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Denmark Country Report

Country Risk Level

Low

Overview

Executive Summary

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and her Social Democratic Party (Socialdemokraterne) – in power since June 2019 – is backed by five other leftist parties, ensuring a parliamentary majority. The government has pledged to reverse the austerity cuts of the previous government, pledging increased spending on health and elderly care (early retirement plans were announced in August 2020). The government’s main policy priority focus will, however, remain responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus pandemic and consequent economic downturn.Despite a record contraction in the second quarter, Denmark’s economy performed better than most of its peers. We have improved our forecast for 2020 to a contraction of 5.2% and a rebound of 3.9% in 2021. We expect Denmark’s fiscal deficit in 2020 to be around 6.5% of GDP. However, public finances are in a good position to absorb this shock, with the public debt in 2019 among the lowest in the EU (34% of GDP).As a small and open economy with half of exports of goods and services going to the EU, Denmark relies on successful containment measures and a gradual return to normalcy in Europe and globally. A resurgence of cases across Europe with new restrictions on activity present the key downside risk. The Danish government’s fiscal measures have been successful in protecting jobs and incomes with only a small increase in the unemployment rate. The scaling down or withdrawal of these measures too quickly would result in more redundancies and company bankruptcies.

Operational Outlook

Denmark has a transparent regulatory system, excellent infrastructure, and efficient bureaucracy. The labour market is highly skilled and mobile. The government strongly supports the open economy and encourages foreign investment. Bribe requests or other corrupt practices are extremely rare and unlikely to affect commercial operations. Denmark is consistently ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world by anti-corruption civil society groups. The primary operational risks to investment stem from well-organised environmental activists and trade unions. Denmark imposed strict regulatory rules in its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus outbreak; however, it was also among the first EU countries that has relaxed those restrictions.

Terrorism

Jihadist intent to target Danish assets is present owing to the Prophet Muhammad cartoons and Denmark's military involvement against the Islamic State. Given capability constraints and surveillance, firearm attacks by radicalised individuals or small groups against soft targets are more probable than co-ordinated IED attacks, similar to the February 2015 Copenhagen shootings at a cafe and a synagogue. Individuals and buildings associated with cartoon publications or satire of Islam, transportation hubs, Jewish assets, crowded public spaces in major cities such as Copenhagen and Aarhus, and government buildings and officials, are likely targets.

Crime

The April 2019 gun battle between two criminal gangs in the Copenhagen suburb of Rungsted highlighted the potential for gang violence in Denmark. Notwithstanding this incident, criminal violence has been on a downward trend since the previous peak in shootings in Copenhagen and Zealand in 2013. The EU Schengen border regime has facilitated the movement of people throughout the EU but also made it easier for transnational criminals to smuggle illicit goods into Denmark. To combat this, Denmark and Sweden, and to a lesser extent Germany, continue active monitoring at the border through 2020. Reduced international and domestic mobility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic also temporarily limited the criminal gangs’ operations.

War Risks

Denmark's geographic position at the mouth of the Baltic Sea and its NATO membership put it at risk in the unlikely event of direct conflict between Russia and NATO. In such a scenario, Denmark would become a likely target for Russian airspace and marine incursions, posing risks of disruption to commercial air and sea traffic. Similar to Canada and Russia, Denmark has asserted its own sovereignty over the Arctic. However, disputes with these countries are unlikely to escalate into armed conflict. The Danish territory of Greenland would likely be strategically important in a potential NATO-Russia conflict in the Arctic, however.

Social Stability

The influx of refugees in the past few years and the debate over contentious immigration laws considered or introduced by the previous government have raised the risk of pro- and anti-immigration protests in Denmark. These have, however, decreased after the formation of the ruling pact between the Social Democrats (Socialdemokraterne) and five parliamentary allies, which foresees the reversal of some of these measures. Restrictions on public gatherings amid the government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus outbreak further mitigates the risk. When held, protests tend to be peaceful, but there is a moderate risk of violence, involving scuffles between protesters and security personnel, or between protesters and counter-protesters.

Health Risk

Vaccines required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines recommended for all travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines recommended for some travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Practical Information

Climate

Denmark has an oceanic climate. Winters are never very cold (temperatures rarely drop below -5°C) thanks to the tempering influence of the ocean, but they are quite long. In the summer temperatures range between 18°C and 25°C during the day and nights are cool. Cool winds often pass through the country, lowering temperatures. Between the end of May and mid-September, days are long and nights are clear and cool. Beginning in October cold temperatures, winds, and clouds return and remain fixtures throughout the winter.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +45
Police: 112
Fire Dept.: 112
Ambulance: 112

Electricity

Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Risk Level
Critical High Medium Low Minimal