protection of
human rights. And we
must continue to take an
active leadership role in
the UN. Thus, the Government adopts another
of the UN’s human rights
conventions: the eighth
core convention on
protecting people from
We must transform the
good intentions into
action and keep a sharp
focus on ensuring that
the rights are realised in
practice. To get governments to live up to their
human rights commitments.
of the world’s population in 2020 lived
in “non-free” or
only “partially free”
killed in the 2010s
in connection with
The degree of freedom in the
countries and territories of
the world in 2020 according
to Freedom House
Partly free countries
Not free countries
Values under pressure
For 15 years in a row,
there has been more
decline than progress for
democracy around the
world, according to Freedom House. (2) That trend
must be reversed. And
now is the time that there
is the momentum for mobilising the democracies of
the world. We have been
naïve for too long, but it
has become all too clear
what is at stake. Denmark
is therefore strengthening
the fight for promoting
democratic values and
human rights. Especially
through our development
cooperation, through our
strong Danish and locally
anchored civil society
partners and through international organisations.
fight for democracy
in a time when the
democracies of the
world are under
10 11 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
The USA – an unrivalled and
crucial partner for Denmark
Denmark and the USA have
a close bilateral relationship
that we must protect and
expand. Because a close
relationship with the USA –
bilaterally and in the international institutions – is crucial
for promoting our values and
interests around the world
– for our security and our
The USA is crucial for the rules-based international order
We have a strong sense of solidarity with the USA with regard to values,
and we need global American leadership. It is together with the USA, the
EU, and our other partners that we must handle the pressure on the strong
international institutions and the challenges that come from, among other
things, China’s more self-assertive behaviour and Russia’s hybrid warfare
and military escalation in our neighbouring area. In this context, we need
a strong transatlantic response. Therefore, we must support American
leadership and together safeguard multilateral cooperation where common
rules, democracy, and human rights are respected.
The USA is Denmark’s most important security policy ally
NATO and a strong transatlantic bond are the guarantors for Denmark’s
and Europe’s security. Denmark and the USA stand together for our shared
values of peace, security and freedom. Therefore, it is important that we
have a timely division of tasks with the USA. We stand side by side with
the USA in many of the hotspots of the world. When the USA orients itself
more in the direction of Asia, it is in our shared interest. Also when it means
that Europe must take more responsibility in our neighbouring areas.
The USA is an absolutely crucial partner in the Arctic
We stand together with the USA in handling the increasing tensions that
are a result of, among other things, the Russian military build-up in the
Artic. In maintaining the objective of the Arctic being a low-tension area
through strengthened monitoring and having a presence in the area. And
in combatting climate change, protecting the environment, collaboration
on research and in creating sustainable development to the benefit of the
people who live in the region.
The USA is an important partner in the climate fight
The American engagement in the climate fight creates international
momentum and the foundation for a strong collaboration with Denmark
as a climate pioneer. Because the USA is also looking to Danish experience
with green innovation and a green transition where no one is left behind.
The USA is Denmark’s biggest trading partner outside of Europe
Exports to the USA create Danish jobs and contribute to our welfare. The
strong American focus on the green transition creates opportunities for the
export of Danish expertise and sustainable solutions – opportunities that we
Denmark lends a
helping hand to
voices in Ukraine
Through the establishment of a
Ukrainian-Danish Youth House in
Kyiv, we are giving the Ukrainian
youth a platform for developing a
strong civil society that can hold
the people in power responsible.
This takes place through, for
example, the exchange of experience and by creating networks
with strong Danish youth organisations that promote democracy.
In this way, we also strengthen
the Danish youths’ understanding of the fight for democracy,
independent media and a reality
to a Ukrainian-Danish
Democratic development and respect for human rights
The Government will work for a more democratic world. Because when we advance a
democratic development, we also safeguard our own safety and our societal model. And the
Government will place focus on the positive importance that human rights have for the
democratic development and internal cohesion of states. For the freedom of individuals and
for equal opportunities.
We will be an active voice for democracy
We will mobilise Danish development assistance, political pressure, and our likeminded partners in a
together with the EU and, especially with the USA – because American leadership is crucial in an international partnership rooted in democratic values. If the democracies of world do not stand together and rise
to the occasion, we are facing a world that is less free, more disorderly, and more unjust.
We will provide the democratic forces in our eastern neighbouring region with a buttress
We will strengthen the forces that stand up to autocratic leaders and orientate themselves towards the
EU’s community of values. Through our efforts, we will ensure both swift and flexible support in acute situations and follow-up with long-term democratic initiatives. The support is to target especially civil society
and the youth, the democrats of tomorrow.
We will actively make use of the entire multilateral toolbox in order to take a clear stand against autocratic
behaviour and work for progress that will benefit the oppressed. This also applies to sanctions when we see
systematic attacks such as we have seen, for example, in Belarus. Because eastern neighbours who move
towards democracy advance Denmark’s and Europe’s security.
12 13 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
We will lead the way in defending human rights
We will assume leadership in the fight for women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights, for combatting
torture, for the rights of indigenous peoples, for freedom of expression and faith, and for a strong and independent civil society. We will protect vulnerable population groups, including LGBTI+ persons and religious
Our impact is strongest when we gather together likeminded parties in a united front. Through the EU, the
UN, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe, we will build coalitions for raising the price of human rights violations and protest repression loudly and clearly.
Strong international institutions
The Government will act as an agent of reform that works for modern international organisations that promote safety, justice and welfare – globally, regionally, and in Denmark.
Because it is through strong international institutions that everyone’s true freedom grows.
We will be at the centre of an EU that delivers results for its citizens
We will increase our efforts to promote Danish interests and values in the EU, which constitutes a critical platform for ensuring Denmark’s values, security and welfare. Seamless trade across borders creates
growth and jobs in Denmark, and shared high standards create demand for Danish solutions and ensure
high quality products for Danish consumers. And when facing challenges we cannot take on alone, the
EU is the strongest card we can play. This applies even more in a tougher world with growing geopolitical tensions and economic rivalries, the climate crisis, global health crises, and pressure from migration.
Therefore, we must dare to confront, with our eyes wide open, the challenges that cooperation with the EU
entails and what is required to meet them. Ensure that the EU differentiates more sharply between where
joint European solutions are required and where the member countries can best tackle them themselves.
We will strengthen Danish alliances within the EU cooperation and actively set an agenda that promotes
Danish and European values. And ensure that what started as a Coal and Steel Union becomes a Climate
Union with global clout. The Conference on the Future of Europe is a forum to have this debate – not in the
rooms of Brussels where the negotiations take place – but with the people who are the very reason for the
We will hold the EU to its core values
We stand on the frontline when it comes to maintaining the principle of the rule of law, democracy, gender
equality, and the respect for human rights as the cornerstones of the EU cooperation. Unfortunately, we
are seeing that the respect for these values is increasingly being disregarded in certain countries. This
development must be reversed. These fundamental values are the lifeblood of the EU’s strength, credibility, effectiveness, and impact. The EU is not just an economic community; it is also an absolutely necessary
partnership to defend our values.
We will work for a stronger EU on the global scene that leads the way in the fight over
We must continue to work for a significant sanctions policy in the EU, so that we can crack down hard on
violations of human rights, the repression of democracy and breaches of international rules. Sanctions need
to be used wisely and not be an automatic reaction. But when we do make use of this instrument, it needs
to be done more effectively so that it can be felt. And we must use the entire toolbox that the EU has, so
that it continues to be us setting the global standards that ensure our values are respected in both the EU
and around the world.
We will work for a strong NATO that defends our shared values
Denmark is an active and engaged NATO ally. Today, NATO is more than a defence alliance; it is also a community of values against increasing autocratic pressue. We must strengthen NATO, both politically and
militarily, up to 2030. We must hold on to our strong alliance and our cooperation across the Atlantic. It is a
prerequisite for solving the difficult security policy challenges that we are facing. Especially when it comes
to deterring totalitarian regimes from attacking democratic states and allies.
We will work for a strong UN
We will work for a UN that guards our international rules, promotes a more progressive world and fights
injustice. We will support reforms that ensure that the UN can continue to carry out and expand its role
as the place where the world comes together to define the fundamental rights, the rules for peaceful
cooperation, and the ambitions for sustainable development. Denmark’s appointment as facilitator of the
discussions on reform of the UN Security Council demonstrates that Denmark assumes its responsibility
of acting as a bridge builder and working for joint solution in the UN – also when it comes to the difficult
issues. We will assume responsibility for future-proofing the UN. With our EU family, the strong transatlantic bond, and in cooperation with other likeminded par ties, we must be the driving force for a more
dynamic and effective UN – both internationally and at country level. We are working also to ensure that
the UN’s Member States, and especially the richest countries in the world, pay their full contributions to
the UN, and that they do it on time.
We will be the shop steward in the UN Security Council
We will increase our engagement in the UN’s work for a secure world. Because the UN is crucial for international peace and security and is a major player on the world’s unstable frontlines – not least in Europe’s
neighbouring region. With a strengthened UN effort, we can create more safety and security. Therefore,
we are working to ensure that Denmark is elected to the UN Security Council in 2025-26. A seat on the
Security Council would give Denmark direct influence on the management of conflicts that have major
significance for Europe and Denmark. Denmark will be the shop steward for the whole world within the
Security Council. We will stand firm on our values and positions and seek out the difficult compromises
in a Security Council that is often divided. This applies especially in regard to conflicts in Africa that can
lead to instability, terrorism, refugee flows, and irregular migration. We will contribute to ensuring that to
a greater degree the UN works preventively with an eye towards climate change and human rights violations as causes of conflict or elements that can make conflicts worse. And we will work to ensure that the
UN’s peacekeeping operations become better at effectively and responsibly fulfilling the mandates that
the Security Council has assigned them. This applies especially with regard to promoting inclusive political
solutions and ensuring women’s meaningful and equal participation in peace processes. The UN neither
can nor should manage conflicts and crises alone. We will work to strengthen the UN’s partnerships with
regional organisations, especially the EU and the AU, and for creating cohesion across of humanitarian,
development, and peace initiatives
14 15 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
The world’s economic and political centre of gravity is shifting towards the Indo-Pacific.
The region is marked by increasing security policy tensions, geopolitical competition,
and disputes regarding territorial rights. And the region is a junction point for the
We will, bilaterally and pursuant to the
EU’s IndoPacific strategy, strengthen cooperation with the IndoPacific countries
that share our values and stand firm with
regard to multilateralism, free trade democracy, and a world order based on rules.
We will, build on Denmark’s existing strategic partnerships with Japan, India, South
Korea, and Indonesia.
• We have adopted a joint plan of action
with Indonesia with 86 concrete action
points leading up to 2024. For example, we will establish a bilateral climate
dialogue and build up a concrete
cooperation regarding sustainability
and energy. And we are establishing a
dialogue on human rights and building
collaboration for preventing violent
• In our joint working plan, we have
come to agreement with Japan regarding concrete cooperation projects
within, for example, the fields of energy, digitisation, agriculture, healthcare,
and maritime matters.
We will strengthen our influence by seeking to enter into partnerships and cooperation with other countries in the region,
including Australia, Vietnam, and the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations,
(ASEAN). Therefore, we have acceded to
ASEAN’s treaty for peace and cooperation (TAC). ASEAN is the most advanced
regional cooperation organisation in the
world after the EU, and, with a collective
population of 650 million people, the third
largest market for the EU.
We will work for the right of free navigation and respect for the UN’s Convention
of the Sea.
The political and
is shifting to Asia –
Denmark is increasing its focus on the
China is, at one and the same time, an economic
competitor, a partner, and a systemic rival.
