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Rethinking the tools of Danish foreign policy

08.12.2014  13:35

In order for Denmark to maintain its interests in the new world order, it will be necessary to travel new paths. This is the opinion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard and the Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen. Therefore they have formulated a new vision for Danish foreign policy, which was presented Friday 5 December at Borupgaard High School in Ballerup.

“The world is currently undergoing major changes. The global economy is set to double over the course of the next 20 years. This will change the global power structure and increase pressure on natural resources. This is creating major challenges, but it is also creating a range of opportunities for Denmark, that we must take advantage of. However, this requires us to rethink our foreign policy in several areas,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard.

The two ministers are setting three important priorities – security, prosperity and values – and are pointing to closer cooperation between Danish authorities and authorities in other countries in areas such as healthcare and energy, as one of the most important tools in the future foreign policy of Denmark. The purpose is to strengthen the export of Danish solutions, and the government has already taken the first steps with a comprehensive strategy to increase exports and are sending the first growth counsellors out into the world.

“The global centres of growth have made significant shifts over the last few years, and Denmark must hatch onto the new markets, if we want to continue to prosper at home. This requires a strong focus on economic diplomacy, and this is where the entire Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the government must contribute. Our exports are responsible for one out of every four Danish jobs, and is therefore essential to Danish employment,” says Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen.

“Our skills and experiences can pave the way into the engine room of prioritized countries and key partners. From here we can influence society, values and living conditions, when developing countries have to make difficult strategic decisions regarding green transition and welfare. And just as importantly; it can strengthen our security and create jobs in Denmark,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs Martin Lidegaard.

The two ministers emphasize that Denmark must continue to seeks influence through multilateral organizations such as the EU, NATO, UN and through our traditional alliances, such as with the US and the Nordic countries. Security policy must especially focus on our immediate neighbours and the Arctic. In addition to this, Denmark must continue to work for a more free, equal and socially responsible world.

“Denmark will also in the future have the world’s best development assistance and a solidary aid level with a strong human rights profile. We must have a pragmatic, critical dialogue, where we acknowledge that specific projects and new forms of cooperation can be just as beneficial for rights and democracy as the political dialogue”, says Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Mogens Jensen.

The effort in our immediate neighbourhood and fragile states, the cooperation between authorities and the value-based policy are important elements in the vision paper “More Denmark in the World”, which is revealed today. The visions are the results of three months of public debate as well as the constantly changing world, which Denmark is a part of. The public debate has been both physical and virtual and bloggers, high school students and researches have taken part using the hashtag #dkiverden, as well as a number of other types of media.

The vision paper has only been issued in Danish. But an op-ed by the minister highlighting the central elements of the visions paper (the op-ed was printed in the Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende on 5 December 2014) is available here.

For more information:
Lars Peter Levy, pressadvisor for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, phone: 41904124

Frej Jackson, pressadvisor for the Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation, phone: 29724477.