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Denmark - Relations

28.11.2014

(last updated: 25.06.2013)


After the restoration of Estonia's independence in 1991, Denmark was the second country after Iceland to re-establish diplomatic relations with Estonia on 24 August 1991.

The first Danish Ambassador to Estonia following Estonia's restoration of independence was Otto Borch, who was sent from Copenhagen on 26 August 1991, just days after the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. Borch was followed by Sven Erik Nordberg (1991-1994), who was followed by Svend Roed Nielsen (1995-2000). He was followed by Jørgen Munk Rasmussen (2000-2005), Kirsten Rosenvold Geelan (2005-2009), and Uffe A. Balslev (2009-2012). As of August 2012 the Danish ambassador to Estonia is Søren Kelstrup

Estonia's first foreign mission after World War II – the Baltic Information Centre – was opened in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 1990. The Estonian Embassy was opened in October 1991. The first Estonian Ambassador to Denmark was Arvo Alas (1991-1996). Thereafter, Estonia has been represented by Jüri Kahn (1996-2001), Taavi Toom (2001-2006) and Meelike Palli (2006-2011). As of August 2011, Katrin Kivi is the Estonian Ambassador to Denmark.

Estonia also has five honorary consuls in Denmark: Søren Claus Kjær in Northern and Middle Jutland, Ulrich Holstein-Holsteinborg in Holsteinborg, Elon Studsgaard in Bornholm, Bo Stærmose in Odense, and Thomas Graversen in South Jutland.

Visits

To Estonia
May 2013 Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen
May 2013 Minister of Foreign Trade Pia Olsen Dyhr
August 2012 Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal
October 2011 Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt
August 2009 Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller
March 2009 Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
April 2008 Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
May 2005 Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
March 2004 The Speaker of the Folketing Christian Mejdahl
August 2003 Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
September 2002 Minister of Defence Svend-Aage Jensby
June 2002 Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Møller
February 2002 Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
August 2001 Minister of Foreign Affairs Mogens Lykketoft
July 2001 Private visit of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
March 2000 Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

 

To Denmark
June 2012 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
May 2012 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
October 2011 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
August 2011 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
April 2011 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
December 2010 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
August 2009 Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo
September 2007 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
May 2006 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
September 2004 President Arnold Rüütel
April 2004 Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristiina Ojuland
May 2003 Prime Minister Juhan Parts
April 2002 Minister of Foreign Affairs Kristiina Ojuland
March 2002 Minister of Defence Sven Mikser
October 2000 Minister of Foreign Affairs Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Bilateral Relations

Estonian and Danish relations have developed in a constructive and stable manner, resulting in close co-operation in political and economic matters, culture and defence. In May 1993, Denmark became the first among the Nordic countries to sign an Agreement on the Abolition of Visa Requirements with Estonia.

On the international level, Denmark was a strong supporter of Estonia's efforts for accession to the EU and NATO. Danish support for EU enlargement was demonstrated by the fact that Denmark was the first state to ratify the Accession Treaty on 4 June 2003. The two parliaments also have good relations; over the years high-level visits as well as a number of working meetings have taken place. An Estonian-Danish parliamentary group was created in November 2007, and is led by Indrek Saar. Intensive co-operation is being effected in the framework of Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) parliamentary co-operation.

In recent years, contacts have become so closely integrated that most projects and programmes are planned and carried out at the institutional and local government level. A number of Estonian and Danish local governments have signed bilateral co-operation agreements.

In 2007 the Danish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce was established in Estonia.

Denmark has been the largest provider of bilateral assistance to Estonia. From 1992-2003, Denmark supported Estonia with a total of 147 million EUR. The major part of the support has been used for environment programmes (incl. energy, the implementation of Baltic Agenda 21), for defence issues (support for the preparation for NATO membership), and for co-operation in the field of European integration (the FEU programme). Upon the accession of Estonia to the EU in 2004, the assistance reached the minimal level and the finishing of projects in the final stage took place.

Defence co-operation between Estonia and Denmark has been on a good level for years. Denmark has been the co-ordinator of several international projects that have helped to build up the Baltic states’ defence systems. It also assisted the Baltic countries with the establishment of BALTBAT, BALTRON and BALTNET and the following activities. In March 1994, Denmark and Estonia signed a defence co-operation agreement, which for Estonia was the first bilateral framework agreement in the field of defence co-operation. The Estonian peacekeeping units that participated in the NATO-led SFOR peace support operation in Bosnia were trained in Denmark, as was the Estonian reconnaissance unit that served under the Danish battalion in Kosovo. Also, Denmark has provided advanced training courses to officers of the Defence Forces and cadets and officials of the Ministry of Defence.

As of summer 2010, Lieutenant Colonel Toomas Peda resides in Copenhagen as Estonia’s defence attaché. As of July 2012, Colonel Søren Frausig, residing in Vilnius, is the Danish defence attaché to Estonia (also to Latvia and Lithuania).