Internationally, China is adopting a more
assertive line that challenges the global rules
on numerous issues. Because China’s view on
fundamental human rights diverges significantly from ours, and China puts collective
state interests above the rights of individuals.
This has contributed to increasing the distance
between China and the democratic countries of
the world on the value-based multilateral agendas and requires that we, together with our
like-minded partners, insist that all countries
must live up to their commitment to respect
In both the EU and NATO, there is an increasing attention on China, which regularly takes
advantage of hybrid tactics such as cyberoperations and influence campaigns in order to
advance strategic goals. In addition, China
is working determinedly to be the leading
country in terms of technologies that, in the
future, will have a considerable impact on
global security and defence policies as well as
economic competition. This requires that we,
together with our allies and partners, are ready
with a response when our values and interests
are trampled underfoot and that we work to
maintain the international institutions as the
framework for forming norms and rules.
At the same time, China is an unavoidable partner when it comes to solving a number of the
global challenges we face – especially the climate crisis. China also constitutes a significant
market for Danish and European companies
and plays an important role in the global value
chain. There is a constant need for promoting
equal economic relations and improving market
conditions for Danish and European companies
in China. We will work to maintain a strong
and constructive Danish-Chinese relationship
with cooperation and dialogue in select areas,
including the green transition within the framework of a new green joint timetable for the
strategic partnership. Because it constitutes an
important lever for promoting our interests and
values – bilaterally and multilaterally.
We will take steps to counter the forces that create cracks in the strong international
The strong international institutions – the UN, NATO, the Council of Europe, the EU, and later the OSCE
– all grew out of the horrors of World War II and built on a strong defence for international diplomacy
instead of conflict and war. Together with our allies and other likeminded partners, we will work, across
the multilateral arenas, to ensure that the forces that challenge the common rules and values do not gain
ground. When countries such as China and Russia and other authoritarian regimes attempt to hollow out
the values our institutions are built on, we must use our economic power and our democratic foundational
values to safeguard the rules based international cooperation.
16 17 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Denmark at the
core of NATO
We defend the European
security order that we have
built up after the fall of the
and militant Islamism
Peaceful development in the Arctic
Strong and equal cooperation in the Danish
Robust responses to
cyberthreats and attack
3. Safety diplomacy
A more secure world that creates
safety for Danes
Safety and security for Denmark and the entire Danish Realm is about protecting us from
the currents that threaten our values, freedom, and cohesion.
Denmark’s security starts with strong alliances. We need to foster and strengthen them –
also by bearing our part of the responsibility in the hotspots of the world where we have the
most at stake. Side by side with our allies.
We will promote peaceful development in the Arctic, which increasingly represents a
geopolitical battlefield. It starts with concrete steps towards even closer foreign and security policy cooperation within the Danish Realm, where the toasts and speeches of the past
are put into action. And so we will seek even closer cooperation with our closest allies in the
Arctic and support NATO’s increased focus on the region.
We must take steps to counter instability and dark militant Islamism by coming down hard
on terror groups, preventing conflicts, and working to promote sustainable and democratic
development in our southern neighbouring regions. Because Denmark and Europe are
facing a zone of instability in the South. If we look towards the East, Afghanistan is in a very
serious humanitarian and economic crisis following the Taliban’s seizure of power. The
situation risks making regional insecurity worse and leading to an increased risk of conflict. If
we look to the Sahel in the South, there is an entire region in danger of breaking in half as a
result of crises and conflict.
We will once again sign Denmark in to fight for disarmament and arms control. An area that
was given less priority by the previous Government, while military tensions and the risk of
an arms race have only grown bigger. This is not a time for Denmark to stand on the sidelines. We must promote modern international agreements that reduce the risk of military
escalation between countries in a world with ever more weapons. And offer diplomatic
solutions for avoiding a new arms race, on Europe’s doorstep but also in a region such as the
IndoPacific where, to an increasing degree, there are security policy tensions.
We must work together with the EU, NATO, and our allies to provide a robust response to
new threats. Defend our democratic institutions, critical infrastructure and enterprises
against cyber-crime and attacks, disinformation, and hostile interference.
Last but not least, we must apply a security policy point of view regarding our security of
supply in a broader context. We are experiencing an increasing geostrategic competition
and significant pressure on the international supply chains. This applies to vaccines in
response to COVID-19, but also to a high degree with regard to energy and raw materials.
Therefore, Denmark and the EU must – preferably in cooperation with the USA and other
partners – enhance Danish and European supply security. Otherwise, we risk losing terrain.
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 19
combatting of militant Islam in Syria
Since 2014, Denmark
has increased its military
and civil contributions
coalitions’ efforts to
combat ISIL and to
stabilise Iraq and Syria.
And since December
2020, Denmark has
led NATO’s Mission in
Iraq (NMI). Denmark
thus has an absolutely
central role in regard
to strengthening the
Iraqi security forces’
ability to safeguard
Iraq’s security on their
own. The military efforts
do not stand alone but
are part of the broader
framework of political
and civilian initiatives
in the region. Because
we must prevent ISIL
from again gaining
an ideological and
and, at the same
time, work to prevent
Therefore, in connection
with the NMI leadership,
Denmark has re-opened
the Danish Embassy in
Iraq – with posted staff
from both the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and
the Ministry of Defence.
In addition, the regional
for Syria and Iraq
to stabilising areas that
previously have been
under ISIL’s control
through, for example,
mine clearing efforts and
civil society support.
Low tension in
An absolutely crucial
part of the Kingdom’s
efforts in the Arctic is
the goal of the Arctic
being a low-tension
area. It is both a goal in
itself and also a prerequisite for sustainable
economic and social
development to the
benefit of the people in
the Arctic. The ongoing
international cooperation in and about the
Arctic, including within
the Arctic Council, supports this goal. In addition, the Government is
working specifically to
avoid a military escalation and to prevent an
arms race in the Arctic.
This is being done, for
example, through initiatives in cooperation
with the other players
in the Arctic that are
working for increased
transparency and reducing the risk of
cooperation in the
We are strengthening the
cooperation in the Danish Realm with regard to
the foreign and security
policy. The work for closer inclusion and stronger
cooperation is well underway and will continue.
Specifically, it involves a
broad range of initiatives
involving the day-to-day
work in the international
cooperation in the Arctic,
for example in the Arctic
Council, and regarding
joint participation in
ministerial meetings with
the Kingdom’s Arctic
partners such as the USA.
Current and expected Danish military contributions to missions and operations within
the framework of NATO, the UN and/other
coalitions or in a national capacity as of 27.
As one of the most digitalised countries in the world, Denmark is particularly vulnerable. Therefore, Denmark participates actively in the international cooperation on deterring
and increasing the costs that states and non-state actors
must pay with regard to cyber attacks against Denmark, our
allies and our close partners.
We are working in the EU to strengthen internal resilience
and for an increased focus on the EU’s cyber-diplomacy.
Among other things, a “cyber-diplomacy toolbox” has been
put together for a united response to cyber attacks that
ranges from dialogue to the possibility of sanctions. Sanctions have been adopted against state actors from Russia,
China and North Korea, and work is actively being done to
expand the use of the cyber sanctions regime.
We cooperate with like-minded countries regarding the
joint public declarations that expose the actors responsible for cyber attacks
It is important that we, to an increasing degree, provide
information on the threat of cyber attacks. Therefore,
Denmark is a strong advocate for more public statements
from the EU and NATO. In 2021 alone, it has been possible
to bring the EU and NATO together regarding public statements following the Solar Winds and Microsoft Exchange
Servers-cyber attacks and most recently in connection
with the Ghostwriter campaign, which, among other things,
targeted the disruption of the German federal election.
We support the efforts for advancing international laws
and establishing norms in cyberspace.
Denmark works actively to promote endeavours within the
UN framework to establish and implement international
norms for responsible state behaviour in cyberspace as well
as actively counter the attempts of authoritarian states to
establish norms and rules that are contrary to Denmark’s
values and interests.
Key threats to our safety
and Denmark’s response
billion Danish kroner
– that is how much
the Government has
decided to spend on
the Arctic capacities
Arctic capacities package
From 2023, the Arctic capacity package will strengthen
Danish Defence’s surveillance of and presence in the
Arctic and the North Atlantic and contribute to NATO’s
overall situation in the region. We must keep an eye on
developments and ensure that we can exercise our sovereignty and carry out both civil and military tasks in the
Arctic and the North Atlantic. The package focuses on
initiatives that also benefit the Greenlandic and Faroese
The Danish Realm
NATO member countries
Instability, conflict and
terror from West Africa
Danish Defence’s deployments in the Arctic
and the North Atlantic
NATO and a strong transatlantic bond are the guarantors
for Denmark’s security and the Danes’ safety, and we
must contribute our share to the alliance’s deterrence
and collective defence. Also in Europe.
Therefore, Denmark provides a substantial contribution
to the security efforts in our neighbouring Baltic Sea
region as well as in the North Atlantic and the Arctic.
Therefore, as of 21. December 2021, Denmark
contributes to 7 of NATO’s operations and missions.
Therefore, Denmark has assumed the leadership of
NATO’s mission in Iraq (NMI) And we will contribute
substantially to NMI after we have handed over the leadership. We contribute robustly to NATO’s training and
capacity building in partner countries such as Ukraine,
Georgia and Iraq – because prevention is better than
Therefore, Denmark contributes to NATO’s deterrence
efforts and reaffirmation initiatives in the Baltic Sea
and the Baltic States, among other things in the form of
substantial military contributions to NATO’s advanced
presence in the Baltic States.
Denmark at the
core of NATO
In addition, with their national and regional deployments, Danish Defence has a presence throughout
the Arctic and the North Atlantic and the Baltic. We
will continually adapt our engagement so that we are
there where we can make a genuine difference for
Kingdom of Denmark’s and our allies’ security and
We defend the European security order that we have built up after
the fall of the Berlin wall.
Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 and continued attempts to destabilise
Ukraine with both hybrid threats and military build-up constitute a serious threat. And
the majority of the Russian demands for security guarantees from the USA and NATO
are irreconcilable with the fundamental principles for the European security order that
Russia itself had a part in establishing following the fall of the Berlin wall. Denmark
stands side by side with its allies in NATO and the EU in the defence of ensuring that all
countries in Europe have a right to freely choose their alliance partners. And we stand
firm on the basic principles for European security. At the same time, we stand ready to
pursue possible diplomatic tracks in NATO and the OSCE in order to de-escalate the situation and find solutions. But we do not accept the use of military power or threats. Either
in Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, or other countries in our neighbourhood area.
Cyber threats and attacks must
be met with firm responses
Current and expected
Danish military contributions as of 27. January 2022
20 21 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
The Government will make Denmark ready to handle the increasingly complex threat
landscape by investing in the alliances and international organisations that support our security. Because it is NATO and the strong transatlantic bond that are the guarantors for our
We will maintain Denmark at the core of NATO and strengthen the transatlantic bond
We will work for a strengthened NATO that adapts itself to the significant military and technological
changes in the security policy landscape. Because, at a time when the world is characterised by increasing
geopolitical competition, new threats, unpredictability, and a continually more aggressive Russia, NATO is
more important than ever for Denmark’s security. Therefore, we stand side by side with our NATO allies in
the fight against militant Islamism and terror in the Middle East. We participate in NATO’s deterrence in
our neighbourhood area to the east and are among the first to offer sought-after cyber-capacities to the
alliance. The majority of the Danish international military contribution is integrated into NATO’s operations. We will work to ensure that NATO to a higher degree responds to global challenges. This also applies
to China’s military modernization and more aggressive behaviour, which contributes to a more complex
security landscape. The Danish Armed Forces must be geared for the challenges of the future and have the
appropriate capa city to maintain Denmark at the core of NATO also in the future. Because Europe must
assume a greater part of its security policy responsibility, and in this context, Denmark will do its share. It
must not be a question of either or between NATO and Europe or between NATO and the EU. Europe must
assume more responsibility for our own sake. But also to maintain American engagement in European security. Therefore, we must also strengthen the NATO-EU cooperation. And therefore the upcoming Danish
defence agreement will have the Wales-targets as its point of departure. It calls for careful consideration
and strategic choices. With the security policy analysis group that the Government has formed, a thorough
analysis of the foreign and security policy situation and its consequences for Denmark and the Danish
Armed Forces is assured.
