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Citizen in Denmark - Ny i Danmark

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Welcome as a new citizen <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>Dear new citizenBeg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g a new life <strong>in</strong> a new country often <strong>in</strong>volves considerable upheaval. You willencounter new people and new ways of do<strong>in</strong>g th<strong>in</strong>gs. In particular, the <strong>in</strong>itial period willprovide numerous challenges and may seem a bit overwhelm<strong>in</strong>g.This handbook is <strong>in</strong>tended to help you get started <strong>in</strong> your new life <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> andmake your daily life that little bit easier. It outl<strong>in</strong>es Danish society and provides practical<strong>in</strong>formation which you may require as a new citizen <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Naturally, it is impossible to give a complete overview of Danish society. Like most countries,<strong>Denmark</strong> is a diverse society compris<strong>in</strong>g many different cultures and ways of life.Hav<strong>in</strong>g said this, it is crucial that society agrees about certa<strong>in</strong> fundamental values andground rules <strong>in</strong> order to ensure the <strong>in</strong>dividual right of citizens.<strong>Denmark</strong> is a democratic society that offers freedom, responsibility and equal opportunityfor all regardless of gender, race, cultural background and way of life. Everyone is freeto th<strong>in</strong>k, speak and write what they feel, form associations, practise their religion or followan alternative way of life. Personal freedom and equality are fundamental values <strong>in</strong>Danish society - limited only by the need to respect the personal freedom and equalityof others.Dialogue and co-determ<strong>in</strong>ation are important at all levels of society. <strong>Citizen</strong>s are encouragedto participate <strong>in</strong> the democratic process - for example <strong>in</strong> your municipal authority,<strong>in</strong> a political party, <strong>in</strong> your local residential area, <strong>in</strong> a leisure association or your children’sschool or nursery.6


In <strong>Denmark</strong>, everyone is, to the best of their ability, required to support themselves andcontribute to society - through education, employment and pay<strong>in</strong>g taxes. By means ofits tax system, society is able to perform a number of necessary tasks and offer its citizensnumerous benefits and opportunities. All citizens are entitled to free education and <strong>in</strong>most cases f<strong>in</strong>ancial support dur<strong>in</strong>g their period of study. Similarly, all citizens are entitledto free medical and hospital treatment, and the elderly and those with disabilities areentitled to special help <strong>in</strong> their day-to-day lives. <strong>Citizen</strong>s who are able to work but unableto f<strong>in</strong>d employment, can receive self-activat<strong>in</strong>g assistance so that they can resume anactive life as quickly as possible.<strong>Denmark</strong> has a modern, well-developed economy and is a lead<strong>in</strong>g nation <strong>in</strong> terms ofenvironmental and biotechnology, design and other areas where skills and know-howare crucial. <strong>Denmark</strong> is a country offer<strong>in</strong>g diverse opportunities to anyone will<strong>in</strong>g toplay their part.It is a challenge for one and all - for both new and native Danes - to reta<strong>in</strong> and develop anopen society offer<strong>in</strong>g freedom, progress and opportunity. The diversity which you and othersbr<strong>in</strong>g from the outside can lead to <strong>in</strong>creased dynamism and renewed <strong>in</strong>novation.In the hope that you will become actively <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the society of which you are now apart, we warmly welcome you to <strong>Denmark</strong>. Good luck with your new life <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.7


1GEOGRAPHY AND POPULATION


2HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNED


Representative democracy<strong>Denmark</strong> is a representative democracy*. The most importantdecisions are made by politicians democraticallyelected to the Danish Parliament*, regional councils* andmunicipal councils*.Legislative, executive and judicial powerIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, legislative, executive and judicial power are wholly<strong>in</strong>dependent of each other. Folket<strong>in</strong>get, the Danish NationalParliament, passes the laws of the land. The governmentenforces these laws aided by the state adm<strong>in</strong>istration. Thecourts - i.e. the district courts, high courts and the supremecourt - pass judgement and determ<strong>in</strong>e sentences.In <strong>Denmark</strong>, freedom of speech means a person is free topublish what they feel and th<strong>in</strong>k. With due regard, however, tothe courts and legislation <strong>in</strong> general. You can be prosecutedfor offend<strong>in</strong>g a person’s honour or for address<strong>in</strong>g others <strong>in</strong> athreaten<strong>in</strong>g or degrad<strong>in</strong>g manner, for example, on accountof their beliefs or ethnic orig<strong>in</strong>.HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNEDDemocracy was <strong>in</strong>troduced <strong>in</strong> 1849Danish democracy is based on the Danish constitution of 1849.The constitution has been amended throughout the years,<strong>in</strong> 1915, for example, when women were granted the rightto vote. The current constitution dates from 1953, but manyof its pr<strong>in</strong>ciples rema<strong>in</strong> unchanged from the orig<strong>in</strong>al.Constitutional rightsThe Danish constitution conta<strong>in</strong>s the fundamental rules relat<strong>in</strong>gto how the state is to be governed and ensures the country’scitizens a number of basic rights and liberties. The Danishconstitution guarantees the right of private ownership, thefreedom to practise all religions, the right to form associations,the right to demonstrate, and freedom of expressionwhether it be <strong>in</strong> written, oral, or any other form.HRH Queen Margrethe IIHRH Queen Margrethe II has been queen of <strong>Denmark</strong>s<strong>in</strong>ce 1972. The Danish royal family is very popularamongst the population. Many people listen to her NewYear’s speech which is broadcast on radio and televisionon 31 December at 18.00.13


HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNEDThe royal familyThe world’s oldest monarchyThe Danish monarchy is the oldest <strong>in</strong> the world. For morethan 1,000 years there have been k<strong>in</strong>gs, queens, pr<strong>in</strong>cesand pr<strong>in</strong>cesses <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. The royal family wields nopolitical power but takes part <strong>in</strong> public life <strong>in</strong> various waysand represents <strong>Denmark</strong> abroad.Legislative powerFolket<strong>in</strong>get, the Danish National Parliament, debates andenacts Danish legislation. Folket<strong>in</strong>get has 179 members whohail from different political parties. Members of Parliament areelected to serve for four years at a time. The Prime M<strong>in</strong>ister,however, can dissolve parliament and call for a generalelection before the end of this four-year period.Two of Folket<strong>in</strong>get’s members are elected <strong>in</strong> Greenland andtwo <strong>in</strong> the Faroe Islands.Open to the publicAll parliamentary debates are open to the public and anyoneis free to contact the politicians. Political debates are followedclosely and discussed <strong>in</strong> the media.Executive powerThe state adm<strong>in</strong>istrationThe government comprises m<strong>in</strong>isters from one or morepolitical parties. The government is led by the prime m<strong>in</strong>ister.Each m<strong>in</strong>ister has his own area of responsibility. Together withtheir relevant <strong>in</strong>stitutions, the m<strong>in</strong>istries make up the state.Together with the various regions and municipal authorities,the state constitutes the executive power which is referredto as the state adm<strong>in</strong>istration.The government and the state adm<strong>in</strong>istration draw up andimplement the laws of the land.Judicial powerIndependent courtsDanish courts are completely <strong>in</strong>dependent. Neither thegovernment nor Parliament can decide how the courtsshould act <strong>in</strong> a given case.The judiciary comprises a supreme court, two high courts and24 district courts. In addition, special courts deal with specificareas. This applies, for example, to the Danish Industrial Court*and the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court*.District courts* and high courtsAs a general rule, cases are first tried <strong>in</strong> the district courts.The decision of the district court can be appealed <strong>in</strong> thehigh court.14


HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNEDThe supreme courtThe supreme court is the country’s highest court. The supreme courtis a court of appeal. This means that it ma<strong>in</strong>ly deals with appeal casesfrom one of the high courts. The decisions of the supreme courtcannot be appealed.The Special Court of F<strong>in</strong>al AppealIt is possible to appeal a decision to the Special Court of F<strong>in</strong>alAppeal if a person wishes to have a crim<strong>in</strong>al case reopened. Thismight be because new evidence has come forward <strong>in</strong> a case thatis already closed.The Integration CouncilMunicipal authorities can establish <strong>in</strong>tegration councils. The jobof these councils is to advise municipal authorities about ways <strong>in</strong>which new citizens and ethnic m<strong>in</strong>orities can actively participate<strong>in</strong> the local community. Your municipal authority can tell youwhether it has an <strong>in</strong>tegration council. You can also encourageyour municipal authority to set up an <strong>in</strong>tegration council.The local <strong>in</strong>tegration councils elect representatives to thenationwide council for ethnic m<strong>in</strong>orities, which advises thegovernment. F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.rem.dk15


“In my op<strong>in</strong>ion, it is the duty ofevery immigrant to becomeactively <strong>in</strong>volved to whateverextent they can and pass on thebenefit of personal experience.There are great opportunitiesfor ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>fluence at localcommunity level; it’s simply aquestion of us<strong>in</strong>g them. I, myself,became active back <strong>in</strong> the 80sbecause I wanted to commenton what was be<strong>in</strong>g said aboutimmigrants <strong>in</strong> the media. Theexperience taught me a lot; Imet lots of very different peopleand today I have many Danishfriends. By tak<strong>in</strong>g an active part<strong>in</strong> discussions, I have helped toalter the perception of manyDanes towards immigrants and<strong>in</strong>fluenced <strong>in</strong>tegration <strong>in</strong>itiatives<strong>in</strong> Albertslund MunicipalAuthority.”I th<strong>in</strong>k it is our duty tobecome <strong>in</strong>volvedP e r w e z I q b a l left his nativePakistan <strong>in</strong> 1970 and settled <strong>in</strong><strong>Denmark</strong>. He is co-founder ofnumerous immigrant associations.He has also been a memberof both the <strong>in</strong>tegration counciland district council <strong>in</strong> AlbertslundMunicipal Authority.16


