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Danish Government and Politics

The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, with several parties represented in parliament ('Folketinget'). Elections for the parliament are held at least every four years.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. Queen Margrethe II has been the head of state since 1972, while the prime minister is elected as part of direct elections for Parliament held at minimum every four years. The regent doesn’t hold actual political power but asks the leader of the winning party or majority coalition of parties to form a government.

Danish governments are often characterised by minority governments, where the majority vote for approving legislation is obtained by one or more supporting parties. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in parliament. This means that Danish politics is primarily based on consensus and coalition building.

The Danish Constitution was adopted in 1849 and lays down the framework for Danish democracy. Citizens’ political and civil rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, are guaranteed in the constitution intended to protect citizens against infringement of their rights by the State.

Denmark is known for its social-liberal welfare system, often referred to as the Scandinavian welfare model, which is based on equal rights to social security for all citizens. This means that a number of services such as health and education are available to all citizens, free of charge. The Danish welfare model is subsidised by the state, and as a result Denmark has one of the highest taxation levels in the world.

Foreign relations: Denmark became a member of the European Union (then called EF) in 1972. It is also a member of the UN, NATO, OECD, IMF etc.

The Danish parliament ('Folketinget') is located at Christiansborg in Copenhagen.