We will strengthen our security policy bonds and contribute to international operations
We will continue to step up with contributions to international operations through NATO, the UN, or other
country coalitions when our safety is at stake. We will strengthen our close defence cooperation with
the USA – both in Denmark and in our neighbouring regions. And expand the strengthened Danish-French
security policy cooperation. Denmark stands together with, among others, France in the Strait of Hormuz
and in the Sahel to create security and stability Finally, we must continue to develop the Nordic and Baltic
Defence Cooperation, the cooperation with other likeminded partners, including, especially, Germany. And
the United Kingdom continues to be one of Denmark’s closest defence and security policy partners. We
must ensure a continued strong foreign and security policy partnership between the United Kingdom and
the EU in the wake of Brexit.
We will ensure Denmark’s safety by increasing stability and preventing conflicts
We will support conflict prevention and peace and state building in fragile and conflict-ridden countries,
especially in Africa. We will do this by becoming a candidate for the UN Peace Building Commission in
2023-2024 and the Security Council in 2025-2026 – because it is important for the safety in Denmark that
the UN becomes better at preventing conflicts and countering treats. We are working in the intersection
between security and development, we will work to prevent attacks against local populations, irregular
migration flows, and extremism as well as to ensure the rights of women, seeing as they are particularly
vulnerable in conflict situations.
We will maintain and improve national defence industry competences in strategic areas
With the Government’s strategy for the Danish defence industry, the optimal framework is ensured for
allowing the Danish defence industry to contribute to safeguarding Denmark’s security interests. This is
necessary based on the heightened threat landscape. It will strengthen the relationship with our allies, and,
at the same time, will support Danish exports when it is possible. We will continue to ensure that weapons
and other military equipment do not fall into the wrong hands. To an increasing degree, innovation in the
private sector will lead the way in the development of defence equipment – especially with regard to new
technologies that will define the balance of power in the future. Here, together with our allies, we must
keep one step ahead. And we must ensure that Danish companies and research institutions have access to
the European Defence Fund.
Peaceful and sustainable development in the Arctic and the
Together with Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and with the USA as our most important
security policy ally, the Government will work to ensure stability and peaceful, sustainable
development in the Arctic and the North Atlantic to the benefit of everyone in the region.
Because rising tensions in the Arctic constitute a threat against the entire Danish Realm and
against global security.
We will strengthen cooperation within the Danish Realm
We will continue to strengthen the foreign and security cooperation with the Faroe Islands and Greenland
– to the advantage of the Kingdom as the foreign policy player for the entire Realm. As a concrete example
of this strengthened cooperation, a permanent contact committee at ministerial level as been established,
which is to ensure closer dialogue regarding foreign, security, and defence policy issues. With particular
emphasis on the issues that relate to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. We would like even closer cooperation and community between the three parts of the realm. A partnership based on equality, respect,
trust, and mutual inclusion.
We will work for peace and stability in the Arctic
We will insist that all Arctic states live up to their commitments and resolve their disagreements through
cooperation based on the Ilulissat Declaration. With an increasing Russian and military presence and
build-up, and with a China that defines itself as a “near-Arctic state,” the risk of military and political
escalation in and around the Arctic is increasing. We will support peaceful development and increase
the level of trust in the Arctic by, among other things, cooperation with the Arctic Council and resolving
disputes involving issues of demarcation within the framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the
Sea. In the same spirit, Denmark must work to prevent military escalation and avoid an arms race in the
Arctic. Because increased military activity also increases the risk of mistaken calculations and unintended
escalation. Therefore, we will also work for concrete initiatives that will create increased transparency
and reduce the risk of misunderstandings. But we must not be naïve. We must be ready to enforce our
sovereignty and interests throughout the entire Danish Realm. And ensure that we can solve both civil
and military issues in the region. We will do this, for example, through the Arctic capacity package that is
intended to strengthen the presence of the Danish Armed Forces and surveillance in the Arctic and the
We will support NATO’s role in the Arctic and the North Atlantic
We support NATO’s increased attention to the region. This applies, for example, to NATO’s efforts in the
North Atlantic to protect the important supply lines between North America and Europe. It is a natural
consequence of the increasing geopolitical challenges in the region, driven especially by Russia. Because
NATO’s article 5 is the foundation for the security of the entire Kingdom. Increased surveillance and other
NATO initiatives must be tailored to the security situation so that the goal of low levels of tension is maintained, and consideration is given to the need for broad cooperation in the region. The NATO allies in the
Arctic have a special role, knowledge, and responsibility for the development in the region.
22 23 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Stability and security in Europe’s neighbouring regions
The Government will continue Denmark’s military and civil engagement in the Middle East,
the Gulf, and the Sahel. In order to prevent terror groups from putting down roots and create
additional destabilisation, to resolve conflicts that paralyse the region, and to ensure that the
migration pressure in Europe does not increase. And the Government will strengthen the
cooperation with allies and partners with regard to managing the threat from the east.
We will strengthen our stabilisation efforts and diplomatic engagement in the Middle
East, the Gulf, and the Sahel
With our leadership of NATO’s mission in Iraq, our contribution to securing the right of free passage in the
Strait of Hormuz and the Bay of Guinea, and our long-term engagement in the Sahel, Denmark is already
providing a significant effort to ensure stability in the hotspots close to Europe. At the same time, we are
taking a leading role in the diplomatic track of the European surveillance mission in the Strait of Hormuz –
in order to support regional dialogue as the foundation for lasting de-escalation. Because without a robust
civil effort, all the military progress will come to nothing. Therefore, we have also opened an Embassy in
Iraq. And we will make use of the entire range of foreign and security policy instruments that we have in our
toolbox in order to create long-lasting, sustainable stabilisation.
The Crisis in Afghanistan The consequences of the dramatic and
tragic development in Afghanistan since August 2020 comprises a
part of the reality that the international society and that Denmark
must face. Denmark, NATO, the EU, and the UN must learn from
20 years of complex military and civilian engagement. And from
the painful experiences that came at a great cost. Therefore, the
Government is conducting an evaluation of Denmark’s evacuation
efforts in connection with the Taleban’s seizure of power that is
expected to be published in the first quarter of 2022, and an Independent Inquiry into Denmark’s civilian and military engagement
in Afghanistan in the period 2001-2021 (expected to be published
before the end of 2023).
In the immediate future, we are facing a Taleban-led Afghanistan where
the risk of humanitarian, economic, and security collapse is significant.
This could have consequences inside and outside the region. Also for
Europe and in Denmark. In the longer-term, we must, together with our
partners and allies, make use of the entire toolbox available to manage
the future challenges in Afghanistan and the region, especially with
regard to humanitarian assistance, security and migration.
We will defend our values and interests in the eastern neighbouring region
Russia continues its aggressive behaviour, both with regard to Denmark, our neighbours, and in our neighbourhood region. It constitutes a security policy challenge on Denmark’s, NATO’s and the EU’s doorstep.
Russian violations of democratic values and human rights, serious and systematic cyber attacks on public
authorities and businesses, disinformation and influence campaigns. Poison attacks, a lack of conforming to
international arms control agreements, frozen conflicts as well as the illegal annexation of Crimea, continued intimidation and aggression in eastern Ukraine. We will not accept that Russia to an increasing degree
ignores the common international rules. Or that Belarus under the Lukashenko-regime carries out gross
violations against civilians, forces planes to land, as well attempts to put pressure on the EU through the
completely unacceptable instrumentalisation of migration. Both countries’ lack of respect for international
rules destabilises and leads to a more insecure world. We will stand firm with clear and straightforward
responses with our allies and partners.
Global disarmament and arms control
The Government will engage Denmark in the fight to preserve, adjust, and expand the inter
national arms control and disarmament system. Because the pressure on international
cooperation and, especially, Russia’s more aggressive behaviour are undermining the
European security architecture that Denmark’s security is also built on.
We will prevent an arms race and the spread of nuclear weapons
We will strengthen Denmark’s engagement in international diplomatic efforts. As a small country, we
cannot pull the strings. But a targeted national effort with regard to non-proliferation and arms control can
provide an important contribution. We will make use of our strong international institutions – not least the
OSCE and IAEA – as a platform to maintain and develop common rules. In close cooperation with our allies,
we will undertake initiatives that can contribute to maintaining and expanding the international engagement for peaceful development, just as we will also work actively to preserve the Iran nuclear agreement.
Because the development of nuclear weapons in Iran constitutes a direct threat against our security and is
pouring petrol on an already volatile situation in the Middle East.
At the same time, we will step up our efforts to ensure that we bear our share of the responsibility for
ensuring that weapons, products, and technologies that can be used for malicious purposes do not fall into
the wrong hands.
24 25 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Responses to new threats
The Government will work to ensure that Denmark, the EU, and NATO can manage the
threats that stem from technological development, and foreign investments, and the use of
hybrid instruments such as cyber operations, influence campaigns, and disinformation.
Because we must – together with our partners on both sides of the Atlantic – prepare
ourselves for a new security policy frontline that is driven by an increasing global technology
competition, and where democratic institutions can come under pressure.
We will strengthen the supervision of foreign investments and suppliers
Through new legislation regarding the screening of certain foreign investments, we are strengthening – just
as our European and transatlantic partners – the supervision of foreign economic activities in Denmark
that constitute a threat to our national security and public order, for example with regard to critical technology and infrastructure. And we participate in the European cooperation regarding the screening of foreign direct investments in order to counter vulnerabilities and dependencies within critical societal sectors
and technologies. At the same time, legislation on tele-security contributes to ensure safe, reliable suppliers for our critical telecommunication infrastructure in connection with the rollout of 5G. These initiatives
strengthen our safety and, at the same time, will ensure a predictable and transparent investment climate.
We will increase the efforts to counter espionage against Denmark by foreign powers
We will strengthen Denmark’s capacity to resist the illegal activities of foreign states and ensure resolute
action when it is discovered. There continues to be a threat against Denmark and the entire Danish Realm
from illegal intelligence activities such as hidden influence and espionage targeting public authorities, businesses, and institutions (e.g. research institutions) or the persecution of diaspora who enjoy protection on
Danish soil. That is something that we cannot tolerate. In close and mutual dialogue and cooperation with
Greenland and the Faroe Islands, Denmark will work to prevent illegal intelligence activities from foreign
states throughout the entire Danish Realm.
Economic cooperation and
transfer of technology: Foreign
states’ economic agreements
and investments abroad often
reflect a mixture of economic, diplomatic, and strategic
initiatives that support the
foreign state’s foreign policy and
provide its enterprises opportunities for selling their goods
and for acquiring knowledge and
Cyber espionage: Foreign powers use their cyber-capacity to
spy on other countries, including
Denmark. Knowledge and intellectual property stolen through
cyber espionage can be misused
to oppose western interests or
harm Danish businesses.
Cyber attacks: Criminal hackers,
who sometimes work for foreign
states, daily expose Danish
authorities and businesses to cyber attacks. The attacks are used
for various forms of enrichment
through such things as fraud,
theft, and extortion. Destructive
cyber attacks against critical infrastructure can also pose a risk.