Society founded on the rule of lawHOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNED<strong>Denmark</strong> is a democratic society founded on the rule of law*.This means that the government and the state adm<strong>in</strong>istration,<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the police, are subject to democratic control andthat the courts act <strong>in</strong>dependently of the government. Allcitizens have certa<strong>in</strong> fundamental rights and liberties, andare bound to respect the law. All citizens have the right tobe treated properly and <strong>in</strong> accordance with the law by theadm<strong>in</strong>istrative authorities and the courts.Duty of secrecyPublic authority employees have duty of secrecy. As ageneral rule, this means that personal <strong>in</strong>formation mayonly be passed on to your employer or physician with yourprior consent.Your right and possibilities to compla<strong>in</strong>about the state adm<strong>in</strong>istrationThe Danish Public Adm<strong>in</strong>istration Act conta<strong>in</strong>s rules on howthe public authorities are to treat citizens.Among other th<strong>in</strong>gs, the Act states that the refusal of arequest must be justified. And the Act further states thatthe state adm<strong>in</strong>istration must advise you of the possibilityof compla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g to an alternative authority if such anauthority exists.Access to records*You have the right of access to your own records. Normally,if you apply for records access you will be told what <strong>in</strong>formationis conta<strong>in</strong>ed <strong>in</strong> your document records.The Parliamentary OmbudsmandThe Ombudsmand is elected by Parliament and deals withquestions regard<strong>in</strong>g mistakes or negligence on the part ofthe state adm<strong>in</strong>istration. The Ombudsmand is <strong>in</strong>dependentof the government and can <strong>in</strong>itiate his own <strong>in</strong>quiry.Anyone can contact the Ombudsmand if they feel thatan authority is guilty of break<strong>in</strong>g a rule or of mak<strong>in</strong>g anadm<strong>in</strong>istrative error. However, all other avenues of compla<strong>in</strong>tshould first have been exhausted. The service provided bythe Ombudsmand is free to all citizens.18


HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNEDFree Legal AidHelp from the stateIf you are <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> legal proceed<strong>in</strong>gs and have a low<strong>in</strong>come, you can apply for free legal aid. If you are grantedfree legal aid, the state will help to pay for a lawyer andcover your legal costs.Legal AidIf you have a legal problem, you can apply for legal aidor to the Legal Advice Bureau. Here, a jurist will provideanonymous legal counsel. This service is either free orextremely affordable. You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about legalaid or the Legal Advice Bureau by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.advokatsamfundet.dk.The PoliceAnyone can go to the police.The task of the police is to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> public order and prevent,<strong>in</strong>vestigate and solve crime. Anyone can go to the policefor help and to report an offence. For example, you can goto the police if you have been robbed or attacked or if youhave witnessed a crime. You can also call 112.The SSP scheme*In many areas, the police work with schools and social authorities<strong>in</strong> the so-called SSP scheme. This is a jo<strong>in</strong>t <strong>in</strong>itiativeto prevent crime amongst youths.Rules govern<strong>in</strong>g the policeThe police are required to follow a number of rules whenarrest<strong>in</strong>g or question<strong>in</strong>g a suspect. They must not use orthreaten to use violence. And they must <strong>in</strong>form the arrestedparty of his or her rights.20


<strong>Denmark</strong> and the worldGreat trust <strong>in</strong> the policeBy and large, Danes have great trust <strong>in</strong> the police. If a personis dissatisfied with police treatment, they can compla<strong>in</strong> tothe public prosecutor* who, among other th<strong>in</strong>gs, dealswith compla<strong>in</strong>ts regard<strong>in</strong>g police behaviour. There are sixregional public prosecutor offices. To f<strong>in</strong>d out more, logonto www.rigsadvokaten.dk.Self-redressIt is forbidden to take the law <strong>in</strong>to your own hands, for example,by hitt<strong>in</strong>g someone because they have annoyed you. This isknown as self-redress and is a crim<strong>in</strong>al offence.Many <strong>in</strong>ternational connections<strong>Denmark</strong> has many <strong>in</strong>ternational connections. <strong>Denmark</strong> isa member of the European Union (the EU*), the Councilof Europe, the United Nations (the UN), the North AtlanticTreaty Organisation (NATO*), the Organisation for EconomicCo-operation and Development (OECD*) and World HealthOrganisation (WHO*).International conventions<strong>Denmark</strong> has signed a number of <strong>in</strong>ternational conventionsregard<strong>in</strong>g the protection of human rights. For example, theUN’s convention aga<strong>in</strong>st torture, its convention aga<strong>in</strong>st all formsof racial discrim<strong>in</strong>ation, all forms of discrim<strong>in</strong>ation aga<strong>in</strong>stwomen and its convention regard<strong>in</strong>g children’s rights.HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNEDAs a member of the Council of Europe*, <strong>Denmark</strong> has jo<strong>in</strong>edthe European Human Rights Convention and <strong>in</strong>corporatedit <strong>in</strong>to Danish law.The EU*<strong>Denmark</strong> became a member of the European Union <strong>in</strong>1973. S<strong>in</strong>ce then, EU <strong>in</strong>fluence has grown <strong>in</strong> many areas,considerably affect<strong>in</strong>g the legislation of its member states.Among other th<strong>in</strong>gs, member states collaborate on theenvironment, consumer issues and free trade <strong>in</strong> the commonmarket. Some have a common currency, the Euro.<strong>Denmark</strong> is not part of the Euro zone.The UN*As a member of the United Nations (the UN), <strong>Denmark</strong>plays its part <strong>in</strong> help<strong>in</strong>g those <strong>in</strong> need, secur<strong>in</strong>g peaceand development <strong>in</strong> the world and promot<strong>in</strong>g respect forhuman rights.21


HOW THE COUNTRY IS GOVERNEDNATO* and OECD*With<strong>in</strong> the military alliance, NATO, and the economicorganisation, OECD, <strong>Denmark</strong> works closely with Canada,the United States and numerous other countries.International development co-operation<strong>Denmark</strong> sends 0.8 percent of its GNP to developmentprojects with poor countries <strong>in</strong> such cont<strong>in</strong>ents as Africa,Asia and Lat<strong>in</strong> America.F<strong>in</strong>ancial aid is given through the UN and other <strong>in</strong>ternationalorganisations and by <strong>Denmark</strong> direct to the recipientcountry.The resettlement of refugees takes place <strong>in</strong> communitiesclose to the areas of conflict and <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Each year<strong>Denmark</strong> offers resettlement to 500 refugees <strong>in</strong> accordancewith its agreement with the UN’s High Commissioner forRefugees (UNHCR). In addition to this number, <strong>Denmark</strong>receives a vary<strong>in</strong>g number of people who arrive <strong>in</strong> thecountry and are granted refugee status.Aid is given on the basis of close collaboration with recipientcountries so they can take responsibility for their owndevelopment.Key words <strong>in</strong> Danish aid are help to the poorest people, equalityof the sexes, strong government, democracy, human rights,consideration for the environment and susta<strong>in</strong>ability.Help to refugees<strong>Denmark</strong> plays its part <strong>in</strong> help<strong>in</strong>g the world’s refugees. Thisis done, for example, through <strong>in</strong>ternational peace keep<strong>in</strong>gmissions, support for rebuild<strong>in</strong>g war-torn areas, resettlementof refugees and the repatriation of refugees whenconditions allow.22


Nordic passport-free zoneIf you are a citizen of Norway, Sweden, F<strong>in</strong>land or Iceland,you can freely enter <strong>Denmark</strong> and reside <strong>in</strong> the country foras long as you want. The reason for this is that <strong>Denmark</strong> hasa special agreement with the other Nordic countries.The Schengen AgreementMost EU member states are part of the Schengen Agreement*.This means that citizens liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the Schengencountries can travel freely between the countries withoutany form of border control.Registration card for EU citizensIf you are a Swiss national or come from a country which isa member of the EU or the EEA*, you can obta<strong>in</strong> a specialregistration card from the Danish state adm<strong>in</strong>istration.<strong>Denmark</strong> is a member of the EU and therefore adheresto the Union’s rules regard<strong>in</strong>g freedom of movement. Forexample, you can enter <strong>Denmark</strong> and seek employment.Others too, for example people with sufficient means andpensioners, can obta<strong>in</strong> a registration card and residence<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.At www.nyidanmark.dk you will f<strong>in</strong>d a list of the countrieswhose citizens require a visa when visit<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Denmark</strong>. Youmust apply for a visa before travell<strong>in</strong>g to <strong>Denmark</strong>. This isdone by apply<strong>in</strong>g to the Danish consulate or mission <strong>in</strong>your home country. A visa is valid for up to three monthsand does not give you the right to work <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Under normal circumstances, a visa is valid for the wholeSchengen area.ENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN DENMARKAs an <strong>in</strong>terim measure, special rules apply to citizens fromcerta<strong>in</strong> EU countries seek<strong>in</strong>g paid work <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Werefer to the section on Employment.VisaIf you come from a country outside Europe with the aim ofparticipat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> a cultural event, or if you are visit<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Denmark</strong>as a tourist or because you have family here, or if you areon a bus<strong>in</strong>ess trip, it may be necessary to apply for a visa.25


