When we talk about Denmark, we normally refer to Jutland, Zealand, Funen and the islands scattered around the Danish waters. Yet the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland, which is part of the North American continent, also belong to the Kingdom of Denmark but have autonomous self-rule.
Culturally and linguistically speaking, the northern and the southern parts of the kingdom are very different, which is also due to the fact that 15.000 people who belong to the German minority live north of the Danish-German Border in North Schleswig.
The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been parts of the Danish Realm since the 18th century. Due to their special status nationally, historically and geographically, these parts of the realm have an extensive type of self-government and have assumed legislative and administrative responsibility in a substantial number of fields.
The Faroe Islands’ Home Rule was established in 1948 and Greenland’s Home Rule was established in 1979. In 2005, a new self-government arrangement came into force in the Faroe Islands, and in 2009 a self-government arrangement for Greenland replaced the Greenland Home Rule Arrangement.
The German minority in North Schleswig maintains its own schools and a wide spectrum of social and cultural institutions and serves as a vital bridge between the German and Danish cultures. To ensure further protection of the rights of the German minority in Southern Denmark, Denmark has become party to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (entered into force in Denmark on 1 February 1998) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (entered into force in Denmark on 1 January 2001).
The Faroes comprise of 18 islands, separated by narrow sounds and fiords, located in the northern Atlantic, almost midway between Norway, Iceland and Scotland. The capital is called Tórshavn and the total land mass is 1,399 square kilometres.
Read more about the Faroes (temporarily unavailable)
Greenland is part of the North American continent. It is the world’s largest island, with a total area of around 2.2 million square kilometres, yet only approx. 410,000 square kilometres are not covered by ice. The northernmost point of the Island, Cape Morris Jesup, is just 740 kilometres from the North Pole.
Read more about Greenland (temporarily unavailable)
The German Minority
North of the Danish-German Border in North Schleswig live 15.000 people who belong to the German minority. The German minority in North Schleswig maintains its own schools and a wide spectrum of social and cultural institutions and serves as a vital bridge between the German and Danish cultures.
Read more about the German Minority