Destructive cyber attacks have
primarily been used in Ukraine,
the Middle East, and other areas
of conflict. The attacks can also
strike Danish organisations, as
the NotPetya attack in 2017
Influence campaigns: To an
increasing degree, foreign powers attempt to make use of the
cyber-domain to influence opinions and behaviours, spread
disinformation and conspiracy
theories in western democracies, including Denmark.
This constitutes an increasing
threat against the free and
public debate in Denmark.
Hybrid attacks: Foreign states
can use a mix of diplomatic
instruments and sophisticated
and swift information and
cyber operations, hidden and
occasionally open military
and intelligence operations as
well as economic pressure in
a coordinated way, to target
democratic states’ and institutions’ vulnerabilities without
crossing the line for formal
New threats that
order to preserve
and expand the
and arms control
We must support and strengthen the global rule-based order, avoid an arms race and ultimately prevent war. It is of crucial importance for Denmark’s and all of Europe’s security.
Denmark has therefore engaged with likeminded countries in order to:
• Strengthen and maintain the existing architecture that has provided our security
• Adjust and build new additions in order to handle new technologies and new players
The European arena
Overview of principal disarmament
and arms control agreements
The Global arena
● NPT Treaty
The fundamental treaty in
the nuclear area that is to
prevent the proliferation of
nuclear weapons and the
technology for producing
them as well as promoting
● CWC Treaty
Legally binding treaty that
forbids chemical weapons,
including the development,
stockpiling and use of
● New STARTagreement
Extended for 5 years
Agreement that governs
Russia’s and the USA’s
inter-continental ballistic missiles and launch
Agreement that is to
ensure that Iran does not
develop nuclear weapons.
● INF Treaty
Agreement between the
USA and Russia regarding eliminating an entire
category of land-based
● CFE Agreement
Does not act as intended
Legally binding agreement with ceilings for the
weapons as well as a duty
of notification and openness with regard to the
verification of stocks.
● Vienna Document
Need for modernisation
Politically binding agreement under the auspices
of the OSCE with confidence-building initiatives
such as information sharing
about and supervision of
armed forces and military
activities, among other
things with a requirement
of prior information on
exercises and the possibility for inspections.
● Open Skies Treaty
Does not function as
Legally binding agreement
that is to create confidence,
openness, and predictability through unarmed flights
that can monitor military
activity, equipment, and
installations of military
● CTBT Treaty
Not entered into force
The UN treaty on prohibiting nuclear test launches.
● DPRK nuclear
Still no verified
It is estimated that North
Korea has between 30 and
40 nuclear weapons. In
2003, North Korea pulled
out of the NPT Treaty.
Since 2006, the UN has
adopted a number of resolutions targeting the country’s nuclear programme In
2018, North Korea showed
an interest in negotiating,
but there have still been
no concrete agreements
with the country regarding
26 27 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Denmark and the EU’s resilience
The Government will push to ensure that Denmark, together with the EU, strengthens its
resilience and security of supply in a time of economic and geopolitical shifts and increasing
global competition for the world’s scarce resources and raw materials.
We will ensure a more robust supply chain
We will work to reduce the EU’s dependency on third countries when it comes to sectors and technologies that are critical for society. This requires that we diversify the supply chains in order to make them
more robust. We will do this through e.g., pushing for new market openings. We must not be dependent
on individual countries, but instead be able to call on a broad range of credible partners – both within the
EU and throughout the world. The lack of protective equipment during the pandemic and the increasing
energy prices in Europe have made clear the vulnerabilities of the EU’s supply chains in critical areas. At
the same time, we must ensure a balance so that the initiatives do not lead to protectionism and an EU that
closes itself off. Because that would harm Danish exports, be detrimental to Danish jobs and prosperity and
undermine our strategic interests.
We will also strengthen cooperation within the EU and the Nordic countries with regard to promoting
circular economies and the re-use of raw materials, and thereby reducing the risk of being in a dependent
relationship with third countries.
We must strengthen the EU’s own capacity within important strategic technologies
We must strengthen our long-term competitiveness within strategically important technologies with
regard to the green and digital transitions. Areas where there is an increasing recognition within the EU of
the fact that we must stand stronger globally in order to protect our safety and the jobs of tomorrow. We
will also seek cooperation with likeminded countries, such as the case e.g., with the USA in the Trade and
Technology Council (TTC).
Global health security and pandemic preparedness
The COVID-19 pandemic has had major consequences for economies, people’s health, and
societies throughout the world. The global pandemic preparedness was not sufficient.
Therefore, we will strengthen the global health security and pandemic response. We will
actively support drawing up a global pandemic agreement and strengthening the World
Health Organisation (WHO).
We will strengthen Denmark’s, the EU’s, and the global pandemic response
We will work to ensure that, together with the EU, we significantly strengthen our preparedness with
regard to transnational health threats such as mutations and new viruses. We must acknowledge that
Europe was not well enough prepared when the crisis hit. Therefore, the EU is creating a new authority
(HERA) that is to ensure a better and faster response towards the next pandemic.. And we must strengthen
the strategic cooperation with regard to the production of vaccines – both in the EU, but also with global
partners that have positions of strength and specific competences. Therefore, the Government will also
establish bilateral strategic vaccine partnerships with select partners. Not in opposition to the EU cooperation, but as an important supplement.
The EU – a strong economic and
We must bring the economic
weight and the political influence of the EU into play so
that we can strengthen the
EU’s ability to take action –
because the EU is Denmark’s
most important foreign
The EU must lead the way in the fight over values on the global scene
The EU is absolutely crucial in the global fight over values – and for our
shared safety and welfare. With its economic and political strength, the EU
both can and must lead the way in the fight for democracy, human rights,
the climate, sustainable development, and decent working conditions.
The EU must be a climate union with global clout
The EU started out as Coal and Steel Union. Now the EU must become a
Climate Union. And Denmark must lead the way in the fight for a socially
just and green transition. Because if we do not lead the way in Europe and
deliver on a massive popular wish for a greener future for our children, we
risk that the climate crisis also develops into a democratic crisis. Both in
Europe and around the globe. Therefore, we will push for ensuring that, by
forming alliances with progressive EU countries, we in the EU use our political engagement, our ability to set high standards, and our development
cooperation to a greater degree as a platform for raising the global climate
The EU must assume more responsibility with a focus on
Europe’s neighbourhood regions and the new threats
Denmark supports the development of a European strategic compass.
It must set the course for an EU that can assume an even larger security
policy responsibility. Because we need a stronger EU that can take on
more in its neighbourhood region. Especially when it comes to managing
the new threats where the EU has special competences in responding to
hybrid attacks, hostile cyber attacks and espionage. And we must work
to strengthen the EU’s partnerships so that we ensure complementarity
between e.g., NATO and the EU through strengthened political dialogue
between the two organisations.
The EU must be able to do more on its own
We will work to reduce the EU’s dependency on third countries within critical societal sectors and technologies. We must more actively use the EU’s
weight and our high European standards in order to affect a sustainable
and fair development and ensure global influence.
The EU leads the way in a fair and sustainable trade policy
As the biggest trade partner for approx. 74 third countries, the EU is a trade
policy superpower.(6) We are working to ensure that the EU’s trade agreements will promote European standards and values, ensure decent labour
conditions and be the lever for a green transition.
28 29 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
4. Climate diplomacy
Denmark as a green superpower
The climate crisis must be checked, and we must bring an end to the fossil fuel era. The
climate fight is a generational contract we must not break, and also a collective commitment
of unity to the people of the world. Climate change also constitutes a crisis of safety. It
exacerbates the security policy tensions when the fight for scarce natural resources intensifies. It increases the pressure from migration when people’s livelihoods disappear.
At the UN’s climate meeting in Glasgow in 2021, the international community took an
important step in the right direction. Agreement was reached that the 1.5-degree target is
the marker that the countries’ climate efforts should aim towards. But the countries’ own
climate goals are far from sufficient if we are to succeed.
Denmark is therefore declaring war on coal and pressing for a green transition away from
fossil fuels. We must ensure that the global climate ambitions are converted into concrete
As a leading country in the green arena, we have a special responsibility to drive the development from carbon dependency to a green future. We will consider sustainability broadly.
The global green transition must also be socially sustainable. Because the efforts will only be
lasting if we create better living conditions for everyone.
The Government will mobilise green strategic partnerships with some of the major emitters
in the world. So that, through modern climate diplomacy, strategic sector cooperation, and
partnerships with the Danish business community, we can show the way for achieving a
socially fair green transition. It will make a noticeable difference in the global climate fight
and clear the way for increased exports of green Danish solutions within the fields of energy,
water, and sustainable foodstuffs.
We will push the EU to use its influence and global heft to pressure the main countries of the
world that are dragging their feet. And we must take advantage of Denmark’s global green
leadership to ensure clean energy, clean drinking water, and sustainable food for all. We will
support the developing countries – especially in Africa – in taking the green and sustainable
development road. Because if we do not take steps on all fronts, then the climate crisis may
also contribute to undermining the democratic institutions if the next generation loses its
trust in believing that elected officials can deliver the right solutions.
where it can make a
diplomacy that brings
for a fair green transition
partnership with India
Climate change hits the
weakest the hardest and
creates a breeding ground
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 31
A number of Danish embassies around the world have
been named green front line missions and have a special
responsibility for advance the climate agenda. They are
the frontline in Denmark’s climate diplomacy and are
helping to realise the ambition of global Danish leadership
in the green arena.
Green front line missions in crease the focus on the
climate and the green agenda across the board, from export promotion and development assistance to strategic
sector cooperation and public diplomacy.
The green front line missions put climate on the political
agenda, including by pushing Danish green positions
of strength as well as by sharing the Danish experience
from strategic sector cooperation or from development
efforts, from the technical level into the rooms where the
decisions are made.
The green front line missions integrate the local climate
efforts across sectors and instruments, where also Danish financed multilateral efforts are made visible and are
made use of in the host countries.
The green front line missions strengthen the export
promotion efforts for green Danish solutions.
The green strategic
partnership with India
is an important lever
for accelerating India’s
green transition and
the cooperation with
India regarding the
green agendas in
We are talking about
Danish and Indian public authorities based
on Danish experience
and solutions, which
also can open the doors
for Danish businesses’
green solutions to
support the transition
access to water in
the Sahel and on
the Horn of Africa
In the next four years,
Denmark will contribute to new and better
access to clean drinking
water and sanitation
in the Sahel and on the
Horn of Africa e.g., by
expanding the capacity
to store water when
droughts come, or by
repairing broken water
Climate change hits the weakest the
hardest and creates a breeding ground for
Climate change will be one of the biggest threats for
the stability of states and societies for the coming
years. Extreme weathertreme weather phenomena
such as droughts put pressure on people’s means of
subsistence and intensify existing patterns of conflict.
The Sahel is hit particularly hard.
Strong climate diplomacy that brings others
Denmark cannot raise the global level of ambition and
win the fight against time alone. Therefore, we work determinedly through the climate outposts and the Danish
Climate Ambassador in order to get the EU to strengthen its climate diplomacy and to turn its political and
economic influence into climate action around the world.
Among other things, Denmark leads the way in order to
ensure a strong EU engagement and concrete tracks to
follow in the war on coal and the efforts for the global
phasing-out of other fossil fuels. And both bilaterally
and through the EU, we are working for strengthened
cooperation with a number of major emitters, especially
with the USA and China with regard to raising the global
climate ambitions. In addition, Denmark works overall
for political dialogue with the relevant players, including
the civil society and the business community.
leadership for a fair
We will assume international leadership in the
fight for a transitioning
from black to green energy and access to clean
energy for all. We will
lead by forming alliances
and building partnerships with countries, the
private sector, international organisations, research institutions, and
civil society. Through the
leadership of the Zero
Emission Coalition, we
are working to launch
CO2-neutral ships in
2030 and climate neutral
shipping in 2050. And
with the Beyond Oil and
Gas Alliance (BOGA),
we are pressing for
governments to put an
end date on their oil and
Denmark’s total contribution to the international climate financing
to the developing
countries is expected,
from 2023, to account
for at least 1% of the
developed countries’ collective goal of mobilising
USD 100 billion annually.