Periods of study abroadAs an EU citizen you are entitled to study <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. If you<strong>in</strong>tend to study <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> you will receive a registrationcard. To qualify you must be enrolled at an approved privateor public <strong>in</strong>stitution. You must also be able to provide foryourself. You have to apply for a registration card from thestate adm<strong>in</strong>istration no later than three months follow<strong>in</strong>gyour entry <strong>in</strong>to the country. F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g ontowww.nyidanmark.dkIf you want to study <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> and come from a countrywhich is not a member of the EU or the EEA, you must applyfor permission prior to enter<strong>in</strong>g the country. You must applyto the Danish consulate or mission <strong>in</strong> your home countryfor a residence permit.Residence permit to seek employment - green cardIf you f<strong>in</strong>ish your further education <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, you areallowed to rema<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> the country <strong>in</strong> the six months follow<strong>in</strong>gthe conclusion of your studies. You can thus obta<strong>in</strong> a greencard that gives you the right to seek work <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Ifyou have been offered employment, you must apply for aresidence and work permit.ENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN DENMARKYou can obta<strong>in</strong> permission to study <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> if you areenrolled <strong>in</strong> basic education, youth education, a folk highschool or further education. It is, however, a preconditionthat you are able to provide for yourself dur<strong>in</strong>g your stayand understand the teach<strong>in</strong>g language used on the course.You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about general conditions by logg<strong>in</strong>gonto www.nyidanmark.dk.If you have been granted a residence permit to follow acourse of further education <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, you can apply forpermission to seek a part-time job.27


A s ylumENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN DENMARKIt is possible to seek protection as a refugee <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> ifthere is reason to fear that a person will be persecuted forreasons of race, religion, nationality, social status or politicalconvictions. Refugees can also seek asylum if they risk thedeath penalty, torture, <strong>in</strong>human or humiliat<strong>in</strong>g treatmentor punishment by return<strong>in</strong>g to their native country.When a person seeks asylum <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, it is the DanishImmigration Service that decides whether the case is to behandled <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> or by another EU member state. TheImmigration Service can also decide to refuse to provideasylum and refer the person to a safe third country outsidethe EU.The Immigration Service*The Danish Immigration Service is the name of a publicdepartment under the M<strong>in</strong>istry for Refugees, Immigrationand Integration. The m<strong>in</strong>istry adm<strong>in</strong>isters the Danish AliensAct and <strong>in</strong> this connection handles cases regard<strong>in</strong>g immigrantaccess to residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g asylum, familyreunification and visas. We refer to www.nyidanmark.dk.Yes to asylumIf the Immigration Service assesses that an asylum seekermeets the requirements for obta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g asylum <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>,the person will be given refugee status.The municipal authority provides hous<strong>in</strong>gIf you are recognised as a refugee, the Immigration Servicewill select the municipal authority where you are to live. Hereyou will be offered a special <strong>in</strong>troductory programme which<strong>in</strong>cludes Danish language tuition and help to f<strong>in</strong>d employment.We refer to Chapter 4, New citizen <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. TheImmigration Service selects the municipal authority whereyou are to live based on your professional skills, family ties<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> and other factors. It is the authority’s job toprovide you with hous<strong>in</strong>g.You can choose to move to another municipal authority.But it is a good idea to talk to your authority first if youmove before complet<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>in</strong>troductory programme. Thereason for this is that your authority must consent to tak<strong>in</strong>gover responsibility for your <strong>in</strong>troductory programme. If theauthority fails to agree, you may risk los<strong>in</strong>g your right to followan <strong>in</strong>troductory programme and with it the right to claimyour <strong>in</strong>troductory payment. The <strong>in</strong>troductory payment is aspecial form of f<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance which you are entitled toif you are unable to f<strong>in</strong>d work immediately. F<strong>in</strong>d out more<strong>in</strong> Chapter 4, New <strong>Citizen</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.28


Family reunificationNo to asylumIf the Immigration Service is unable to approve an applicationfor asylum, a compla<strong>in</strong>t is automatically registered withthe Refugee Board.The Refugee Board*The Refugee Board is an <strong>in</strong>dependent, court-like body. Thedecisions of the Board are f<strong>in</strong>al and can not be overturnedor amended by others.The Refugee Board can either uphold the decision by theDanish Immigration Service to refuse asylum or overturnthe decision and award asylum status. If the Refugee Boardupholds the decision, the Immigration Service sets a deadl<strong>in</strong>efor the person to be out of the country. This deadl<strong>in</strong>e mustbe observed. If you leave of your own accord, you canseek help from the police and you may also be eligible forf<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance. If you do not leave of your own accord,you will be expelled by the police.Spouse, regular partner and childrenIf you have permanent residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, you can bejo<strong>in</strong>ed here by your family if you meet certa<strong>in</strong> conditions<strong>in</strong> the Danish Aliens Act. You may be jo<strong>in</strong>ed by your spouse,your regular partner or children under 15. This is known asfamily reunification and it requires that you fulfil a numberof conditions. In special cases, and where it is deemed <strong>in</strong> thebest <strong>in</strong>terests of the child, children over the age of 15 may beallowed to jo<strong>in</strong> their families.Hous<strong>in</strong>g, f<strong>in</strong>ancial and co-habitation requirementsIn order for your spouse, for example, to obta<strong>in</strong> a residencepermit <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, you must have suitable hous<strong>in</strong>g, you mustlive together when your spouse arrives <strong>in</strong> the country and youmust be able to provide for your spouse. Both of you must beover 24 and have stronger ties to <strong>Denmark</strong> than any othercountry. The aim of these requirements is to ensure the familya solid foundation <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> and to protect very youngpeople from be<strong>in</strong>g forced <strong>in</strong>to marriages they do not want. Itis also a requirement that your marriage and co-habitation aregenu<strong>in</strong>e and are not merely a means of secur<strong>in</strong>g a residencepermit for the person <strong>in</strong> question.ENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN DENMARKSpecial conditions apply to the right to family reunification forEU citizens, for example, a citizen from another EU countrywork<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. If you believe you are covered by EUregulations, it is important you draw attention to this factwhen you apply for family reunification.You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about family reunification <strong>in</strong> accordancewith EU regulations and those of the Danish Alien Actby logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.nyidanmark.dk.29


Duration of residence permitENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN DENMARKPermanentYou can obta<strong>in</strong> a temporary residence permit or a residencepermit with the option of permanent residency. If you havearrived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> as a refugee or because you have jo<strong>in</strong>edyour family, you will normally be given a residence permitthat can later be extended to permanent residence.If you have a residence permit that can be extended topermanent residence, you can obta<strong>in</strong> a permanent residencepermit after several years provided you fulfil certa<strong>in</strong>conditions. Among other th<strong>in</strong>gs, you must have made aneffort to become <strong>in</strong>tegrated <strong>in</strong> Danish society.You must make an effortThis might be that you have had a job or worked for a time,that you pass a Danish language proficiency test, that youdo not owe the state more than a certa<strong>in</strong> sum or that youhave not committed a serious crime.Permanent residence permits for EU citizensIn accordance with special EU regulations, EU citizens andtheir families may obta<strong>in</strong> permanent residence follow<strong>in</strong>gfive years’ legal residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. You can f<strong>in</strong>d outmore by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.nyidanmark.dk.The Immigration Service and state adm<strong>in</strong>istration canadvise you about your rights <strong>in</strong> connection with permanentresidence. We refer to www.nyidanmark.dk.You can lose your residence permitThe Immigration Service can revoke a temporary residencepermit if the conditions for issue no longer exist. For example,if you have jo<strong>in</strong>ed your spouse but no longer live togetherwith this person, you can lose your right to a residence permit.You may, however, keep your residence permit if you haveleft your spouse because they have been physically violenttowards you, and if you have been <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> so long thatyou have other strong ties with the country, or if you areunable to return to your native country because you haveleft your partner because of physical violence.If you have falsely obta<strong>in</strong>ed your residence permit or if youhave been reported to the Schengen <strong>in</strong>formation system*as an undesirable, you risk los<strong>in</strong>g your residence permit.This holds true regardless of whether the residence permitis temporary or permanent.An EU citizen’s temporary right to reside <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> canalso cease to exist if a person no longer complies with EUregulations or if the person has abused their right.Safe repatriationIf you have arrived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> as a refugee, your residencepermit may be revoked if conditions <strong>in</strong> your native countrychange so that it is safe for you to return.In this event, you can seek f<strong>in</strong>ancial repatriation assistance.Read more <strong>in</strong> Chapter 13, Repatriation.30


If you leave the countryIf you travel home on holiday, this may affect your possibilitiesfor cont<strong>in</strong>ued residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Your residence permit will be cancelled if you rel<strong>in</strong>quishyour home <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> or rema<strong>in</strong> outside the country for6-12 months, regardless of whether your residence permit istemporary or permanent. Whether it is six or twelve monthswill depend on which type of residence permit you haveand how long you have lived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.ExpulsionIf you are found guilty of committ<strong>in</strong>g a serious crime, youmay lose your residence permit or be expelled from thecountry.ENTRY AND RESIDENCE IN DENMARK31


4NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARK


Your new lifeInterpreter assistanceOnce you have obta<strong>in</strong>ed your residence permit you canembark on your new life and get to know Danish society.You can beg<strong>in</strong> meet<strong>in</strong>g your new fellow citizens where youlive, <strong>in</strong> associations, at the library and not least at work whenyou beg<strong>in</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g.You will be given a civil registration numberOnce you have obta<strong>in</strong>ed your residence permit you will beregistered <strong>in</strong> the Danish national register. This will be done <strong>in</strong>the municipal authority where you live. If you have obta<strong>in</strong>eda residence permit as a refugee, the municipal authorityor Immigration Service will ensure that you are registered.Once you have been registered, you will automatically beassigned a civil registration number. This consists of yourdate and year of birth together with four numbers that areunique to each person. A civil registration number can looksometh<strong>in</strong>g like this: 23 (day) 04 (month) 54 (year) - 3476.For women, the last number is always an even number (<strong>in</strong>this case 6) and for men, an uneven number.You will need your civil registration number <strong>in</strong> your contactwith civil authorities and <strong>in</strong>stitutions.If you can not yet speak Danish, you may be able to obta<strong>in</strong>the services of an <strong>in</strong>terpreter <strong>in</strong> many situations that <strong>in</strong>volvecontact with your municipal authority or other civil authority.It is the public authorities that assess whether there is a needfor an <strong>in</strong>terpreter. They are also responsible for procur<strong>in</strong>gthe services of the <strong>in</strong>terpreter.The <strong>in</strong>terpreter is neutralYou will be given an <strong>in</strong>terpreter, who will help you. The<strong>in</strong>terpreter is responsible for translat<strong>in</strong>g everyth<strong>in</strong>g thatis said as accurately as possible, and the <strong>in</strong>terpreter mustnot omit anyth<strong>in</strong>g deliberately. The <strong>in</strong>terpreter has a dutyof confidentiality and must be neutral and unbiased. The<strong>in</strong>terpreter may only become <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> the discussion <strong>in</strong>order to clarify a misunderstand<strong>in</strong>g.Good advice - about us<strong>in</strong>g an <strong>in</strong>terpreter:• Do not speak to the <strong>in</strong>terpreter but to the personwhom you are actually address<strong>in</strong>g.• Speak slowly and clearly.• Only say what you want the <strong>in</strong>terpreter tocommunicate.NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARKYou will be given a healthcare cardOnce you are registered with your municipal authority youwill receive a healthcare card. This is a yellow plastic cardwhich you will need to take with you if you visit the doctoror go to the hopsital. Read more about this <strong>in</strong> Chapter 11,Health and sickness33


Danish and social studies for adultsNEW CITIZEN IN DENMARKIf you are over 18, have a residence permit <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>and have been assigned a civil registration number, youhave the right to receive three years’ education <strong>in</strong> Danish.Danish education <strong>in</strong>cludes Danish language tuition andDanish social studies.Your municipal authority is required to offer you Danishlanguage tuition no later than one month follow<strong>in</strong>g yourapplication for this. Tuition can take place at a language centreor at an alternative approved Danish education centre.You have the right to receive Danish language tuition untilyou have passed a f<strong>in</strong>al Danish proficiency test. This must,however, take place with<strong>in</strong> a three-year period.Can be comb<strong>in</strong>ed with workDanish language tuition is there to help you quickly f<strong>in</strong>dwork if you do not already have a job. You can comb<strong>in</strong>etuition with work, practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g and other education.You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about start<strong>in</strong>g work <strong>in</strong> Chapter 8,Work<strong>in</strong>g lifeThree Danish education programmesThere are three types of Danish education programmes.The language centre makes sure that you are enrolledwith the programme that best suits your objectives andcapabilities.Danish education programme 1Danish education programme 1 is for people who havenot learned to read and write <strong>in</strong> their mother tongue. Thisprogramme places special emphasis on oral Danish. But youwill also learn to read and write simple texts. The aim is toenable you to f<strong>in</strong>d unskilled work so that you can providefor yourself as an active citizen <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Danish education programme 2This programme is for people who have spent a short timeat school or who have basic tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g skills from their nativecountry. You will learn to understand, speak and read Danishso you can get by at work and on a daily basis. You will alsopractise writ<strong>in</strong>g simple texts <strong>in</strong> Danish. The aim is to helpyou f<strong>in</strong>d a job as quickly as possible so you can become anactive citizen <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.After complet<strong>in</strong>g the Danish education programme you willhave learned sufficient Danish to follow a number of tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gcourses on an equal foot<strong>in</strong>g with other Danes.Danish education programme 3This programme is for the person who has completedmedium to long-term education, for example, bus<strong>in</strong>esstra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, upper secondary education or someone with afurther education qualification. The speed and level are34


higher than that of Danish education programme 2. Theaim is to help you f<strong>in</strong>d a job as quickly as possible or for youto pursue further education so you can become an activecitizen <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Culture and social conditionsIn all three programmes, students receive Danish languagetuition as well as <strong>in</strong>struction <strong>in</strong> Danish culture and socialconditions. Here, for example, you will f<strong>in</strong>d subjects likethe welfare society, democracy, the labour market andseek<strong>in</strong>g employment.NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARKEnds with testDanish education programmes 1 and 2 can end with DanishProficiency Tests 1 and 2. Danish education programme 3ends with the Danish Proficiency Test 3 or the Studies Test. Apassed studies test is a prerequisite for beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g a numberof programmes of higher education.How much does education cost?Your municipal authority pays for your education <strong>in</strong> Danish.Your authority may decide to ask for a participant fee. This,however, will not apply if you receive your Danish languagetuition as part of your <strong>in</strong>troductory programme. In that case,your authority may not ask for a fee. Read more about the<strong>in</strong>troductory programme and the <strong>in</strong>tegration contract <strong>in</strong>the follow<strong>in</strong>g section.35


“When you speak Danish, it opensan endless number of doors.You get out and about <strong>in</strong>steadof sitt<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>doors and feel<strong>in</strong>gthat life is pass<strong>in</strong>g you by. Noone wants to live that k<strong>in</strong>d oflife. At the language school, Ididn’t just learn the language andpass Danish Proficiency Test 3. Ialso learned a lot about Danishsociety and went on lots of tripsto museums and different places.And I also met one of my verybest friends.”Speak<strong>in</strong>g thelanguage opens alot of doorsAmna Am<strong>in</strong> came to <strong>Denmark</strong>from Iraq <strong>in</strong> 1997 and was grantedasylum <strong>in</strong> 1999. While she waitedfor asylum she worked as a RedCross volunteer. Now, she workswith women’s <strong>in</strong>tegration <strong>in</strong> amunicipal authority.36


Introductory programme and the <strong>in</strong>tegration contractIf you are a refugee or have jo<strong>in</strong>ed your family and are acitizen of a country outside the EU and Nordic region, youwill be offered an <strong>in</strong>troductory programme by your municipalauthority, and together you will agree on the <strong>in</strong>troductoryprogramme content. This must take the form of an <strong>in</strong>tegrationcontract. The <strong>in</strong>troductory programme <strong>in</strong>cludes Danishlanguage tuition - and if required - a number of otherth<strong>in</strong>gs that can help you f<strong>in</strong>d work or beg<strong>in</strong> a programmeof education that can provide you with the qualificationsto enable you to f<strong>in</strong>d work.However, not all members of a reunified family are offered an<strong>in</strong>troductory programme and sign an <strong>in</strong>tegration contract.If the person you have jo<strong>in</strong>ed has a residence permit <strong>in</strong><strong>Denmark</strong> <strong>in</strong> connection with a specific job or, for example,as a researcher, student, an embassy employee or missionary,you will not be offered an <strong>in</strong>troductory programme and an<strong>in</strong>tegration contract. But you can take part <strong>in</strong> Danish languagetuition and other ord<strong>in</strong>ary social courses.It is up to the Immigration Service to decide whether youare covered by the Danish Alien Act and thus eligible for an<strong>in</strong>troductory programme and an <strong>in</strong>tegration contract.The <strong>in</strong>tegration contract - a b<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g agreementThe <strong>in</strong>tegration contract is a b<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g agreement betweenyou and your municipal authority. For this reason you mustdraw it up together. The contract must conta<strong>in</strong> a plan foryour first three years <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. This is why it is so importantfor you as a new citizen.Your contract must specify your <strong>in</strong>troductory programmecontent. For example, this might be the level of your Danisheducation programme, which activities you need to commenceyour studies or beg<strong>in</strong> work<strong>in</strong>g. The aim of the contractis to make you an active part of Danish society as quickly aspossible and ensure that you can provide for yourself.Before the first monthThe contract must be drawn up before the end of thefirst month from when your municipal authority assumesresponsibility for your <strong>in</strong>troductory programme.Make demands of your contractYour <strong>in</strong>tegration contract is a common tool for you and yourmunicipal authority. This is why it is important that you makedemands of your contract. Your contract should conta<strong>in</strong> alist of activities to help you get started, whether you wishto beg<strong>in</strong> an education, start a bus<strong>in</strong>ess or be employed bya company.If you have a jobIf you have a job, the contract must ensure that you canreceive Danish language tuition while cont<strong>in</strong>u<strong>in</strong>g to holddown your job. Tuition can take place <strong>in</strong> the afternoon oreven<strong>in</strong>g, for example, when you are not at work.The contract can be changedYour municipal authority must cont<strong>in</strong>ually monitor thecontract. As you ga<strong>in</strong> new qualifications and experience ornew aims for the future, you can suggest mak<strong>in</strong>g changesto the activities agreed <strong>in</strong> the contract.RepatriationThe contract can also make allowances for the fact thatyou may wish to return to your native country, if and whenconditions allow. For example, the contract can stipulate thatyou acquire skills and qualifications that will prove useful ifand when you return to home. Read more <strong>in</strong> Chapter 13,Repatriation.NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARK37


NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARKDeclaration regard<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>tegrationand active citizenshipAs part of the <strong>in</strong>tegration contract, you must sign a declarationregard<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>tegration and active citizenship.The aim of the declaration is to <strong>in</strong>form you about a numberof values and rules <strong>in</strong> Danish society. In this way you will knowwhat society expects of you as a new citizen. This handbookis a supplement to and clarifies many of the topics listed <strong>in</strong>the declaration.Important to your residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>The <strong>in</strong>troductory programme is an optional offer to you butit is important for your future ability to obta<strong>in</strong> a permanentresidence permit that you comply wih the contract.Introductory benefitIf you come under the <strong>in</strong>troductory programme schemeand do not f<strong>in</strong>d employment immediately or do not have aspouse who can provide for you, you are entitled to specialf<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance. This is called an <strong>in</strong>troductory benefit.To claim the <strong>in</strong>troductory benefit, you must participate <strong>in</strong>the <strong>in</strong>troductory programme activities and be availablefor work. Be<strong>in</strong>g available for work means actively seek<strong>in</strong>gemployment and accept<strong>in</strong>g a job if you are offered one.Otherwise your municipal authority can cease payment ofyour <strong>in</strong>troductory benefit.Maximum of three yearsThe <strong>in</strong>tegration programme, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the Danish educationprogramme, is free but may only run a maximum ofthree years.F<strong>in</strong>d out moreYou can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about the <strong>in</strong>tegration contract, thedeclaration on <strong>in</strong>tegration and active citizenship from yourmunicipal authority. You can read more by logg<strong>in</strong>g ontowww.nyidanmark.dk.38


Danish citizensChildren are automatically granted Danish citizenship atbirth if the parents are married and one of them is Danish.The same applies if the parents are not married but themother is Danish.If only the father is Danish, the child will only be grantedDanish citizenship automatically if it is born <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Or ifthe parents marry before the child reaches the age of 18.Apply<strong>in</strong>g for Danish citizenshipOnce you are 18, you can apply for Danish citizenship. Youmust apply to the police <strong>in</strong> the municipal authority <strong>in</strong> whichyou live. The police can tell you how long it normally takesto process an application.Parliament decidesIt is the Danish Parliament that decides whether a personcan obta<strong>in</strong> Danish citizenship. This is done us<strong>in</strong>g a speciallaw, which Parliament passes twice a year. In order to obta<strong>in</strong>Danish citizenship, you must meet with certa<strong>in</strong> conditionsestablished by Parliament.You must learn Danish and passa special citizens test.• You must have obta<strong>in</strong>ed a certificate from a languagecentre or an alternative educational <strong>in</strong>stitution prov<strong>in</strong>gthat you have passed Danish Proficiency Test 3 or anequivalent test. For example, this may be the f<strong>in</strong>al primaryand lower secondary school exam, an upper secondaryschool education or a bus<strong>in</strong>ess education. You mustlearn enough about Danish culture, history and socialconditions to pass a special test before obta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Danishcitizenship. This is called the citizen’s test.• If you are stateless or a refugee, you must have resided<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> for eight years.• If you are an immigrant, you must have a permanentresidence permit and have resided <strong>in</strong> the country forn<strong>in</strong>e years.• You must be able to provide for yourself and prove that youhave been able to do so <strong>in</strong> four out of the past five years.You are allowed to have received smaller payments fromthe state which are not related to support. This might bespecial help towards transport costs, treatment of illness,medic<strong>in</strong>e, dental treatment or relocation costs. Receiv<strong>in</strong>ga state education grant, early retirement pension, statepension or support from your spouse does not bar youfrom obta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Danish citizenship.NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARK39


NEW CITIZEN IN DENMARK• You must not have outstand<strong>in</strong>g debt with the state.• You must declare that you have not committed crimesaga<strong>in</strong>st the security of the state.• If you have committed a crime, you may have to wait beforebecom<strong>in</strong>g a Danish citizen. This will depend on the natureof the crime.• If you are guilty of committ<strong>in</strong>g a very serious offence youcan not become a Danish citizen.You can read all the conditions by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.nyidanmark.dk.<strong>Citizen</strong> by declarationYou can become a Danish citizen by declaration if you:• Are a citizen of one of the Nordic countries.• Have previously held Danish citizenship.You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more and obta<strong>in</strong> an application form from thestate adm<strong>in</strong>istration* <strong>in</strong> the municipality <strong>in</strong> which you live.Danish passportOnce you have obta<strong>in</strong>ed Danish citizenship, you will be givena Danish passport and you will have the right to vote and stand<strong>in</strong> parliamentary elections.40


5FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE


Rent<strong>in</strong>g or own<strong>in</strong>gRented accommodationDifferent k<strong>in</strong>ds of hous<strong>in</strong>gMost hous<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> consists of multi-storey apartments,terraced houses or detached houses. Hous<strong>in</strong>g comprisesrented accommodation, cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g and owneroccupiedhous<strong>in</strong>g. The majority of rented accommodation isto be found <strong>in</strong> multi-storey build<strong>in</strong>gs. Many are built <strong>in</strong> largeblocks of flats grouped together <strong>in</strong> urban areas <strong>in</strong> the majorcities. Rented accommodation is privately owned or ownedby a subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g association.Owner-occupied apartments and detached housesOwner-occupied apartments, terraced houses and detachedhouses can be purchased. Most detached houses are s<strong>in</strong>glefamilyhomes which have been built on their own plot ofland. In the larger towns and cities, owner-occupied hous<strong>in</strong>gis usually very expensive.Check the ads or ask aroundIn many parts of the country, f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g accommodation can bedifficult. If you want to f<strong>in</strong>d accommodation, you can:•••Consult your municipal authority hous<strong>in</strong>g office.Put your name down on a build<strong>in</strong>g association wait<strong>in</strong>g list.Check the ads <strong>in</strong> the daily newspapers, local papers orspecial hous<strong>in</strong>g newspapers. You can also place an adstat<strong>in</strong>g that you are look<strong>in</strong>g for accommodation.Search the Internet. Here, you can place a free ad. Youcan ga<strong>in</strong> free access to the Internet at your local library.Look up under the “Accommodation section” <strong>in</strong> theyellow pages of your telephone directory or log ontowww.degulesider.dk.Put a notice up at local supermarkets.Ask family, friends and acqua<strong>in</strong>tances.••••Social or private hous<strong>in</strong>gRented accommodation is either privately owned or owned by anon-profit build<strong>in</strong>g association. You can put your name down ona wait<strong>in</strong>g list for an apartment. This means that you can rent theapartment when your name appears at the top of the list. But thismay take many years. Ask a hous<strong>in</strong>g association.Your municipal authority can refer youYour municipal authority has a number of subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g apartmentsat its disposal. You might be able to f<strong>in</strong>d an apartment <strong>in</strong> thisway. Ask your municipal authority.Privately-owned apartments rarely have wait<strong>in</strong>g listsPrivately-owned hous<strong>in</strong>g associations rarely have wait<strong>in</strong>g lists. Here,it is the owner who decides who is to rent the vacant apartment.Tenancy agreementRights and dutiesBoth the tenant and the owner have rights and duties. These areset out <strong>in</strong> the Danish Rent Act. The Act <strong>in</strong>cludes the rules regard<strong>in</strong>gterm<strong>in</strong>ation of the lease. As a tenant, you normally have to give threemonths’ notice. And the landlord can not suddenly evict you ontothe street for fail<strong>in</strong>g to fulfil your duties.The Danish Rent Act also conta<strong>in</strong>s rules relat<strong>in</strong>g to the level of rent,apartment ma<strong>in</strong>tenance and the number of people who are allowedto live <strong>in</strong> the apartment.FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE43


FINDING A PLACE TO LIVEMany live <strong>in</strong> their housesIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, 63% of the population live <strong>in</strong> s<strong>in</strong>gle-familyhouses. This is particularly true of couples with children,the vast majority of whom own their own homes. Mosts<strong>in</strong>gle-family homes have adjo<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g land. Some areterraced houses.About 30% live <strong>in</strong> an apartment <strong>in</strong> a block of flats. Mostblocks of flats are rented accommodation.Many young people share apartments or rent roomsfrom private house owners.Students can rent rooms <strong>in</strong> a student residence. A studentresidence houses many students with each studenthav<strong>in</strong>g his own room. Usually, each room has its owntoilet and bathroom, while residents share the kitchenand common room.Some live <strong>in</strong> community hous<strong>in</strong>g where each personhas their own room and shares expenses, cook<strong>in</strong>g andother domestic chores.44


You are entitled to a tenancy agreementIn accordance with the Danish Rent Act, it is yourright to demand a tenancy agreement stat<strong>in</strong>g theconditions agreed by you and your landlord. Amongother th<strong>in</strong>gs, the tenancy agreement must state howmuch notice you have to give when term<strong>in</strong>at<strong>in</strong>gthe lease. And it must state <strong>in</strong> what condition theapartment must be left when you vacate it.Be sure to have both names onthe tenancy agreementIf you are a husband and wife couple who are tolive together <strong>in</strong> the same apartment, make sure thatboth your names are on the tenancy agreement.This will ensure that one of the parties can rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong> the apartment if the other party leaves or thecouple gets divorced.Check the apartment for faults and flawsDo not sign the tenancy agreement before youhave read the small pr<strong>in</strong>t. And not before you andthe landlord have gone through the apartment tocheck for any flaws and faults.If the apartment has flaws and faults, write themdown, either <strong>in</strong> the tenancy agreement or on analternative piece of paper which should then besigned by you and the landlord. If you discover flawsand faults <strong>in</strong> the apartment after mov<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>, youshould contact the build<strong>in</strong>g caretaker with<strong>in</strong> thefirst 14 days. This will ensure that you will not haveto pay for damage you have not caused.Deposit or lease premiumAgree on the deposit with the landlordYou should expect to pay a deposit or lease premiumbefore or together with the first month’s rent. The sizeof the deposit or premium is to be decided by you andthe landlord.The landlord can use the deposit or premium to coverthe cost of damages to the apartment. However, if youleave the apartment <strong>in</strong> the same condition as you foundit, the landlord must refund the full deposit or premiumamount when you vacate the apartment.How many tenants?There may be certa<strong>in</strong> limitsIn the tenancy agreement, some landlords stipulatethe maximum number of tenants that can occupy anapartment. And municipal authorities can choose toadopt a policy restrict<strong>in</strong>g the number of people <strong>in</strong> eachliv<strong>in</strong>g room area to two people. Ask your municipalauthority about what rules apply.Rent subsidyApply to your local authority fora loan and a rent subsidyYou can apply to your municipal authority for a depositloan for your rented accommodation. The authority willassess your request on the basis of your f<strong>in</strong>ancial andsocial situation. You are required to pay back the loan.FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE45


Cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>gFINDING A PLACE TO LIVEAs a tenant, you can also apply to your municipal authority for arent subsidy. This is called rent subsidy. The authority will calculatethis on the basis of:• The number of people liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the apartment.• The size of the apartment.• The amount of rent.• The size of the total household earn<strong>in</strong>gs.Pensioners can apply for a special hous<strong>in</strong>g allowance.Compla<strong>in</strong>tsIf you are dissatisfied with the municipal authority’s decision regard<strong>in</strong>ga deposit loan or rent subsidy, you can compla<strong>in</strong>. The letterfrom the municipal authority must conta<strong>in</strong> compla<strong>in</strong>t guidel<strong>in</strong>esexpla<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g where and when you can file your compla<strong>in</strong>t.AdviceSpeak to a hous<strong>in</strong>g advisorSome large non-profit hous<strong>in</strong>g associations have their ownhous<strong>in</strong>g advisors. Here you can get useful advice regard<strong>in</strong>g youraccommodation and help <strong>in</strong> understand<strong>in</strong>g letters relat<strong>in</strong>g toyour accommodation.You have to pay a share as well as rentA cooperative dwell<strong>in</strong>g consists of one or more houses or oneor more apartments owned and adm<strong>in</strong>istered by a cooperativehous<strong>in</strong>g society. The cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g society owns theproperty. When you buy a share of the property, you ga<strong>in</strong> theright of use to a part of the property owned by the association.In addition to the share, you must also pay rent to the hous<strong>in</strong>gsociety.Rules and activitiesAs a cooperative member, you automatically become a memberof the hous<strong>in</strong>g society. As a cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g member youhave the right to participate <strong>in</strong> and vote at the society’s annualmeet<strong>in</strong>g. At the annual meet<strong>in</strong>g, the members decide whatrules shall apply with<strong>in</strong> the association. The annual meet<strong>in</strong>galso decides when and how the build<strong>in</strong>g is to be ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>edand improved.46


Sublett<strong>in</strong>g and exchang<strong>in</strong>gapartmentsOwner-occupied hous<strong>in</strong>gLett<strong>in</strong>g from the tenantIt is possible to rent an apartment from a tenant or a cooperativehous<strong>in</strong>g member. This is known as “sublett<strong>in</strong>g” andis allowed for a period of two years. Or longer, if the owneror the rules allow.Exchang<strong>in</strong>g with a tenantIn some rental properties and cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g it ispossible to exchange your apartment with other tenants orcooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g members. In other words, if you havean apartment you can exchange it with one that is smalleror larger. Or for an apartment <strong>in</strong> another neighbourhood.Enquire at the build<strong>in</strong>g’s adm<strong>in</strong>istration office or ask thecooperative society board whether you can exchangeyour apartment.An owner-occupied dwell<strong>in</strong>g can be a house or an apartmentyou buy.Permission to buy real propertyIf you do not reside <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> or have not previouslylived <strong>in</strong> the country for a m<strong>in</strong>imum of five years, you willneed permission from the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Justice to purchasean owner-occupied home. You must send an applicationto the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Justice, enclos<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formation about theproperty you wish to purchase together with a copy of yourresidence permit. You can expect to be granted permissionif you <strong>in</strong>tend to use the property as your permanentresidence. If you are an EU citizen, you can purchase yourowner-occupied property without permission from theM<strong>in</strong>istry of Justice if you <strong>in</strong>tend to use the property as yourpermanent residence.FINDING A PLACE TO LIVEEstate agentsMost owner-occupied properties are sold through an estateagent. Check ads <strong>in</strong> the newspapers, on the Internet, orcheck with an estate agent <strong>in</strong> the area where you <strong>in</strong>tendto buy the property.The estate agent is first and foremost the seller’s representativebut can also advise the buyer about his purchase rights.Always use a lawyerIt is a good idea to use a lawyer. This will ensure that your<strong>in</strong>terests are safeguarded.47


Electricity, heat<strong>in</strong>g andwaterFINDING A PLACE TO LIVELoan - bank or mortgage creditYou can borrow money from a mortgage lender* to buyyour house or apartment. You can borrow money from abank to buy your hous<strong>in</strong>g society dwell<strong>in</strong>g. The mortgagelender or bank will assess your ability to repay the loanbefore approv<strong>in</strong>g it. It is important that you are employedand earn a regular salary.In addition to rent, loan or mortgage payment, you will haveto pay for electricity, heat<strong>in</strong>g and water. You pay accord<strong>in</strong>gto the amount you use. There are meters on the property.Electricity is supplied by a private electricity company, whileheat<strong>in</strong>g comes from a municipal or private heat<strong>in</strong>g plant.Large residential build<strong>in</strong>gs may have their own heat<strong>in</strong>g plant.If you own your home, you will normally pay your water billtogether with your property tax.Costs are highIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, electricity, water and heat<strong>in</strong>g are expensive.This is because society wants to limit energy consumption<strong>in</strong> order to protect the environment. You can save onelectricity, water and heat<strong>in</strong>g by:• Turn<strong>in</strong>g off the light when you leave a room.• Us<strong>in</strong>g low-energy light bulbs. They are more expensivethan standard light bulbs but they last ten times as long.• Take a shower <strong>in</strong>stead of a bath.• Wash up us<strong>in</strong>g a wash<strong>in</strong>g-up bas<strong>in</strong> - <strong>in</strong>stead of runn<strong>in</strong>gwater.• Buy refrigerators, freezers and wash<strong>in</strong>g mach<strong>in</strong>es thatonly use a small amount of water and energy. Theappliance energy labell<strong>in</strong>g will specify the amount ofenergy and water used as well as the efficiency of theappliance. Energy consumption uses a scale from Ato G, where A stands for the lowest energy consumption.Read more about energy labell<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> Chapter 9,Economy and consumption.48


Jo<strong>in</strong>t expensesResident democracyIf you live <strong>in</strong> an apartment which you own or rent, or if youlive <strong>in</strong> a cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g society property, you and yourneighbours jo<strong>in</strong>tly pay towards the cost of a caretaker andthe ma<strong>in</strong>tenance of the build<strong>in</strong>g and the common areas. Ifyou live <strong>in</strong> rented accommodation, the jo<strong>in</strong>t expenses are<strong>in</strong>cluded <strong>in</strong> the rent.CaretakerMost rented accommodation and cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>gsocieties have a caretaker who is responsible for look<strong>in</strong>gafter practical tasks such as the ma<strong>in</strong>tenance of commonareas. In subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g, the caretaker may also carryout m<strong>in</strong>or repairs to apartments or call <strong>in</strong> a tradesman tocarry out the work.In subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>gSubsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g operates a policy of tenant democracy.This means that the tenants elect representatives to a tenantcommittee or a tenants’ association* board. Tenant representativescan approve house rules and <strong>in</strong>itiate commonactivities. They may also <strong>in</strong>fluence the design and appearanceof common areas.Tenant <strong>in</strong>fluence <strong>in</strong> private build<strong>in</strong>gsIn large rental hous<strong>in</strong>g projects, tenants can elect representativesto represent their <strong>in</strong>terests <strong>in</strong> relation to thelandlord. Tenant representatives have the right to exam<strong>in</strong>ethe property accounts and must be consulted before thelandlord can <strong>in</strong>crease the rent or beg<strong>in</strong> carry<strong>in</strong>g out majorrenovation.FINDING A PLACE TO LIVEYou can play a partAs a hous<strong>in</strong>g estate tenant, you can help elect representatives todifferent k<strong>in</strong>ds of tenant groups. For example, it might be a tenantcommittee <strong>in</strong> a rental hous<strong>in</strong>g build<strong>in</strong>g, a board <strong>in</strong> a cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>gsociety or a homeowner’s association* for private homeowners. Youcan take part <strong>in</strong> meet<strong>in</strong>gs and activities arranged by the tenants. Andyou can be active, either as an elected tenant representative or bysuggest<strong>in</strong>g activities for children and adults. In this way you can getto meet your neighbours and help to shape your hous<strong>in</strong>g area.49


