Foreign relations of Denmark

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Denmark

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Danish foreign policy is based on its identity as a sovereign nation in Europe. As such its primary foreign policy focus is on its relations with other nations as a sovereign independent nation. Denmark has long had good relations with other nations. It has been involved in coordinating Western assistance to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). The country is a strong supporter of international peacekeeping. Danish forces were heavily engaged in the former Yugoslavia in the UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR), with IFOR, and now SFOR. Denmark also strongly supported American operations in Afghanistan and has contributed both monetarily and materially to the ISAF. These initiatives are a part of the "active foreign policy" of Denmark. Instead of the traditional adaptative foreign policy of the small country, Denmark is today pursuing an active foreign policy, where human rights, democracy and other crucial values is to be defended actively. In recent years, Greenland and The Faroe Islands have been guaranteed a say in foreign policy issues, such as fishing, whaling and geopolitical concerns.

Following World War II, Denmark ended its two-hundred year long policy of neutrality. Denmark has been a member of NATO since its founding in 1949, and membership in NATO remains highly popular. There were several serious confrontations between the U.S. and Denmark on security policy in the so-called "footnote era" (1982–88), when an alternative parliamentary majority forced the government to adopt specific national positions on nuclear and arms control issues. The alternative majority in these issues was because the Social liberal Party (Radikale Venstre) supported the governing majority in economic policy issues, but was against certain NATO policies and voted with the left in these issues. The conservative led Centre-right government accepted this variety of "minority parliamentarism", i.e. without making it a question of the government's parliamentary survival. With the end of the Cold War, however, Denmark has been supportive of U.S. policy objectives in the Alliance. Denmark is not a member of the Western European Union but does hold observer status.[1]

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