This is significantly more
than our share of the
national climate initiatives
and the Danish positions
of strength give our voice
and provides access to
important rooms where
the decisions are made. At
the same time, Denmark
has, for example, demonstrated international
Setting a goal of a
70% reduction in
in 2030 as part of a
binding climate law.
Setting an end date for
the exploration and
production of oil and
gas in the North Sea.
Deciding to establish
the first energy islands
in the world.
That is how much the African countries’ GDP is
expected to fall if the global temperature rises 4 degrees. Even if the goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees is met, the GDP will still fall by
5% as a result of, among other things, lower productivity, especially in the foodstuff sector. (8)
Global greenhouse gas emissions 2017 without LUCF (LandUse Change and Forestry) (7)
● Top 3
● Top 4-10
● Top 11-20
Green front line missions
● Green strategic partnerships
The climate challenge around the
world and Denmark’s response to it
With our strategic sector
cooperation on energy in
19 countries accounting
for more than 60% of the
global CO2 emissions, we
are helping to drive the
Abu Dhabi New Delhi Hanoi
Climate diplomacy where it can
make a difference
32 33 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
projection of global
Coal constitutes the
biggest single source
of global temperature
Phasing out coal is
decisive for whether
the world reaches the
goals set out in the Paris
2020 20302025 2035
Billions of tons coal per year
Exajoules per year
Production in accordance with the
Production in accordance with the countries’
climate contribution (absolute climate
Production in accordance with the
The countries’ production plans and projections
The graph shows the projections of global coal production according to various scenarios:
In the case that the current development continues (blue) • In the case that the countries live up to their commitments under the Paris Agreement (green) • In the case that coal production must be in accordance with
limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees and 1.5 degrees, respectively (red and pink)
Global green transition
The Government will take targeted steps in order to accelerate the phasing out of fossil
energy sources, including especially coal and the scaling up of energy efficiency initiatives.
Because the global climate ambitions must be raised if the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree
target is to be reached.
The beginning of the end of the fossil era
Through active climate diplomacy work, Denmark has contributed to getting the war against coal on the
global agenda. More and more countries are supporting it. An end to the fossil era can become a reality
if the pressure is maintained. We will therefore strengthen our climate diplomacy commitment through
a holistic approach in which creating global alliances and political pressure – bilaterally and through the
EU, the UN, and other international organisations are supported by local initiatives that contribute to
ensuring that the ambitions are transformed into actual green initiatives – with Danish solutions at the
centre. Because we must reverse the development in the consumption of fossil fuels and avoid developing
countries choosing black energy. From our own green transition, we have the experience and the solutions
in order to lead the way and bring others along with us. And with our green strategic partnerships and strategic sector cooperation, we have good opportunities for influencing and supporting a socially fair green
We will mobilise green strategic partnerships with the major emitters and cooperate
broadly on the energy transition
We will work to enter into a new green strategic partnership with South Africa and Vietnam and for
strengthening the existing green strategic partnerships with China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, and
South Korea. A strengthened climate diplomacy effort – combined with Danish experience and Danish
green solutions – should act as a lever for accelerating the green transition in these countries.
We must exploit the renewed green momentum that the USA’s support of the Paris Agreement and most
recently for the Glasgow Climate Pact has provided. The USA is a crucial partner in the fight for raising the
global level of ambition and the USA is an important market for developing and selling Danish solutions
within the field of energy, water, and food products, which can help the USA’s green transition on its way.
The EU must be a climate union with a global impact
The Government will work to ensure that the EU leads the way in the global climate fight.
Because a high level of climate ambition in the EU will both drive the green transition in
Europe and turn the EU into a leading green region in the world.
We will ensure that the EU delivers on its ambitious climate targets
We will work both within and outside of the negotiation rooms in Brussels and through bilateral dialogue
with a range of EU countries to achieve an ambitious implementation of the EU’s Green Pact and the EU’s
climate package Fit for 55. If the EU is to be a credible global climate warrior, we must first have our own
house in order and deliver on our own targets with concrete action. Therefore, we will also push for climate
regulations in all significant sectors so that we ensure that we achieve the EU’s 2030 target of at least a
55% reduction and get on the right course with regard to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. An ambitious climate policy that, among other things, promotes sustainable energy and energy efficiency will be a
driving force for development, upscaling, and the export of green Danish solutions.
At the same time and in close cooperation with the business community, we will work to ensure that a
major portion of the EU’s resources result in actual green initiatives where the greatest possible climate
and environmental impacts are achieved, including in connection with the EU’s recovery fund.
We will strengthen the EU’s climate diplomacy throughout the world
We will work determinedly to ensure that the EU builds alliances with the major emitters and expands its
alliances with the African countries and, at the same time, supports their own initiatives for a green transition and climate adaptation. The African countries play a crucial political role with regard to pressuring the
major developing economies to raise their ambitions. At the same time, they will account for the increasing
emissions in the future unless they themselves carry out a green transition.
34 35 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Through our climate outposts, green strategic partnerships, cooperation with
public authorities in the energy, water, and foodstuffs sectors, we contribute to
the green transition in a number of countries that, together, account for around
67% of the global greenhouse emissions
steps where the
need for reduction
is greatest, and
where we have
the best prerequisites for making a
Climate action through strong international institutions
The Government will defend and strengthen the international institutions that are crucial
for creating a sustainable green transition. Because we must have everybody on board and
ensure that no one is left behind.
We will maintain the UN as the central forum for cooperation with regard to the green
transition around the world
We are working to ensure that the UN Climate Convention, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable
Development Goals constitute the international framework for the global climate efforts. We will maximise
the global ambitions. We will do this by pressing to get the biggest emitters in the G20 to submit strengthened climate contributions and ambitious commitments. Agreement at COP26 regarding the 1.5-degrees
goal was an important milestone. We will do our best to reach that goal.
We are demonstrating that a green and socially just transition is possible, are creating pressure on other
countries so that they commit to an energy transition, and are contributing to innovative solutions for how
the transition can take place in practice. Our focus is particularly on clean drinking water, clean energy, and
sustainable food solutions for Africa because we must ensure that the African countries choose the green
rather than a fossil-based development road.
We will continue to make our development assistance greener. Therefore, the climate, nature, and the
environment have a central place in the development policy strategy “The World We Share.” We will take
steps in the UN and within the international development organisations to strengthen the efforts for
increasing the developing countries’ ability to adapt and their resilience with regard to the harmful effects
of climate change. Because climate change is a catalyst for instability and hinders economic development in
those places in the world that have the most need for it.
At the same time, we will work for a high level of ambition and an effective implementation within the fields
of aviation and shipping. Particularly through strengthened maritime climate diplomacy in the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO). As one of the leading shipping nations in the world, Denmark assumes the
green maritime leadership and together with, among others, the USA, we have set a goal that shipping will
be climate neutral by 2050.
Access to clean
and energy is
crucial for sustainable development and
for creating a
DKK 570 million
People in Africa south of the Sahara
are without access to electricity.
That is around half of the region’s
population and approx. 75% of the
global population without access to
Or more than every third
person in Sub Saharan Africa
lacks access to basic drinking
And just one out of four have
access to facilities for washing
hands with soap and water
36 37 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
of the EU
Cooperation on a
strong asylum and
in the EU
Strengthen relations to the North
for girls and
women in the
people by helping locally
5. Migration diplomacy
A robust response to the pressure
from migration and refugees
People must not put their lives at risk in the search for a better future in Europe and Denmark; instead, they should be ensured the possibility of a secure life with future prospects
and rights in the places where they live. Because people do not just leave house and home
for security and for food on the table, but also for co-determination. And we help more
people, more quickly, and in a better way when we help refugees in the neighbouring regions
to crisis and conflict.
We must step up the efforts to form alliances with those partners who are willing to help
lead the way in finding solutions that can create a just and humane asylum system. A new
approach is needed if we are to break the human traffickers’ inhumane business model and
gain better control over who and how many people come to Denmark and Europe. Because
we must protect the social cohesion in Denmark and the EU, and our welfare society. And
we can help far more of the most vulnerable refugees in their local regions.
The Government is working – in full openness and transparency and within the frameworks
of Denmark’s international commitments – to get the processing of spontaneous asylum
seekers and any subsequent protection moved outside of the EU, so that spontaneous
asylum seeking is replaced by orderly conditions and a durable model.
At the same time, we must take measures to prevent irregular migration by stepping up
Denmark’s and the EU’s efforts along the major migration routes into Europe. We will
strengthen the political, commercial, and development-related relations to third countries
that are willing to engage in closer migration cooperation – especially to the North African
countries that have long had to deal with the migration challenge on their own.
Our development assistance is being restructured so that we significantly increase the
efforts in local regions – particularly in Africa. Because we help more people – and with
more sustainable solutions – when we act locally. That is why we are also strengthening our
efforts in the Sahel, where many of the 21st century’s challenges meet – conflict, terror,
irregular migration, climate change, poor governance, poverty and hunger.
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 39
with the North African Countries
North Africa is the last,
crucial link in a number
of the migration routes
leading to Europe and
Denmark, and many North
African countries are,
to an increasing degree,
themselves countries of
origin for irregular migrants. At the same time,
studies have shown that
many young people in
North Africa are considering leaving their homelands
in the hope of a better life.
There is a need for close
partnerships and increased
concrete support if we,
together, are to succeed in
putting an end to irregular
migration and creating better future prospects in the
North African countries.
Therefore, we will:
Strengthen the political dialogue with the countries
in North Africa.
Strengthen trade and
build up the trade policy
relations between the EU
and the countries in North
Strengthen our development cooperation engagement.
DKK 200 million for the
period 2021-2024 to
strengthen resilience and
create better local living
conditions in North Africa.
Help more by helping
has already injected
more funds into the
humanitarian area and
to efforts in fragile states
and areas neighbouring
crises and conflict. With
the re-structuring of
the Government would like
even more development
funds to be used in these
areas. Because we help
more people and in a
better way when we help
locally. With the increased
financing, we must:
opportunities for a
dignified life where a
person is born or in a
Strengthen the capacities
of the countries along
the migration routes so
that they can handle the
pressure from refugees.
Create more opportunities for education and
jobs in order to create
hope for a better future
for young people in the
fragile states and neighbouring areas. For example, through the EU’s
joint trust fund, we have
contributed to more than
140,000 people having
participated in entrepreneurial courses and job
training in the regions
Overview of the most frequently occurring countries of origin for arrivals of refugees and irregular
migrants to Europe for the period 2016-2021
(*1 January – 31 May 2021) (14)
Key routes to Europe by sea and
by land that refugees and irregular
migrants use. (8)
Note that the majority of them
arrive by plane. (15)
The expenditures for teaching a refugee child in a Danish public
school amount to just under DKK 90,000 per year. For the same
amount, 152 children could be offered schooling for a year in
Burkina Faso. Or, 68 refugee children in Kenya could be offered a
full package of teaching material for a year.(16)
Overview of the 12 countries
with the most internally displaced persons (IDP) due to war,
conflict, and natural disasters.
Overview of the 12 countries
that house the most refugees.
The migration challenge and
Cooperation on a strong asylum and migration
system in the EU
The EU’s migration and asylum pact must contribute to
realising the goal of a just and humane asylum system. We
will, therefore, engage in the negotiations where we will
A holistic approach to the migration and refugee challenge, where strengthened efforts in countries of origin and
neighbouring regions as well as the capacity-building of
public authorities along the migration routes in relation to
border controls, asylum systems, repatriation efforts and
combatting human trafficking are important elements.
