Denmark. It was a dramatic political year for Social Democratic Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, both at home and in the EU. In January, the government crisis erupted because of plans to sell off part of state energy company Dong to a US investment bank. The issue divided the coalition party Socialist People’s Party (SF), which left the government. Among those who attended were Foreign Minister Holger K. Nielsen. SF’s party leader also left his post.
Thorning-Schmidt continued to rule in minority with his Social Democrats and Radical Venstre (R), while SF became a cooperative party. R strengthened his position in the coalition and had to take over the post of Foreign Minister through Martin Lidegaard.
According to Countryaah.com, Denmark population in 2020 is estimated at 5,792,213. The Prime Minister’s hardships continued in the elections to the European Parliament in May, which was won by the Danish People’s Party (DF) with over 26% of the votes before the Social Democrats (S) with 19% and bourgeois Venstre with just over 16%. DF dominated the election campaign with EU criticism and accusations of welfare tourism since Denmark at the New Year abolished the restriction on labor migration that applies to the citizens of some EU countries.
Despite the adversity at home and the growing EU criticism in Denmark, Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt sailed as a favorite for the post of new President of the European Council, ie. EU President. But the EU countries had a hard time reaching a consensus and after several months of negotiations Thorning-Schmidt was put aside by Poland’s Prime Minister, Donald Tusk.
Margrethe Vestager was nominated as new Danish EU Commissioner by the Minister of Finance and Home Affairs. She succeeded the government and as party leader for Radical Venstre by Morten Østergaard.
New revelations came during the year about how opposition leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen used Left’s party funds for private use. There were also question marks around his tax business. But despite declining public figures and growing resignation demands, Løkke Rasmussen remained as the leader of the Left, while several influential politicians left the party in protest.
It was revealed that the weekly newspaper Se og Hør, through leaks from a payment service, had access to famous people’s credit card purchases, including Prince Joachim and Løkke Rasmussen. The Minister of Justice requested a survey of the protection of individuals’ electronic payments and the police investigated the leaks from the payment service.
At the opening of the Folketing in October, Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt declared that in 2015, Denmark will vote on whether the country should retain its exemption from EU judicial cooperation.
Thorning-Schmidt replaced a number of ministers during the year. Former Minister of Justice was appointed former Minister of Employment Mette Frederiksen, who is considered the crown princess of the Social Democratic Party.
In the late 1960’s, a new and radical women’s movement also emerged, which in the following years gained ever greater support (see the Red Socks). Of course, the women’s movement was directly linked to the economic and political development of civil society. Women increasingly took part in the labor market without changing the legal conditions that discriminated against them both in the labor market and in the private sphere. In that sense, the women’s movement was a reaction to various undemocratic conditions, but parts of it also developed a more deliberate political stance. In some cases, the movement was coupled with the struggle for equality and gender equality in the working class and especially the female workers.. In addition, the struggle of the women’s movement generally led to a change in the attitude towards the woman’s double work, and that many sexual prejudices disappeared or were reduced, while new ways of living and living won in the form of eg. bokollektiver.
However, the social democratic “welfare society” which brought about higher living standards in the form of increased consumption opportunities also demanded its price. Growing productivity led to increased labor intensity, worsening working conditions and an increase in occupational illnesses and accidents. Especially in the latter half of the 1960’s, the increase in productivity was almost exclusively an expression of an increase in labor intensity. (See Work Environment).
At the same time, the expansion of the social and health sector and other governmental activities, as well as over-budgeting, led to a sharp increase in taxes. In connection with inflation, the available real wage for the working class fell from the late 1960’s. In the spring of 1969, a series of “wild strikes” erupted, which as a wave first ceased in the late 1970’s. In time, the strikes largely coincided with the general major strike wave in Europe. It was about salary issues and working conditions, but did not reach the big concrete results. However, the strikes showed that the working class was not totally pacified or “integrated” in civil society, but could still respond independently to the leadership of the traditional trade union movement.
Copenhagen – museums
In Copenhagen there are many of Denmark’s leading museum institutions within cultural history, art and natural history.
Cultural history museums
The National Museum, which was founded in 1807, is Denmark’s central museum for cultural historical memories. It contains Danish ancient finds and objects from the Stone Age to more recent times with cultural treasures such as the Sun Carriage and the Kronborg wallpapers, the Royal Coin and Medal Collection, ethnographic collections from large parts of the world and antique collections from the Mediterranean and the Near East.
The open-air museum with older Danish country buildings is located by Lyngby. The Chronological Collections of the Danish Kings can be found at Rosenborg, which forms the setting for the Danish crown jewels and the royal house’s treasures, and at Amalienborg, which shows royal private spaces from the period 1863-1947.
The Tøjhus Museum (1838) owns international collections of weapons, armor, uniforms and flags, housed in buildings from the early 1600’s, while the Naval Museum includes ship models, weapons, pictures and objects that illuminate the history of the Danish navy after 1650.
Copenhagen City Museum (founded 1901) illustrates the capital’s development from the Middle Ages to the present, the Amager Museum and Øregaard Museum also have historical-topographical collections.
With its important location in Danish literary and cultural history, the Bakkehus Museum (1925) illuminates the Danish golden age of approx. 1780-1850. The Workers’ Museum opened in 1983 and shows the cultural history of the working class from 1850 to the present day.
At the Museum of Decorative Arts (founded in 1890) is both Danish and international design and crafts represented, while David Collection (opened in 1948) is known especially for Islamic arts and crafts.
With Thorvaldsens Museum, which houses the sculptor’s works and his collection of paintings and antiques, Copenhagen got its first art museum in 1848.
The Statens Museum for Kunst, which is based on an old royal painting collection, is the country’s largest art museum with rich collections of both Danish and foreign visual art; under the museum also belongs the Copperplate Collection with drawings and graphics and the Casting Collection with plaster casts.
The new Carlsberg Glyptotek, founded in 1882 by brewer Carl Jacobsen, has a highly recognized collection of antique art, including Roman imperial portraits, as well as newer and modern pictorial art from especially Denmark and France.
The Hirschsprung Collection includes Danish visual art from especially the Golden Age and by the Skagen painters, collected by the tobacco manufacturer Heinrich Hirschsprung and opened in 1911, while the Ordrupgaard Collection, handed over to the state in 1951 by Wilhelm Hansen, contains Danish and French visual art from the 1800’s and 1900’s.
The Kastrupgård collection specializes in modern graphic art, the Storm P. Museum shows the artist’s works and his pipe collection. The youngest art museum, Arken in Køge Bay Beach Park, opened in 1996.
Other art forms are represented at the Museum of Music History with a fine collection of musical instruments, the Theater Museum, which illuminates Danish theater history from the 1700’s, to today, as well as the Danish Film Museum.
Natural history museums
The Zoological Museum has a systematic study collection of all Danish birds and mammals and shows the animals’ lives using panoramas, working models, animal sounds, etc. The Botanical Museum includes plants from all over the world, while the associated Botanical Garden is an arboretum with over 100 years old trees and greenhouses with tropical and subtropical plants.
The Geological Museum’s collections include minerals, rocks, fossils and meteorites, while the Medical History Museum illuminates the history of medical science.
Among the city’s museums are the Freedom Museum, the Post and Telegraph Museum, the Toy Museum and the Danish School Museum.