Last Week in Denmark (19.11 - 26.11) Episode 45 Year 3
Justice system; Government changes; Free potatoes
You can still sign up for our meetup events around Denmark here. Nine events around Denmark between the 3rd of November and the 9th of December. Rights and opportunities, entertainment, networking, food and drinks, meetup for subscribers. Free access.
Results of the survey - portrait of the typical LWID subscriber: Thank you to the thousand people who participated in our survey. We will call the lucky winners in the week between 27th November and 2nd December.
The typical LWID subscriber is female (56.1%) between 25 and 35 years old (43.7%) without children (69.7%), living in a rented apartment or house (72.4%), and employed (64.8%). At the same time, the results have shown that we have subscribers from every corner of the world and from every walk of life, and we are very proud of this diversity.
The largest communities present in the LWID audience are: Romania, Italy, Poland, India, Hungary, UK, USA, Brazil, Portugal, and Argentina. Another interesting number is that we have subscribers from 122 different cultures. 63.7% of our audience is from the European Union; 32.8% is from outside the European Union; and 3.2% are Danish citizens.
Our community is present in all the 98 municipalities. Of course, certain areas are more represented than others. 35.8% (Copenhagen); 15% (Aarhus); 10.5% (South Denmark); 9.9% (Center Denmark outside Aarhus); 9.6% (Capital Region outside Copenhagen); 5.6% (Aalborg); 5.6% (Zealand); 4.5% (Odense).
New evergreen articles on lwid.dk: The debut of Louisa Magnussen with an article about Danish Business Culture and the second part of the guide “Living in Denmark” for non-Europeans written by Maria Fuentes.
Danish Politics HQ
New Laws and Regulations
2.3 billion DKK extra for the justice system: The government has reached an agreement with all parliamentary parties to invest 2.3 billion DKK in the justice system between 2024 and 2027. Why? Not enough courtrooms and judges, increased case processing time, and an old IT system.
The money will be used to hire more judges, court lawyers, and office clerks. Also, for new courtrooms and updates to the IT system.
Together with the money, the bureaucracy behind the justice system has been simplified in order to speed up the case processing time.
To mention a few of the simplifications - you can get up to one year of prison time in absence (if you fail to appear at the trial); if you don’t appear at the court when summoned in relation to a fine trial, it will be considered an admission of guilt. You can see all the changes here.
There is criticism from legal experts that, in pursuit of efficiency, they are sacrificing important principles of legal certainty. For example, cases under 100,000 DKK will be considered “small” and will be processed without a lawyer present. (before the limit was 50,000 DKK). Also, to appeal a civil case at the higher court, it needs to have a minimum value of 50,000 DKK (the limit before was 20,000 DKK).
How will the 400 million DKK allocated for strengthening psychiatry next year be spent? The government presented 14 initiatives within the field of psychiatry that will be financed in 2024.
49 million DKK for prevention of suicide (reduce the yearly number of suicides from 600);
7 million DKK for the “Livslinien” - an association that you can contact if you have suicidal thoughts (money will be used to keep the phone line open at night);
9.2 million DKK to strengthen the psychological support for citizens during emergency situations; the establishment of an emergency phone line for mental health issues starting early 2025;
20 million DKK for the Center of Digital Psychiatry;
30 million DKK to increase security in mental health institutions;
100 million DKK for local initiatives that increase the safety of the workers within the mental health institutions;
51 million DKK for better support for children with autism;
52 million DKK to decrease the waiting time for young people to get mental health treatment;
21 million DKK for follow-up on the treatment for young people;
30 million DKK for better support for young people with eating disorders and self-harming behaviour;
Law proposals and ideas
Soon, you will have to clock-in when you start work and clock-out when you end it: A new legislation is being prepared at the moment that will bring back the “stamp clock” which was used in factories, just as a digital stamp clock this time, and for all the people employed. You will need to accurately report your working hours to check if you comply with rules regarding rest and working time.
The trade union IDA is looking forward to the new law. Why? Overtime. IDA’s members (mainly engineers) work an average of 42 hours per week.
The new law is expected to be implemented in July 2024.
The political arena
Changes in the government - three new ministers: To be more exact, changes in the Venstre (Liberals) part of the government. After their former leader resigned from politics (Jacob Ellemann-Jensen) and the election of a new leader (Troels Lund Poulsen), the party leadership decided to also reshuffle the ministerial team.