The introduction of screening as well as expedited
asylum processing at the EU’s external borders with the
purpose of carrying out a security screening and supporting the swift return of rejected asylum seekers and other
third-country citizens lacking legal residency.
Initiatives that strengthen the EU and Denmark’s possibilities to return rejected asylum seekers, including through
the use of all relevant levers such as development assistance, visas and trade policies, as well as broad migration
Over 80 million
people around the
world have been
driven from their
homes. This is the
highest number since
the Second World
Approx. 50% of those who
seek asylum in Denmark
are not recognised as
refugees and approx. 810
rejected asylum seekers
in Denmark find themselves in a position to be
approximately, was spent
in 2019 on housing rejected
Republic of the
outside of the EU
A cornerstone of the
work for a just and
humane asylum system
is to get the asylum processing of spontaneous
asylum seekers moved
to reception centres
outside of the EU with
any subsequent protection in the third country
in question. We are in
dialogue with a number
of third countries
regarding the possibility of entering into an
agreement, and we are
working intensively to
create alliances and concrete cooperation with
countries in and outside
of the EU regarding the
idea. At the same time,
we must also strengthen the EU’s external
borders and support
the countries along the
migration routes. We
have therefore allocated
DKK 190 million in 2022
projects in origin and
transit countries in order
to, among other things,
control and build up
local asylum systems. In
addition, DKK 110 million has been allocated
specifically for increasing
the return of rejected
The challenges that the fragility in the Sahel trigger affect especially women and girls
who are already often marginalised in economic, social and legal matters. Therefore,
Denmark has, among other things, a sharp focus on girls and women in our efforts for
creating sustainable development in the Sahel. We work to promote the participation
of women in peace processes as well as in the work with regard to preventing and
managing conflicts. We do it bilaterally and in close cooperation with the UN and the
EU. We contribute also to initiatives regarding sexual education and family planning
through e.g. the UNFPA and our bilateral country programmes.
Special initiatives for
girls and women in
DKK 250 million
40 41 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
We will provide a boost to Africa and strengthen the broad
efforts in local regions
The Government will strengthen the Danish engagement in Africa and increase the EU’s
efforts in local regions and fragile states – particularly in Africa. Because the development in
Europe’s neighbouring regions is becoming critical.
We will strengthen our relations to North Africa
We will build a much closer bond to North Africa – both bilaterally and through the EU. A cooperation
that reflects how important the North African countries are for Danish interests, especially with regard to
the fight against terror and managing the pressure from migration and refugees. As the final stop before
Europe on the African migration routes, the North African countries are coming under increasing pressure.
These are societies that are already facing pressure from, among other things, population growth, climate
change, poverty, inequality, and poor governance. This means that we are also seeing more and more
migrants from the North African countries themselves.
We will increase our trade, expand our green cooperation, step up our development cooperation engagement, and work to strengthen civil society and the respect for human rights. This should, at the same time,
strengthen the countries’ ability to manage the pressure from refugees and migration and create a foundation for stronger cooperation with regard to refugees and migration.
We will help more in local regions
We will ensure a much stronger Danish effort with regard to preventing and managing irregular migration
and refugee flows in areas bordering crises and conflict and along migration routes – from origin, transit,
and destination country to Europe’s border. Through a significant restructuring of Danish development
assistance, we are strengthening the efforts to address the fundamental causes of irregular migration and
internal displacement, alleviate humanitarian crises, and build the capacity of public authorities along
migration routes. Our efforts will focus on selected countries along the most important migration routes
leading to the EU in North Africa, on the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.
We will push for an EU boost for Africa
We will work as hard as we can to strengthen the EU’s focus on an equal partnership with Africa. The EU
must, to a much higher degree, mobilise and merge its foreign, development, and trade policy instruments
in order to lift the relationship to a new level. This should contribute to promoting democratic development, respect for human rights, and good governance. And through a sharp turn in the EU’s development
assistance in the direction of African countries, the EU must address the fundamental causes of irregular
migration by contributing to job creation and green and sustainable development.
The EU must rise to the occasion with regard to the geopolitical competition on the continent because,
otherwise, we risk that other players who do not share our fundamental values will gain ground. As Africa’s
biggest donor, trade partner, and investor, the EU has good cards in its hands but has not managed to transform them into sufficient influence all places.
We will strengthen Denmark’s engagement in the Sahel
Through robust contributions to military operations to, e.g. the UN peacekeeping operation in Mali,
MINUSMA, we will promote peace and stability in the Sahel region. At the same time, we will put pressure
on the Sahel countries to assume more responsibility for dealing with their own security and to ensure
human rights and good governance.
But the military efforts cannot stand alone. We will expand our long-term development and stabilisation
efforts in the region. We will promote good governance, create opportunities for the many young people in
the region, and strengthen the countries’ ability to adapt to the extreme effects of climate change. We will
increase the efforts for women’s participation in conflict resolution and peace building. And sharpen the focus
on preventing human rights violations, particularly among local security forces. We will also continue to work
for lasting solutions to forced displaced persons and promote their safe, voluntary, and dignified return.
We put in the effort
to create stability
development in the
Humanitarian aid to people in need. In
2020, Denmark gave approx. DKK 82
million to humanitarian efforts in Mali,
Burkina Faso and Niger through UN organisations, Danish civil society organisations
and the Red Cross Movement.
DKK 200 million to the regional peace and
stabilisation programme for 2022-2025,
which has initiatives targeting security and
stabilisation, combatting violent extremism
and organised crime, conflict prevention,
strengthening democratic supervision of
the security sector and support to the
regional G5 Sahel joint force.
Our engagement in the region
includes, among things:
Approx. DKK 500 million annually, on average, in development assistance via country programmes in Mali, Burkina Faso and
Niger, where the efforts focus on, among
other things, stability, security, human
rights, migration and good governance.
Contribute to military and civil operations
together with close allies such as France,
through the UN and under the auspices of
42 43 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
We must ensure a thorough screening of everyone who arrives, that asylum cases are only processed in
one country, and that persons who do not have a claim for protection are returned home. Applications for
asylum must be processed as fast as possible, and a sspecial urgency procedures must be introduced at the
borders. We will work to improve the early warning and coordination systems so that we can manage new
asylum crises as quickly as possible.
We will work to ensure that the EU’s Pact on Migration and Asylum prevents and limits the migrant and
refugee flows by introducing a holistic approach with a focus on tailor-made partnerships in the regions
of origin and in countries along the migration routes and in the EU’s neighbouring countries with a view to
building the capacity of local asylum and migration authorities.
We will push for a strengthened EU effort with regard to repatriation, where, through partnerships with the
countries that are facing challenges, it is possible to provide help and support and, at the same time, present
direct demands. We must also be ready to make use of the entire range of diplomatic toolbox, including visa
A just and humane asylum system
The Government will bear Denmark’s international responsibility and lead the way for a just
and humane asylum system. Because the international asylum system has, in truth, failed.
We will relocate the asylum processing to reception centres in third countries
We are strengthening the efforts for getting the processing of spontaneous asylum seekers and any subsequent protection moved from Denmark to one or more third countries outside of the EU. In full respect
for Denmark’s international commitments. If one knows that getting a foot on Danish ground and applying
for asylum no longer provides the possibility of a future in Denmark, fewer people will put their lives in the
hands of human traffickers in order to get here.
The ambition is an asylum system where the primary access to Denmark will be through the UN’s quota refugee system and where we can decide for ourselves which and how many refugees are offered protection in
Denmark. In this way, we can help those who have the greatest need.
We will work determinedly to create alliances and international backing for this approach – in full openness
and transparency. We are seeing an increasing international recognition of the need for new solutions, and
many countries have shown an interest in going down new paths. We wish to establish a scheme in cooperation with other parties, but we are ready to take the first steps alone.
We will strengthen the capacity of the countries along the migration routes
We will work for a more just and humane asylum system through technical support and capacity building in
the neighbouring regions to crisis and conflict, along the migration routes, and in relevant third countries,
when it comes to border control, the structuring of asylsystems and the refutation of irregular migration.
We will strengthen the efforts for returning rejected asylum seekers to their home
We will strengthen our efforts for returning foreign nationals who are residing in Denmark illegally to their
home countries. We are stepping up the efforts within the UN for building an alliance of countries that are
insisting that everyone should live up to the declaration of intent in the UN Global Migration Compact from
2018, which states that all countries must readmit their own nationals residing illegally in another country.
At the same time, as a principle, Denmark must not provide long-term development assistance to countries
that refuse to cooperate with regard to readmitting their own nationals. We will also, together with other
EU countries, make use of the option to introduce more restrictive visa rules for the countries that do not
cooperate on readmitting their own nationals.
Poverty in Africa
Standards of living
measured according to
the Human Development Index (19)
Great challenges and
Conflicts in Africa Conflict zones in Africa (17)
Projected growth in
The UN expects that
Africa’s population will
double by 2050 to 2.5
bn people and will
double again in 2100
to a total of 4.3 bn
people. The population
in 2020: 1.3 bn. (20)
2020 2050 2100
Routes for irregular migrants and refugees to
The EU’s asylum and migration system and external
The Government will work to strengthen the EU’s asylum system and make it more effective. Because unless the current development is reversed, the pressure we saw on the EU’s
external borders in 2015 could return.
We will work to ensure that EU’s asylum system is better prepared to respond to the
We will work to ensure that the EU strengthens the protection of its external borders. We will do this,
for example, through the Danish contribution to the European border and coastguard agency, Frontex, to
which Denmark provides a significant contribution.
Every year, at least
12 million young Africans join the job market,
while only three million
jobs are created. (21)
44 45 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
with the business
A just, green and
6. Economic diplomacy
Fair and sustainable economic
development that ensures
Danish exports have revived to the level from before the COVID-19 pandemic; now they
must reach new heights. At the same time, the disruptions in the global supply chains and
labour shortages constitute pressing challenges. And we are facing an international economy in a state of flux, characterised by a great amount of uncertainty. This requires an active
Danish economic diplomacy. A strong public-private cooperation on developing the solutions that the world needs, and that are robust with regard to future shocks. Because Danish
jobs, the Danish economy, and our welfare are core priorities for the Government. But
growth and free trade are not goals in themselves. The goal is welfare and sustainable
growth that everyone can share in. We want to pass on a more sustainable world to our
children. Therefore, our economic diplomacy has a triple bottom line where we push for a
global sustainable transition with Danish solutions as the lever and a focus on good working
conditions. This means that we are working to strengthen Danish exports that create
economic gains. Sustainable gains. And human gains. Promoting green energy solutions,
resource efficiency, circular economies, and digital industrial transitions must go hand in
hand with a regard to social responsibility and justice for the individual as well as society.
Danish businesses must benefit from globalisation. They have a need for talent, capital, and
expertise from around the world, in the same way that there is a strong demand from abroad
for the special Danish solutions and competences. We have given our green export initiatives a significant boost, and we welcome a close working relationship with the Danish
business community with regard to getting sustainable Danish solutions out into the world.
The same applies to green foreign investments. It will benefit Danish jobs and sustainable
development globally. We must both create and share value – not just here at home but also
throughout the world. Because it is the best way to protect our own societal model and
Denmark as a whole. But globalisation also has a dark side, where inequality grows and
where the hunt for profits happens at the expense of social responsibility, sustainability, and
workers’ rights. That creates a legitimate feeling of injustice. When huge multinational
companies do not contribute to our community as they should, or when the free movement
of labour turns into free social dumping, then it challenges the cohesion in our society.
