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March 23, 2023

Denmark celebrates Constitution Day

By    H.E. MICHAEL STERNBERG, Ambassador of Denmark to Romania

“First of all I would like to express my gratitude to “Nine o’clock” for this annual opportunity to take stock of the bilateral relations between Denmark and Romania. The pleasure is particularly great this year where we can make note of an important innovation in the form of “The Danish-Romanian Business Association” founded in Bucharest only one month ago.

This informal organization proposes to act as a mediation body between the Danish, Romanian and Moldovan business communities. Already, there has been a great interest in participating in the new association. It now comprises 60 companies with the number set to increase considerably in years to come. This bears witness to the current lively commercial exchange between the two countries and the optimism with which the future relations are viewed.
Admittedly both Denmark and Romania have been through difficult economic times these last couple of years. However, based on economic reform programmes we begin to see renewed progress and growth in both countries. I am convinced that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a train in the opposite direction. Danish companies are again interested in establishing and investing in various sectors in Romania. Danish farmers are cultivating thousands of hectares of land in this country. This of course brings transfer of technology and development in rural areas. Other Danish investments are aiming at sectors like food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, energy and information technology.

I also see a great potential in tourism. In the future many more Danes will want to visit this beautiful country in step with the further development of the Romanian tourist industry. This will not only bring income and foreign currency to Romania but will also serve to tighten relations and mutual understanding between our two peoples.

Without being self-satisfied or didactic I would like to spend a few words on the labour market since this topic has received considerable attention in Romania recently. The Danish model is called flexicurity. It allows employees to enjoy good wages and social benefits while at the same time keeping the companies competitive.

There are several elements connected with flexicurity. Since both the employees and the employers are highly organized the labour market can enter into robust multiannual agreements without the involvement of the state. The labour force is very mobile. Hiring and firing is easy and in unemployment periods the people concerned are supported with decent benefits from the state. The state invests heavily in further education and training. It should also be noted that the employment rate for women is high in Denmark contributing further to enriching the labour market.

Denmark and Romania are partners in the European Union and in NATO. We share the values attached to these organisations. An important number of Danish and Romanian troops participate side by side in NATO’s operations in Afghanistan not only with tangible results but sadly also with losses. Equally, both our countries support the NATO led mission in Libya.

Denmark celebrates her national day on the 5th of June to commemorate the first democratic constitution signed by the King in 1849. Originating in the chieftain rule of the Viking Age the Danish constitution was absolute monarchy for many centuries followed by two hundred years of enlightened absolutism. Typical for Denmark, a revolution was not needed to introduce democracy. A group of “the Realm’s best men” simply went to the King to explain the people’s wish for a new form of government – and the King agreed.

With the new constitution Denmark became a constitutional monarchy meaning that the King has no political power. However, this does not mean that the Monarch cannot have a moral influence. That is exemplified by the very popular Queen since 1972, Margrethe II. In particular through her annual new year’s speech she has been able over the years to put the finger on many sensitive and topical issues in the Danish society.

The Danish Embassy in Bucharest will do its outmost to strengthen and expand the economic ties between our two countries. In fields like renewable energy and energy efficiency, agriculture, environment including clean technology, infrastructure, social structures and health, Denmark has a number of important competences that can be useful for Romania. This is my first year as ambassador to Romania. I look to the future with confidence.”

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