International Round-Up:Putin’s pipeline praise

Russian president Vladimir Putin observed that Denmark has been “a responsible player in the international debate” following its approval of the Nord Stream 2, a 1,230 km gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, passing through its territory. The US was disappointed, with Donald Trump claiming German dependence on the gas would make it “Russia’s hostage”.

Expanding the empire
Denmark, Norway and Iceland have agreed to sign a new border agreement that will mean an expansion of the Danish Commonwealth. It expands the Faroese continental shelf by a further 27,000 sq km. In related news, PM Mette Frederiksen and her Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven are working together to strengthen border security between the two nations.

Wrongly imprisoned
A Danish woman is among 48 people who were wrongly imprisoned for crimes in connection with their receipt of social benefits in Norway. It turns out the authorities, which have apologised, had been misinterpreting EU rules on social benefits since 2012. The woman in question served eight months and was fined 650,000 kroner for “gross fraud” and “false explanation”.

Wooing China and US
Greenland’s ruling party, Siumut, has announced plans to establish offices in China and the US in order to engage new international interest. In related news, Denmark is rethinking the way it recruits Greenlandic personnel – who are needed as the military presence in the Arctic grows – as many are put off by the need to self-fund their flights to Denmark to be tested.

Delegation to Poland
At the end of the month, the Crown Prince Couple will head a business delegation to Poland to commemorate 100 years of relations between the two nations. Poland is currently Denmark’s ninth largest export market.

Support for torture bid
Denmark has received support from all 193 states in the UN for its resolution to confirm and strengthen the ban of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments or punishments.

Arrested at airport
Danish-Palestinian jihadist Ahmad Salem el-Haj was arrested at Copenhagen Airport on Monday after arriving from Turkey, where he had been serving a four-year sentence for joining IS, despite the government’s best efforts to bar the return of all foreign fighters and to strip them of their citizenship. He has been charged with counts relating to terrorism and inciting crime.

Iceland document freeze
Iceland has asked for the return of the remainder of a 3,000-piece collection of medieval documents, which UNESCO describes as “the single most important collection of early Scandinavian manuscripts in existence”, given to the University of Copenhagen in 1730. Half the documents were returned between 1971 and 1997, but academics fear their access would be limited.

Sentenced to death
Morocco has handed death sentences to the four men found guilty of murdering Danish backpacker Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her Norwegian co-traveller Maren Ueland in December 2018. Morocco has not executed anyone since 1993, and the sentence has been appealed. A further 20 men will serve time in prison for assisting the murderers.

Busy in Africa
It has been a busy fortnight in Africa, with the foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, opening a new office in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu, signing a waste management deal with Kenya, and also visiting Tanzania. Meanwhile the government co-hosted a conference on refugee treatment, confirmed military contributions to the Sahel, and sent an agriculture delegation to Uganda.

Danish-German year
Earlier this week marked the commencement of Danish-German Cultural Friendship Year 2020, which will reflect on the countries’ past and current connections, such as in the area of the arts. The year will include more than 100 events, including ‘Germany’, an exhibition that has just opened at the National Museum.

Killed on Polish hunt
Police in Poland are still trying to establish how a 47-year-old man was shot dead during a hunting expedition attended by 16 Danish men. The rmf24 news site reports that the hunters were all sober at the time of the fatal shot.

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.