Therefore, we are pushing for an EU where multinational companies are reigned in so that
market forces are never stronger than the needs of society. And we work to ensure that the
World Trade Organisation (WTO) is reformed and enabled to not only put free, but also
open, fair, and sustainable trade at the centre.
We are taking steps to ensure that the EU’s single market and the external trade policy
promote Danish exports and act as a lever for creating a green transition and decent conditions for everyone. This requires that the EU gets a more value-based and more strategic
approach to trade policy. That the regard for workers’ rights and conditions is given greater
weight. That the climate and the protection of the environment carries greater weight than
they do today.
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 47
We are strongest
It is uniquely Danish that we
have a trusting and value-creating collaboration between the
public sector, the trade unions,
and the business community
with regard to the challenges
of society. The joint response
to the COVID-19 pandemic has
demonstrated this quite clearly.
At the same time, there are
many public and private actors
that support the internationalisation of Danish businesses.
More cooperation and cohesion
in the initiatives will create an
overview and increase value
for the businesses, especially
for start-ups and SMEs. The
Government will strengthen the
cooperation with other public
actors and establish strong
public-private partnerships for
export preparation, innovation,
attracting foreign investments,
and export promotion. We
will also work for a longer
time horizon in our economic
diplomacy so that the focus
both remains on exports and
investment promotion here and
now and on developing markets
and positions of strength in the
long run. With the partnership
approach, we jointly strengthen the internationalisation of
Danish businesses. And we
create value for businesses and
society that no single actor can
Denmark and Germany – together on a sustainable future
With our partnership for promoting democratic values, Denmark and Germany have a
solid starting point for creating a more sustainable and fair future. We must e.g., cooperate on:
The green transition. Denmark and Germany must jointly push for an ambitious
climate policy in the EU. We must cooperate on energy transition – and, in this context,
the Government will work to bring sustainable Danish solutions in play in the German
Digitisation and digital civil rights. Denmark and Germany must work for a strengthened digital single market – and for strengthening the digital rights of citizens.
Denmark is well in the front when it comes to digital transition and the Government
will help to disseminate Danish digital solutions to Germany and the rest of the EU.
Putting an end to tax havens
Approx. DKK 6.5bn
That is how much Denmark loses out on because of
companies that make use of tax havens. For the EU
countries, the amount is over 400 billion DKK. (26)
We are taking the lead in the fight against tax havens
and aggressive tax planning and are pushing for just
international tax rules. Through the EU, we are working
for, among other things, strengthening the EU’s joint
blacklist of tax havens so that tax speculation does not
provide advantages e.g., with regard to public tenders
and for ensuring an effective implementation of the
OECD’s new minimum level for corporate taxation.
Sustainable Danish exports
We have given exports a boost with DKK 2.5 billion in
export and stimulus packages and the strengthening
of Denmark’s Export Credit Agency (EFK) so that
the capacity for financing of green projects has been
brought up to DKK 14 billion. Now is the time to aim
for new heights and win new market shares. And we
are activating the entire toolbox for the effort:
The Danish missions help as local trouble-shooters,
cultivating new markets and combatting new trade
Strategic sector cooperation promotes sustainable
transitions with a starting point in key Danish competences, public-private partnerships and technologies.
As e.g., in China, where cooperation between the
Danish Energy Agency and the Chinese authorities
has contributed to reducing the consumption of coal
and CO2 emissions by approx. 22 million tons a year.
Green strategic partnerships support achieving the
global goals while, simultaneously, the market positions and export opportunities of Danish enterprises
Green front line missions secure focused commercial
initiatives in the green arena and create visibility for
green Danish solutions.
Innovation centres build bridges between Danish enterprises and the strongest partners within research,
capital and business development. This contributes
to international competitiveness and increases the
potential for exports.
A just, green and digital single market
About 50% of Danish exports go to the single market
and, based on a rough estimate, around 500,000 Danish
jobs are dependent on these exports. (24)
The development of the single market directly affects
our daily lives. Therefore, Denmark is, both inside and
outside of the negation rooms in Brussels, a strong voice
for ensuring that the common rules are based on good
framework conditions with high standards and decent
working conditions in an open single market. We need
to be able to trade with each other and achieve the
many advantages it brings – but it must happen based
on fair competition. Danish green and digital solutions
are sought after in a number of EU countries. The single
market must remain the driving force in creating a
greener, more digital and more just EU.
Danish exports have caught up on what had been lost – but a great
amount of uncertainty remains ahead
Through the EU, we will take steps to counter the tendency of rising protectionism and
trade barriers that make it difficult for Danish businesses to trade abroad. COVID19
has intensified the tendency. 80 countries introduced temporary export bans and
restrictions during the first months of the crisis. (25) Luckily, it looks like global economic
growth is rapidly on the way up and many export restrictions are being rolled back. The
challenge consists in taking optimal advantage of export opportunities and managing
the many protectionist initiatives.
Denmark’s most important export markets (23)
Strategic sector cooperation financed by
Export-oriented strategic sector cooperation
climate front line mission
Strategic green partnerships
The economic opportunities
and challenges of globalisation and Denmark’s
Appox. that many jobs in Denmark are
directly or indirectly connected to the
export of goods and services. And every
5th employee in the private sector works
in a foreign-owned company. (22)
Already today, Asia accounts for three out of six of the
biggest economies in the world. With our strategic
green partnerships with Japan, South Korea, China
and Indonesia, and our strategic sector cooperation
with in counties in the region, we kick the door in for
Top 4-10 Top 11-20
48 49 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
DKK 2.5 billion
Strengthened health diplomacy approach and strategic
sector cooperation on life
We must increase the promotion of
Danish life science solutions through
strengthened cooperation with
foreign authorities and sector specific export and investment efforts.
Additional health sector experts
posted to our embassies will work
to ensure especially SMEs’ access
to life science exports to high value
markets as well as attracting foreign
A new green project and market maturation fund.
We must support the maturation
of projects that specifically target
business alliances and, in that way,
create the basis for export orders.
The initiatives are to be additionally
strengthened through the shortterm posting of technical experts
and the posting of Denmark’s
Export Credit Agency counsellors to
A new export strategy for water and a new export strategy
We must help with spreading
Danish expertise with water and environmental solutions. New water
sector advisors at the embassies are
to strengthen the dissemination of
Danish water management capabilities, increase the level of ambition
in partner countries and take home
the experience from abroad.
Green growth pool for market
initiatives and the positions
of strength for the future
The growth pool is to provide funds
for strategic business alliances, pilot
projects and other activities that
can result in export potential in the
More risk investment export
COVID-19 has created a need for
more risk financing, for example for
green solutions in new, high-risk
markets. To this end, Denmark’s
Export Credit Agency has been given a significant injection of capital.
Strengthened export promotion initiatives targeting
SMEs and digital sales
Export advising is strengthened
with a focus on SMEs and through a
significant boost to the counselling
for digital sales and digital transitions in a number of key export
markets. New SME programmes
are launched targeting concrete
international export and innovation
Special market initiatives
against protectionism and
for developing robust green
We are increasing the efforts
against trade barriers and for the
better use of the EU’s trade agreements as a part of the diversification
of the supply chains of businesses.
The businesses are also supported
in their work with greener and more
socially responsible value chains.
A multiple-pronged export effort
with a strong sustainable focus
New heights for Danish exports
The Government has given the export and investment promotion efforts a significant boost in
order to future-proof exports in the light of the pandemic. We must reach new heights and win
new market shares.
We will open doors around the world
Danish, Greenlandic, and Faeroese businesses have a lot to offer the world, and the Foreign Ministry stands
ready to assist these businesses in increasing their exports. Our missions can contribute to strengthening exports by identifying new market opportunities and creating demand for the solutions that these
businesses can provide based on their positions of strength. COVID-19 has intensified the trend toward
increasing protectionism and a lack of resources. This means that we must fight extra hard to secure
Our missions are our local trouble-shooters, who can help to solve the challenges where they arise.
Through active economic diplomacy, strategic sector cooperation, and in partnership with the business
community, we will promote the framework conditions that make our solutions the obvious choice. Targeted export promotion, cooperation in business alliances, and business consultancy – for large and small
enterprises – are to provide everyone who has something to offer an export lift.
We will make exports, value chains, and foreign investments greener
We will make a special effort to ensure that Danish exports of green technology solutions and project
consulting are strengthened. And we will increase the synergies with development assistance in order to
advance the opportunities for Danish businesses to bring commercial and sustainable solutions into play in
developing countries. This will be good for exports and contribute to green growth and local jobs.
We will support Danish businesses in making their global value chains and sub-contractors greener, more
secure, and more socially responsible. Because the price of economic profits must never be worse working
conditions, lower environmental standards, or higher emissions of CO2. We must strengthen businesses’
resilience and their competitiveness, and, at the same time, work for a green and sustainable development
for all countries. Therefore, we will improve our strategic sector cooperation. And mobilise the Danish
business community for a green, climate-friendly transition in the developing countries.
We will work to ensure that Denmark’s global green leadership is used to attract foreign investments. A
greater percentage of the foreign investments in Denmark must be sustainable and contribute to a green
transition and more jobs.
We will take advantage of the opportunities available in the EU’s green recovery
With export packages, we are mobilising, in close partnership with the business community, a swift, strategic effort to promote Danish solutions with regard to the recovery projects in other EU countries. The EU’s
recovery fund of Euro 750 billion, which is to promote digitisation, health, and the green transition, constitutes a unique opportunity. We have therefore, among other things, strengthened selected embassies
within the EU in order to ensure that Danish solutions can be bought into play in these markets.
50 51 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
New opportunities for green Danish
The Biden administration’s green ambitions provide new opportunities for
green Danish exports. The Government has allocated DKK 45.6 million
over three years for a strengthened
effort in the USA in the form of a new
strategic sector cooperation with
regard to water and climate-friendly
agriculture and foodstuffs solutions as
well as boost to the existing strategic
sector cooperation in the energy
Close strategic sector cooperation
with a number of states on green
Denmark already works in close
strategic sector cooperation with a
number of states on green transitions.
In the water sector, this cooperation
has, for example, opened the door
for Danish businesses in California,
where a major joint project has
been launched between Danish and
Californian stakeholders regarding
mapping groundwater, which will help
to alleviate water shortages.
Strategic sector cooperation on
offshore wind energy.
In the energy sector, strategic sector
cooperation on offshore wind projects
in selected North-eastern states has
contributed with Danish expertise and experience regarding the
conditions for offshore wind energy
production. Danish developers have
won 40% of the finalised tenders
for 14GW and will therefore, in the
coming years, install three times as
many offshore wind farms as Denmark’s total current capacity.
Danish solutions are to contribute to the USA’s green
✪ Innovation Center Denmark
✖ Consulate General
Danish-American trategic sector
cooperation within a range of
Agriculture and foodstuffs
Research and Energy
MS AL GA
Thematic crossstate cooperation
The EU’s single market – an engine for prosperity and the
The Government will improve and strengthen the EU’s single market to the benefit of
Danish workers, businesses, and consumers. Because a well-functioning single market is an
important engine for the Danish economy and for the EU’s and Denmark’s competitiveness.
We will fight for a socially just single market
We will lead the way in combatting social dumping. So that we safeguard the Danish labour market model
and ensure decent conditions for everyone. Because we must have a fair single market in which the good
opportunities for trade and mobility are not exploited to undermine standards and the level of pay. There
should be an equal sign between labour’s free movement and fair movement.
The single market
in Denmark (27)
of Danish exports
go to the single
Danish jobs, approximately, are dependent on it
of imports come
from the single
We will increase competitiveness by safeguarding the single market and focusing efforts
on strategically important areas
The single market is key for growth and jobs in Denmark. Free trade and free competition are the basis for
jobs, prosperity and welfare in Denmark. Therefore, we must continue to strengthen the single market and
ensure the fundamental principles of openness and level playing field as a basis for Europe’s competitiveness.