Troels Lund Poulsen will continue as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.
Stephanie Lose has been appointed as Minister of Economy. She leaves her post as President of the South Denmark Region. She is also the vice-leader of Venstre. She is also joining several powerful committees in the government, making her one of the most important people in Denmark.
Morten Dahlin has been appointed as the Minister of Cities and Rural Areas, Churches, and Nordic Cooperation. He replaces Louise Schack Elholm. To the minister title, it was added “cities” as Troels wants to send the message that Venstre is more than just a small farmers party.
Mia Wagner (yes, the investor from Løvens Hule) has been appointed as the Minister of Digitalization and Equality. She replaces Marie Bjerre. This is the second time an investor from the popular TV show Løvens Hule becomes minister (first time it was Tommy Ahlers, also as a Venstre minister). Mia is the current board member of Dansk Erhverv, the Danish UNICEF Foundation, Denmark's Export and Investment Fund, and Nærum Gymnasium and former CEO of the Freeway Group, Plusbog, Dating.dk, Nordic Female Founders, and a number of holding and investment companies.
Marie Bjerre and Louise Schack Elholm got sacked from their positions before a year had even passed. They have been sacrificed by the new Venstre leader (Troels Lund Poulsen) so that he can bring more known people into the Liberal ministerial team and show the government partners that he is not afraid of power and political play. Both Marie and Louise are generally unknown among the population in Denmark. A recent survey showed that 60% of people in Denmark do not know who they are.
Two other Venstre ministers, Jacob Jensen (Food Minister) and Thomas Danielsen (Transport Minister), are also generally unknown (60% of the people cannot recognize them) and should feel motivated to do better as there will be another major reshuffle of the government in the summer after the EU Parliament elections.
The slim majority that the government has in the Parliament was in danger this week after another member of the Parliament from Moderaterne (social-liberals) left the party. 28-year old Mike Villa Fonseca broke the party code of conduct when he decided to date a 15-year old girl. As a consequence, he had to leave Moderaterne. Further on, he will continue as an independent in Parliament.
Funny enough, it is also an independent (that left Moderaterne), Jon Stephensen that decided to pledge its support for the government coalition and therefore ensure the slim majority. He was also kicked out of the party after he decided to write some unwanted messages to a 19-year old girl from the youth section of Moderaterne.
The OG of the social-liberals in Denmark, Radikale Venstre is ready to join the government coalition, in exchange for some ministerial positions. It's possible that they might join during the summer 2024 reshuffle of the government to ensure a stronger majority in Parliament.
If the government parties lose their majority in Parliament, then they will be forced to negotiate with the opposition to pass legislation, and that will come at a severe cost. Most likely, if the majority is lost, then new parliamentary elections will be called.
Daily Life in Denmark HQ
Come and dig potatoes and take them home for free: A farmer from Vorning (East Viborg) is giving away potatoes. Why? The machines cannot drive on the wet and muddy fields to harvest them. Therefore, to avoid waste and the deterioration of the farming land, he encourages people to come and dig as much as they can. The potatoes are from the “Hermes” variety, and they were meant for chips production abroad. Find the location here.
Healthcare with Punitha Kumar
Offer more care and support for cancer patients receiving treatment abroad, a cancer survivor says. According to DR, Heidi Pedersen was one of the few who took up the offer to treat her cancer in London, but the entire ordeal abroad was stressful and riddled with anxiety. Among other issues, she said there were language barriers and that she had to fork out DKK 12,000 so that her husband could travel with her. Heidi was offered the treatment in London as Århus University Hospital could not operate on her within the 14-day deadline to treat cancer patients. Though her operation was successful and the cancer has been removed, she said the entire process was chaotic and unmanageable. Meanwhile, Danske Regioner health committee chairman Karin Friis Bach said it will be looking into the matter and providing recommendations to improve the process of receiving treatment abroad. When asked if money would be an issue, Karin said the government has set aside around DKK 400 million this year for extra efforts in managing cancer patients.