Agreements

The following agreements are in force between Estonia and Denmark:

  • Agreement on the Development of Economic, Industrial and Technical Co-operation (came into force 28.07.92);
  • Agreement Concerning the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (came into force 24.02.93);
  • Agreement Concerning the Abolition of Visas (came into force 01.05.93);
  • Agreement on International Transport of Passengers and Goods by Road (came into force 27.08.93);
  • Agreement on Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters (came into force 25.11.93);
  • Air Services Agreement (came into force 29.11.93);
  • Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (came into force 30.12.93);
  • Agreement for the employment of dependants of members of a diplomatic mission, consular office or mission to an international organization (came into force 27.02.02).
  • Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation for the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (came into force 25.09.03)
  • Agreement on the Reciprocal Holding of Stocks of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products (came into force 07.04.05)

Economic Relations

In 2012 Denmark came in 13th place among Estonia’s trade partners, making up just 2% of Estonia’s total foreign trade.

The total turnover of Estonia-Denmark trade in 2011 was  503.4 million euros, with the balance positive for Estonia by a margin of 101.4 million euros. Exports totalled 302.4 million euros (11th place) and import 200.9 million euros (14th place).

In 2012 the total trade turnover between Estonia and Denmark was  520.8 million euros, of which import made up  223.0 million euros and export  297.8 million. The trade balance was positive for Estonia by 74.8 million euros.


Trade 2005 - 2012 (mln EUR)

Year Export Import
2005 198.1 198.0
2006 195.0 248.5
2007 218.7 262.9
2008 276.0 230.5
2009  221.4 172.0
2010 218.6 175.4
2011 302.4 200.9
2012 297.8 223.0

 

The main export articles from Estonia to Denmark in 2012 were wood and wood products (26.5%) and the primary articles of import were machinery and equipment (16.8%).

All economic figures originate from the Statistical Office of Estonia

Investments

At the peak of the investment boom Denmark was 4th among investors, but during the economic downturn investments have decreased considerably.

According to Bank of Estonia data, in 2012 Denmark’s direct investments in Estonia totalled  331.1 million euros (2.3%), which placed Denmark in 8th place among investing countries.

Over half of Danish direct investments in Estonia are made in the financial and insurance sectors, in addition to the manufacturing industry, transport and inventory, real estate, transport and communications, and the wholesale and retail trade sectors. According to the Estonian Business Register there are more than 240 enterprises with Danish participation in Estonia.

Estonian direct investments in Denmark in 2012 totalled 11.2 million euros, which is 0.3% of Estonia’s direct investments abroad. Denmark ranked 20th among the destination countries for Estonian investments.

Tourism

In recent years Danish tourists have showed increasing interest in visiting Estonia. In 2009 the number of Danish tourists  that used Estonian accommodation facilities was 12 036, and in 2010 the number was 11 140. For 2011 Danish tourists numbered 13 902 and for 2012 there were 14 091 Danish residents registered in Estonian accommodation establishments.

Culture

The Danish Cultural Institute in Tallinn (www.dankultur.ee), which was established in 1990 with the support of Denmark, plays an essential role in maintaining and developing Danish-Estonian cultural ties. Over the years, the institute has brought concert groups to Estonia, organised art exhibits, and provided the initiative to arrange a Danish film week and a Nordic film festival. The Danish Cultural Institute has also promoted the translation of Danish literature into Estonian and co-operated with various Estonian institutions in educational and social projects.

The Estonian-Danish Socity, which has been active since November 1991, has brought together Estonians who are interested in Danish language, culture and history. The Danes’ interest in Estonia is just as great—its sister organisation the Danish-Estonian Society has nearly 400 members. Estonians living in Denmark have formed the group “Estonian Home” (“Eesti Kodu”). The Estonian Embassy in Copenhagen helps to promote the development of Estonian-Danish cultural relations by introducing the work of Estonian artists, musicians and other important figures of Estonian cultural life. In 2012 the cultural events that received the most attention were performances of the works of Arvo Pärt and the activities of conductor Kristjan Järvi, who is well-known in Denmark’s music circles.

Various events introducing Estonian culture were held in Denmark during almost every month of 2012. Markus Kasemaa’s exhibit “Figures 1” was displayed in three different locations in Denmark:  the Copenhagen Business School (1 February-15 March); Field’s, the largest shopping centre in Copenhagen (7 April-31 May); and the University of Southern Denmark in Odense (5-30 November).

From the beginning of the year until the end of April, an exhibit of the graphics of Kelli Valk-Kagovere was displayed in the former Estonian embassy space. An exhibit of paintings by Katrin Valdre entitled “A Soul of Water” was opened in the new headquarters of the Baltic Development Forum (BDF) in Copenhagen in August, in celebration of the “housewarming” of the forum’s new space as well as the 50th birthday of BDF director Hans Brask.

In April 2012 the year’s most important performance, the concert “Pärt and Järvi”, took place at the Danske Radio Concert Hall. In December “Järvi and Bernstein” concerts took place in the same space.

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© Estonian Embassy in Copenhagen Frederiksgade 19, Copenhagen, Denmark tel. (45) 39 46 30 70, e-mail: embassy.copenhagen@mfa.ee