But the world has changed. New strategic challenges emerge. That is why we have to strengthen the development in critical and strategically important areas – especially if we are to succeed with the green and
digital transition. We must further develop Denmark’s and the EU’s positions of strength through a targeted business and industrial policy where we focus on strengthened framework conditions and public private
cooperation that is promoting innovation and development. The EU’s economic strength and regulatory
power constitute the precondition for EU’s global influence. The first steps have already been taken by the
Government’s active participation in the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, the European Raw Materials
Alliance and the European Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud. The Government will also participate actively in the upcoming European Alliance on Processors and Semiconductor. We maintain a restrictive stance in regards to the use of state aid in order to avoid a Europe where we apply state aid to protect
industries that are not competitive in the long run.
52 53 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
We will work for high standards, clear rules, and fair competition
We will work for a green and digital industrial transition borne on the high standards that we are known
for in Denmark. Because we must be “rule makers not rule takers.” In this way, we safeguard our welfare
society, create demand for Danish solutions, and, at the same time, contribute to sustainable development
within the EU and throughout the world.
At the same time, we must address the barriers that have arisen as a consequence of COVID-19 – and
further develop the single market. We must strengthen the enforcement with regard to those who do not
respect our common rules. This a prerequisite for the single market being able to function. Barrier-free
trade is key for Danish businesses being able to compete. And we must keep a focus on the fact that consumers must be able to have trust in the goods and services they buy.
We will safeguard free and fair competition by working to ensure that the EU takes more effective action
with regard to unfair state aid that provides foreign businesses from third countries an unfair competitive
advantage. At the same time, the EU must remain open for investments from abroad. They can contribute to creating growth and prosperity in Denmark and the EU. But it must take place on fair and equal
We will accelerate a responsible digitisation
We will support the digital transition of Danish export businesses and the use of digital sales channels in
exports as well as help to get the Danish digital solutions sold internationally. This will create growth and
employment in Denmark and contribute to responsible technological solutions in other countries.
We will, therefore, also strengthen the digital single market. Both so that Danish digital businesses can
scale their business and in order to promote a digital economy in the EU, where digitisation contributes to
addressing long-term societal challenges, and where an ethical, responsible, and safe digitisation goes hand
in hand with growth, job creation, and innovation.
Not just free, but fair and sustainable global trade
The Government will push for an EU that, to a higher degree, takes advantage of its clout as
a trade super power in order to support strategic interests and a fairer and more sustainable
world. Because as a little economy, Denmark is dependent on global trade and investments
and is an active advocate for an open and fair international trade system.
We will make trade policy the driving force for a greener and fairer world
We will work to ensure that the EU increases the requirements for sustainability and workers’ rights in its
trade agreements. With its approximately 450 million consumers, the EU is an attractive trading partner.
This gives us the clout to act as a driving force for increasing the global standards regarding the environment and the climate, and for decent working conditions throughout the world.
We will push for the EU to lead the way in ensuring thorough reforms in the WTO
The WTO must again become the centre of negotiations with regard to new fair and sustainable trade rules
and an effective mediator in trade disputes. This is even more important at a time when the trade policy
system is in upheaval, with increasing unilateralism and protectionism. Brexit has weakened the integrated
trade relations between the EU and Great Britain. And the trade conflict between the USA and China challenges the rule-based international trade cooperation that Denmark and the EU are dependent on.
Only through the EU as a collective trade policy player can Danish interests be safeguarded effectively visa-vis major trading nations such as China and the USA. The foundation must be common global trade rules,
but with the WTO in deep crisis, we must admit that the world has taken too long to understand and act on
the trade policy implications of major inequality in many countries, rising globalisation scepticism, and the
growth of China.
We will especially insist that the WTO lives up to its task of promoting digitisation and green trade liberalisation that contributes to creating new export opportunities for Danish businesses and that also benefits
developing countries. We will fight for a global phasing-out of support for fossil energy sources that prevent businesses from transitioning to green solutions.
We will work for global social responsibility
We will work to ensure that the EU is given stronger instruments to hold multinational companies to their
social responsibility. And work for openness regarding the tax payments of large multinational companies
in all countries. Because even in Denmark and the EU, we sense the justified feeling of unfairness that
occurs when globalisation opens the door to tax evasion. Because tax evasion is welfare theft.
Therefore, Denmark was also one 137 countries that reached an historic tax agreement within the OECD.
With this agreement, an effective minimum taxation of 15% for the biggest multinational companies is
being introduced. This applies especially with regard to the tech giants, where the agreement will help to
ensure a fair and modern taxation of their particular business model.
54 55 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
7. A Denmark that can take
action in the world
Denmark is facing an historically unpredictable
world. It requires clear value-policy indicators for
protecting Danish interests so that we can ensure
the Danes’ safety, our social cohesion and welfare,
our values and social model. And it requires a
modern Danish diplomacy that builds partnerships
in the world and is sharply focused on raising Danish
interests and values where it really counts.
We reap the most benefit for Denmark out in the
world when the Foreign Service works in partnership across ministries and agencies, regions
and municipalities, the business community, trade
unions, educational institutions, and civil society. In
a partnership where the threads of modern foreign
policy are bound together in new ways and turn into
value, security, migration, climate, and economic
But this cannot stand alone. If we are to achieve the
priorities set out in this strategy and be prepared
to handle the difficult tasks that await us, it will
require a Danish diplomacy that matches the task
at hand. That is why the Government has decided
to break with the last many years of cutbacks in
the Foreign Service. Since 2021, a comprehensive restructuring of Danish diplomacy has been
underway that leading up to 2025 will mobilise the
biggest possible impact behind the priorities of the
strategy and provide Denmark with the diplomatic
muscles that will be needed for being able to seize
the unique opportunities for demonstrating strong
and reliable international leadership.
Adjusting the Foreign Service means, of course,
making difficult choices and prioritisations. An
adaptable foreign service is a necessity in a constantly changing world. And it weakens our influence and impact when we spread the efforts out too
Therefore, we are building up Denmark’s multilateral missions. We are sending more diplomats
to the Danish NATO mission in Brussels. Because
Denmark needs NATO and a strong bond with the
USA more than ever before. And we are strengthening Danish EU diplomacy across the board. Because
Europe is facing a growing list of challenges where
we have strong interests at stake. We must work
hard for key Danish issues and contribute to ensuring that the EU becomes better at solving the colossal tasks ahead of us. And we must be proactive in
helping the Danish business community in placing
Danish solutions in the centre with regard to the
recovery projects in other EU countries. Therefore,
we are building up not just Denmark’s Permanent
Representation to the EU in Brussels and the EU
offices at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Copenhagen. We are also sending more Danish diplomats
and advisors to a large number of embassies in the
EU and the Western Balkans.
Denmark must have a bigger presence in the UN.
Because it is here that we must ensure that we get
the entire world engaged in the climate fight. And
we want to sit at the table when decisions determining war and peace are being taken. That is why
we are launching our candidacy to the UN Security
Council. And we will follow up by significantly
building up Denmark’s UN mission in New York and
the UN offices at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
We would like a closer collaboration with our most
important allies in the Arctic. Therefore, we are
strengthening our Arctic cooperation with the USA
and Canada. Additionally, we are upgrading Danish
Arctic diplomacy in order to promote closer foreign
policy cooperation within the Danish Realm. Finally,
placements from Greenland and the Faroe Islands
in the Foreign Ministry will promote a foreign service for the entire Realm.
And we are strengthening Denmark’s diplomatic
presence in the Sahel, North Africa, and on the
Horn of Africa. In order to ensure more pulling
power behind the Government’s ambition for a
boost for Africa. Danish development assistance
has already been restructured with a much larger
focus on Africa. In order to put in an effort along the
migration routes and build the foundation for a new
asylum system. And in order to promote stability,
growth, and a green transition on a continent that
will grow by three times the EU’s population leading
up to 2050.
The Government stands for a Danish foreign and
security policy that puts values up front, creates
strong partnerships across society and builds on
modern Danish diplomacy that ensures a strong
and reliable voice on the international scene. That is
how we fight for Danish interests and values around
the world – and for a security, growth, and prosperity that everyone can take part in.
2025 will be a very important year on the international stage
for Denmark. We will take over the rotating EU Presidency
in the second half of 2025. At the same time, Denmark will
hold the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers and in
May 2025 take over the two year Chairmanship of the Arctic
Council. And, if we succeed with our candidature for the UN
Security Council, Denmark will become a member of the
Security Council in January 2025 for a two year period.
FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY 57
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Source: Freedom House; Freedom in the World 2021,
Source: Freedom House; Freedom in the World 2021,
Source: Civicus Monitor 2020, Civic Space on a Downward Spiral,
Source: UNESCO; Observatory of killed journalists, Periode: 2010-2020, https://en.unesco.org/themes/
Source: Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste (Danish Defence Intelligence Service), Udsyn 2021,
Source: Communication from the commission; Trade Policy Review, 2021,
Source: Climate Watch; Data Explorer, Globale drivhusgasudledninger 2017 uden LUCF
(Land-Use Change and Forestry), CAIT, https://www.climatewatchdata.org/data-explorer.
Source: UNFCCC; Climate Change Is an Increasing Threat to Africa, 27. oktober 2020,
Source: UNEP; Production Gap Report 2021. Oversat af Udenrigsministeriet.
Source: IEA; Global Energy & CO2 Status Report 2019,
Source: Climate Watch, Data Explorer, Globale drivhusgasudledninger 2017 uden LUCF (Land-Use Change
and Forestry), CAIT, https://www.climatewatchdata.org/data-explorer.
I beregningen er inkluderet udledningsdata fra EU27 samlet.
Source: IEA, IRENA, UNSD, World Bank, WHO. 2021. Tracking SDG 7: The Energy Progress Report.
World Bank, Washington DC, https://www.irena.org/publications/2021/Jun/Tracking-SDG-7-2021.
Source: UN Water: SDG 6 snapshot, 2017,
Source: UNHCR; Refugee Data Finder, Key Indicators,
Source: Data from UNHCR, Operational Portal, Mediterranean Situation,
Source: Based on data from African Centre for Strategic Studies, Statewatch og Europol
(1. januar 2021 – 31. maj 2021)
Source: FN, Africa Renewal, December 2019 – March 2020,
Source: UN News; Sudan: 250 killed, over 100,000 displaced as violence surges in Darfur, 22. Januar 2021,
Source: International Crisis Group; 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2021, 30. December 2020,
Source: ICRC; A conflict without borders continues to play out in the Sahel, 8. juli 2020,
Source: Based on data from: Africa Centre for Strategic Studies; African Migrant Flows
Reshaping Security Challenges in Africa, 18. december 2019,
Source: UNDP; Human Development Report 2020, baseret på data fra 2019 , Levestandard målt ud fra
Human Development Index,
Source: UN, World Population Prospects 2019,
Source: The Economist, Sepcial Report, 28. marts 2020 version.
Source: Danish Foreign Ministry, White Paper on Job Creation and skills Development in Africa, 2020.
Source: The Ministry of Finance’s calculations of 2019 level based on Economic Statement 2020.
Source: Statistics Denmark .
Source: Statistics Denmark .
Source: MFA estimate based on data from Ministry of Finance.
WTO Report on Export Prohibitions and Restrictions, april 2020, https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_
Source: Based on The Missing Profits of Nations, https://missingprofits.world.
Source: Statistics Denmark .
Source: MFA estimate based on data from Ministry of Finance.
58 59 FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY STRATEGY
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Asiatisk Plads 2
DK-1448 København K
Tlf.: +45 33 92 00 00