Denmark is ready to hire more SOSUs from abroad, but they must learn Danish, a new study has revealed. Conducted by Voxmeter for the National Association of Municipalities (KL), the study revealed that seven out of 10 Danish employers are willing to hire social- og sundhedsassistants (SOSU) to care for their elderly if both the SOSU’s professional and Danish language requirements are in order. In 2030, it is estimated that the country will experience a shortage of up to 16,000 social and healthcare workers. In a DR report, KL chairman Martin Damm said that though it would be wiser to hire interested foreigners who are already living in Denmark, this would still cost both money and time. Martin said it was also important that these interest groups start Danish lessons early, even before coming to Denmark. Meanwhile, employment minister Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen said that the government is looking into investing in the country’s language centers in connection with recruiting more foreign labor.
If you earn more than 179,500 DKK per month, then you are part of the 1% in Denmark. You produce eight times more CO2 emissions than an average-income person and thirteen times more than one of the people in the lower 50%. While most of the population has reduced their CO2 emissions in the last decade, the richest have done the exact opposite. It kind of makes sense; the more money you have, the more you spend, and everything you buy has a climate footprint.
It’s not just in Denmark. The world's richest 1% (77 million people) produce 16% of the total global CO2 emissions in a year. To compare, the world’s poorest 66% (5 billion people) produce just as much.
Denmark is responsible for 0.1% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
2,973 species in Denmark are at risk of extinction: 26.4% of the species examined (13,900 in total) are extinct, endangered, or nearly endangered. There are five levels of assessment - extinct (dissapeared from nature; 3.6%); critically endangered (extremely high risk of extinction; 3.4%); endangered (very high risk of extinction; 6.1%); vulnerable (high risk of extinction; 7.6%); and near endangered (risk of extinction; 5.7%).
Seven animal and plant species have been added to the list this year. The wasp Bembix Rostrata (endangered level); The moss scorpion Larca Lata (endangered); Lophozia rutheana (extinct); Freshwater pearl mussels (critically endangered); Smooth Needle Snail Platyla polita (endangered); the beetle Omalium laticolle (vulnerable); crayfish (near endangered).
Culture, Religion and Royals
Photo book with 100 insect species from Denmark: A nature photographer worked for six years to identify and take photos of caterpillars, beetles, butterflies, spiders, and other insects from up close. Check out the fascinating pictures here.
European Union HQ
This category covers interesting happenings from other EU member states, EU candidate countries and EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland, Switzerland)
Far-right won the Dutch parliamentary elections, but they will not govern: Geert Wilders (anti-European, pro-Trump, pro-Viktor Orban), the leader of PVV (Party for Freedom) obtained 37 seats out of 150 in the Parliament. However, to govern, they need 76+ seats and therefore need to form coalitions with other parties. The others have already refused to work with them.
Green and Labor Alliance (led by Frans Timmermans) came in second with 25 seats, and Liberal Party (VVD) led by Dilan Yesilgöz, got third place with 24 seats. A potential Green, Labor, and Liberal Alliance is possible, but they still need the support of several small parties.
New EU-wide rules for packaging have been adopted in the European Parliament: Reduce unnecessary packaging. Reduce plastic packaging. Ban plastic carrier bags. Ban “forever chemicals” on food packaging. Take-away places should encourage customers to bring their own containers. All packaging needs to be recyclable. Next steps? The Parliament is ready to start talks with national governments on the final form of the law once the Council has adopted its position.
The European Parliament adopted the right to repair: 77% of the people in the EU would rather repair their goods than buy new ones, but ultimately have to replace or discard them because of the cost of repairs and lack of service provided. You can find here what is included in the right to repair and when we can see it in practice.
Changes are coming on the European level: Following the Conference on the Future of Europe, MEPs put forward proposals to change the EU. Parliament is advocating reforms that will enhance the EU’s capacity to act and strengthen the voice of citizens. You can read here more.
This section is curated by Cicek Eris. If you have events you want us to include here please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can check out her newsletter about cultural events in Denmark here.
Esbjerg, 30th Nov, 17.00-18.00: Join this “Expat Couple Dynamics” workshop where common relationship challenges experienced by expat couples and families will be covered, and during the workshop you will get insights and tools that foster a closer relationship and strong communication.
Online, 6th Dec, 17.00-18.30: Is filing your preliminary income assessment an overwhelming experience? It doesn’t have to be! Join this Danish Tax System Online Q&A and get familiar with the tax system.
International media about Denmark HQ
How Denmark Made The Plant-Based Action Plan Possible (Forbes)
EU, Germany and Denmark sued by oil firm over windfall tax (Guardian)
Denmark and Albania advance to Euro 2024, Italy gets key win (Sportsnet)
Last Week in Denmark's Universe
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