Tenant areas and commonroomsHous<strong>in</strong>g and hous<strong>in</strong>g arearegulationsFINDING A PLACE TO LIVEFor meet<strong>in</strong>gs and partiesSome private and hous<strong>in</strong>g association projects and themajority of subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g projects have their owntenant areas and common rooms where tenants can meet.Tenants can often rent these areas if, for example, they wantto hold a party.If <strong>in</strong> doubt, askMost rental hous<strong>in</strong>g and hous<strong>in</strong>g societies have their own houserules. These are either established by the owner or by the tenants.House rules typically deal with such issues as the wash<strong>in</strong>gof stairs, pets, noise, park<strong>in</strong>g of bicycles and prams.If you are <strong>in</strong> doubt about the rules, ask your caretaker or aneighbour.Conflicts can be resolvedWherever there are people, the potential exists for conflict.If you come <strong>in</strong>to conflict with your neighbour, try and talk tothem as soon as possible. If this does not work, speak to thecaretaker or the board, if one exists. Or with the homeowner’sassociation or hous<strong>in</strong>g association, depend<strong>in</strong>g on the k<strong>in</strong>d ofbuild<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> which you live.Get helpIf you have a disagreement with your landlord regard<strong>in</strong>g ma<strong>in</strong>tenance,property exchange or sublett<strong>in</strong>g, for example, try andseek help from your caretaker or board <strong>in</strong> resolv<strong>in</strong>g the conflict.If this does not help, you can register a compla<strong>in</strong>t.If you live <strong>in</strong> subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g, you can compla<strong>in</strong> to a specialtenants’ compla<strong>in</strong>ts board for tenants <strong>in</strong> subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g societies.Ask your tenants’ association or your municipal authority.Municipal authorities have a rent control board*. Here you canregister a compla<strong>in</strong>t if you live <strong>in</strong> privately-owned hous<strong>in</strong>g andthe conflict concerns rent or house rules. Ask your municipalauthority.50


Clean<strong>in</strong>g and refuseAs a tenant, you are responsible for clean<strong>in</strong>g and tidy<strong>in</strong>g up.Make a note of the build<strong>in</strong>g’s or the residential area’s rulesfor clean<strong>in</strong>g and refuse.Standard refuseYour municipal authority sees to it that standard householdrefuse is collected from your residential area once a week.Garden waste and bulk scrap is also collected several timesa year. Bulk scrap may be furniture and used white goods.Municipal waste recycl<strong>in</strong>g centres*Municipal authorities have waste recycl<strong>in</strong>g centres whereresidents can dispose of garden waste and bulk scrap. Thisis the place to dispose of environmentally hazardous wastesuch as pa<strong>in</strong>t, oil, batteries and electrical appliances. Ask yourmunicipal authority about what rules apply.Aerial schemesCommunal aerial schemes <strong>in</strong>rented accommodationMost rented accommodation and hous<strong>in</strong>g society dwell<strong>in</strong>gshave a communal aerial scheme that you automaticallysubscribe to when you move <strong>in</strong>. This may either be cableTV or a common aerial <strong>in</strong>stallation. Usually, you pay for theaerial scheme together with the rent.You may only erect an aerial if you have obta<strong>in</strong>ed permissionfrom the houseowner or the cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>gsociety.Some homeowner’s associationsoperate communal aerial schemes.If you live <strong>in</strong> owner-occupied accommodation, you mayhave access to cable TV, or it may be that the homeowner’sassociation operates a communal aerial scheme. Otherwise,you can erect your own aerial.FINDING A PLACE TO LIVEAerial associations decide the channelsMany communal aerial schemes are set up by an aerial association.Here you can help to choose which TV channelsyou can view <strong>in</strong> your local area. Throughout the countryit is possible to watch regional, national and a number offoreign TV channels.If you have a radio, TV or computer that can receive radioand TV, you have to pay a special fee known as a medialicence* twice a year. Read more about media licences <strong>in</strong>Chapter 10, Culture and leisure time.51


FINDING A PLACE TO LIVEConvert<strong>in</strong>g propertyRules govern<strong>in</strong>g electricity, heat<strong>in</strong>g and waterIf you are a homeowner, you can convert the <strong>in</strong>side of yourhome as much as you want. There are, however, certa<strong>in</strong>rules regard<strong>in</strong>g electricity, heat<strong>in</strong>g and water. Some of these<strong>in</strong>stallations may only be carried out by authorised tradesmen.If you do not comply with regulations, your <strong>in</strong>surance willnot cover you <strong>in</strong> the event of an accident.Ask your municipal authorityIf you want to convert the outside of your house by build<strong>in</strong>gan attic or a balcony, for example, or if you want to erectan outbuild<strong>in</strong>g or build a carport, you must comply with anumber of laws and regulations. Contact your municipalauthority before you beg<strong>in</strong>.Cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g membersmust <strong>in</strong>form the boardIf you are a member of a cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g project,you must f<strong>in</strong>d out whether cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g societyregulations conta<strong>in</strong> special restrictions before commenc<strong>in</strong>gconversion work.Tenants must agree on changes with the landlord.If you are the tenant, you must make arrangements withthe landlord or the build<strong>in</strong>g management office* beforecommenc<strong>in</strong>g any conversion work.You may plumb <strong>in</strong> a wash<strong>in</strong>g mach<strong>in</strong>e or dishwasher if the<strong>in</strong>stallations are approved.52


InsuranceMov<strong>in</strong>gTheft, fire and water damageIf you take out a contents <strong>in</strong>surance policy, your furniture,books, clothes, stereo system, TV and many other personalcontents will be covered <strong>in</strong> the event of theft or damagecaused by fire or water, for example. Theft must be reportedto the police immediately otherwise your <strong>in</strong>surance companywill not pay out compensation.You can choose to take out a “family policy” which coversthird party liability <strong>in</strong>surance, damage and theft.Let people know when you moveAll municipal authorities have a registry of residents. If youmove, you must therefore <strong>in</strong>form your municipal authority.This must be done no later than five days after mov<strong>in</strong>g. Youcan do this electronically by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.borger.dk.You can also obta<strong>in</strong> a special folder from your local postoffice conta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g all the necessary papers.FINDING A PLACE TO LIVEYou can f<strong>in</strong>d the addresses of <strong>in</strong>surance companies <strong>in</strong> the telephonedirectory or by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.degulesider.dk.Even if you are a tenant occupy<strong>in</strong>g a room <strong>in</strong> a house or anapartment, you must <strong>in</strong>sure your own personal contents.53


6FAMILY


Family and societyFamily life and partnershipsDanish society and the welfare state are founded on respectfor the <strong>in</strong>dividual and responsibility for the community, both<strong>in</strong> relation to the family and society as a whole.Equal rights for men and womenMen and women have the same rights and responsibilities,and participate <strong>in</strong> the labour market, economic andpolitical life on an equal foot<strong>in</strong>g. The same applies to familylife, where men and women have an equal right to makedecisions about their lives, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g divorce, for example.In most families, both the husband and wife hold down jobsand share the task of runn<strong>in</strong>g the home.Jo<strong>in</strong>t responsibility for citizen and society<strong>Citizen</strong>s and the public sector share responsibility for anumber of tasks, for example, that children and youngpeople receive a good upbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and education and thatthe sick and weak receive care and treatment.By pay<strong>in</strong>g taxes, all citizens contribute towards the publicsector, which is responsible for carry<strong>in</strong>g out a number ofimportant tasks. For example, the public sector provides daycare facilities for children, schools and hospitals, as well asprovid<strong>in</strong>g help for the sick, the elderly and others who areunable to look after themselves.Most families <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> consist of a father, mother andchildren. Many young people live on their own for a numberof years until they get married or move <strong>in</strong> together and havechildren. Some adults live alone with their children. Manyadults and elderly people live alone.In 2006, <strong>Denmark</strong> numbered almost 2.5 million householdswith an average of 2.1 people liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> eachhousehold.Roughly speak<strong>in</strong>g, they fell <strong>in</strong>to thefollow<strong>in</strong>g family types:PercentageMarried couple with children 13Married couple without children 21Couple with children 4Couple without children 6S<strong>in</strong>gle parent with children 5S<strong>in</strong>gle parent without children 49Registered partnerships 1Statistics <strong>Denmark</strong>, 2007FAMILYVolunteersA number of voluntary and private associations help those<strong>in</strong> need. Often <strong>in</strong> close collaboration with the families andthe public sector. We refer to www.frivillige.dk for furtherdetails.55


FAMILYMarriageA couple are allowed to get married when both parties havereached 18. People under 18 must obta<strong>in</strong> special permissionfrom their municipal authority. A person must not alreadybe married, and it is aga<strong>in</strong>st the law to marry sibl<strong>in</strong>gs orclose relatives such as children, parents or grandparents.It is up to the <strong>in</strong>dividual to decide whom he or she marries.Marriage is voluntary and it is aga<strong>in</strong>st the law to forceanyone <strong>in</strong>to marriage. If you marry a person who lives <strong>in</strong>another country and want him or her to live <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>,you and your spouse must apply for a residence permit orfamily reunification. F<strong>in</strong>d out more <strong>in</strong> Chapter 3, Entry andresidence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Registry or churchA couple can be married at a registry or <strong>in</strong> a church. A civilmarriage ceremony is performed by a registrar or anotherpublic official <strong>in</strong> your municipal authority. A church marriageceremony is performed by a priest from the Danish NationalChurch* or an alternative religious community where thepriest has the power to marry couples.If you were married <strong>in</strong> another country, your marriage willprobably be recognised <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> as well. Ask at the Danishnational register <strong>in</strong> your municipal authority.Duty to provide for one anotherWhen you marry, it is your duty to f<strong>in</strong>ancially provide forone another. And as a general rule, all belong<strong>in</strong>gs are jo<strong>in</strong>tproperty. When a married couple have children, the parentsautomatically have jo<strong>in</strong>t custody.Registered partnershipsHomosexuals can also enter <strong>in</strong>to a registered partnership whichis legally b<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the same way as marriage. Homosexualshave the same rights and duties as all other citizens. Thereare, however, certa<strong>in</strong> exceptions. For example, homosexualcouple do not have the right to adopt children.C o h a b i t a t i o nWhen two people decide to live together without be<strong>in</strong>gmarried it is called cohabitation. A couple who cohabit donot have the same duties and responsibilities towards oneanother as married couples. This is particularly important ifthe couple have children and decide to split up.Custody*If a couple have children and are not married, the motherautomatically gets custody of the children. But the parentscan have jo<strong>in</strong>t custody* if they agree to this.Disagreements can end up <strong>in</strong> courtIf a cohabit<strong>in</strong>g couple decides to split up, it is up to them tosort out their possessions. Just as they should agree wherethe children are to live. If they can not agree, the mattermust be settled <strong>in</strong> a court of law. If they can not agree aboutwhere the children should live, they can seek help from thestate adm<strong>in</strong>istration*.56


Separation and divorceA spouse who no longer wishes to live <strong>in</strong> a married relationshiphas the right to divorce. Separation is a k<strong>in</strong>d of trial period,where the couple live apart but are still married. A marriedcouple can get divorced if they have been separated for oneyear. If they agree, they can be divorced after six months.If divorce is due to <strong>in</strong>fidelity or physical violence, it is possibleto be divorced immediately without a trial separation.Shar<strong>in</strong>g responsibility for the children.The parents themselves decide how to share responsibilityfor the children. If they can not agree, they can seek helpfrom the state adm<strong>in</strong>istration. If no agreement is reached,the matter can be settled by a court of law.A couple wish<strong>in</strong>g to separate and divorce must apply to thestate adm<strong>in</strong>istration <strong>in</strong> the region* where they live. Here theycan get advice about the conditions for separation, divorce,custody, division of property and ma<strong>in</strong>tenance payments.Contraception and abortionYou can always talk to your doctor about how to avoidbecom<strong>in</strong>g pregnant. There are many different k<strong>in</strong>ds ofcontraception to choose from.In <strong>Denmark</strong>, a woman has the right to an <strong>in</strong>ducedabortion <strong>in</strong> hospital before the end of the twelfth weekof pregnancy. In special circumstances it is also possibleto have an abortion after this date.The right to an abortion is primarily founded on thewoman’s right to decide over her own body.If you want an abortion, you must contact your doctor,who will refer you to the hospital. Normally, an <strong>in</strong>ducedabortion is a surgical procedure under general anaesthesia.It is also possible to have a medical abortion. In otherwords, an abortion <strong>in</strong>duced by tak<strong>in</strong>g pills.We refer to www.sexl<strong>in</strong>ien.dk for further details.FAMILYChild support payments.The parent not liv<strong>in</strong>g with the child must make child supportpayments to the other. Child support payments aretax deductible.57


Hav<strong>in</strong>g a babyFAMILYNo one should be subjected to physical violenceWhat happens with<strong>in</strong> the four walls of the home comes underthe head<strong>in</strong>g of private life, and accord<strong>in</strong>gly, neither the statenor the municipal authorities <strong>in</strong>terfere. Hav<strong>in</strong>g said this, noone, neither adult nor child, must be exposed to physicalviolence or abuse with<strong>in</strong> the home. It is aga<strong>in</strong>st the law tosubject others to physical violence. This <strong>in</strong>cludes childrenand spouse. If you are beaten, threatened or forced <strong>in</strong>tohav<strong>in</strong>g sex, you can seek help either from your municipalauthority, a crisis centre or an advisory centre. Violence andduress should be reported to the police.Seek help before it is too lateIf you need help and advice, you can contact your municipalauthority or an advisory centre where you have the right torema<strong>in</strong> anonymous.Exam<strong>in</strong>ation by the doctor or midwifePregnant women have the right to an exam<strong>in</strong>ation by a doctoror midwife. The first check-up is with your own doctor whenyou have reached your n<strong>in</strong>th week of pregnancy. It is up toyou to make this appo<strong>in</strong>tment. When you have entered your10-12th week of pregnancy, you can go for an exam<strong>in</strong>ationthat will show whether there is any risk of the child hav<strong>in</strong>gmongolism or certa<strong>in</strong> hereditary diseases. Your doctor ormidwife will talk to you about the exam<strong>in</strong>ation.A case file follows you and the childThe doctor opens a “case history” that you must take withyou to all exam<strong>in</strong>ations by the doctor or midwife. In the filethe doctor or midwife records the progress of the pregnancy.The purpose of exam<strong>in</strong>ations is to monitor how you andthe baby are do<strong>in</strong>g.Crisis aid and crisis centresIf th<strong>in</strong>gs go wrong and you need help here and now, you canmove <strong>in</strong>to a crisis centre. Here you will be given shelter untilit can be determ<strong>in</strong>ed what is to happen next. Crisis centresalso offer social, physical and educational support.There are crises centres dotted around the country; both formen and women. It is possible to br<strong>in</strong>g children with youto crisis centres. Most crisis centres are for women seek<strong>in</strong>gprotetction from violent husbands or someone else whoabuses them. We refer to www.lokk.dk and www.social.dkfor further details.58


Birth preparationsYou can go to antenatal courses and learn all about whathappens to your body dur<strong>in</strong>g pregnancy and the developmentof the baby. You will also learn how to do breath<strong>in</strong>gand physical exercises that tra<strong>in</strong> the body and make giv<strong>in</strong>gbirth easier and less pa<strong>in</strong>ful. Ask your midwife about availablecourses. You can br<strong>in</strong>g your husband or another personalong to the courses.BirthIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, most people give birth <strong>in</strong> a hospital maternityward. You decide where and how you want to give birth.You can br<strong>in</strong>g your husband or another person along to thebirth. It is also possible to have the baby at home. Consultyour midwife.On the maternity ward*If you have your baby <strong>in</strong> the hospital, you and the child willbe moved to a room on the maternity ward. Here you canget help <strong>in</strong> look<strong>in</strong>g after the baby and advice on breastfeed<strong>in</strong>g and care of the newborn.Birth certificate, nam<strong>in</strong>g and christen<strong>in</strong>gOnce the baby is born, the parents must fill <strong>in</strong> a form whichis to be sent to the Registrar of the State Church, who willissue a birth certificate. It is the Danish National Church*which registers all new births, irrespective of religion, onbehalf of the state.The Danish National Church registers everyoneThe Danish National Church also registers all newbornnames. You therefore must <strong>in</strong>form the Registrar of the StateChurch of the baby’s name. This must be done before thechild reaches six months. You can f<strong>in</strong>d a nam<strong>in</strong>g form atwww.personregistrer<strong>in</strong>g.dk. The child will receive a birthcertificate.The child can also be named <strong>in</strong> connection with a christen<strong>in</strong>gceremony <strong>in</strong> the Danish National Church or anotherrecognised religious community. The child will receive abirth certificate.The first name must be approvedA child can have one or two first names. You can choosefrom a list of approved names by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto the Departmentof Family Affairs’ website at www.familiestyrelsen.dk.If you want a name that is not on the list, you can apply tohave it approved. An application form is available from theRegistrar of the State Church.Maternity and parental leaveAll pregnant women have the right to a period of maternityleave both before and after birth. The child’s father can alsotake parental leave for a fixed period. The public authoritiesand certa<strong>in</strong> private companies have accords or agreementsthat ensure employees receive salaried maternity leave.Parents who do not receive a salaried maternity leave canreceive maternity ma<strong>in</strong>tenance from their municipal authority.This also applies to self-employed people if they havehad their bus<strong>in</strong>ess for a m<strong>in</strong>imum of six months. Parents ofsmall children are also entitled to parental leave. Ask yourmunicipal authority for conditions.FAMILY59


FAMILYThe health visitor pays a visitYou have the right to be visited by a health visitor. You canhave the first visit a week after the mother and child havecome back from the hospital. After that, you agree onfuture visits.Follow<strong>in</strong>g the development of the childThe job of the health visitor is to advise you so that you andthe child get off to the best possible start. The health visitorexam<strong>in</strong>es the child and follows its development. The healthvisitor focuses on the welfare of the whole family and offersadvice on any matters about which you may be <strong>in</strong> doubt.Exam<strong>in</strong>ations by your own doctorYour child can receive a number of free health exam<strong>in</strong>ationsfrom your family doctor. Read more about children’s healthexam<strong>in</strong>ations <strong>in</strong> Chapter 11.Mothers’ groupsThe health visitor can organise several women who havegiven birth at around the same time <strong>in</strong>to mothers’ groups. Themothers meet at each other’s houses or <strong>in</strong> a place organisedby the health visitor to talk and exchange experiences. Askyour health visitor if there are any mothers’ groups <strong>in</strong> whichyou can participate.60


Children looked after outside the homeAs both parents work dur<strong>in</strong>g the day, most small children are lookedafter <strong>in</strong> day care centre or facility. Many schoolchildren attend anafter-school care facility or an after-school centre. Parents stay <strong>in</strong>close dialogue with the <strong>in</strong>stitutions that care for their children. In thisway they are able to <strong>in</strong>fluence the child’s childhood and upbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g- also when the child is not at home.You must apply for a placeIt is your job to contact the municipal authorities to book aplace for your child. If there are not any places immediatelyavailable, the child’s name will be placed on a wait<strong>in</strong>g list.The earlier you put down the child’s name, the greater thechance of f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a place when you need it. If you wouldlike your child to be looked after <strong>in</strong> childm<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g facilities,you should put down its name immediately after birth.FAMILYChildm<strong>in</strong>ders, day care and nurseriesThe vast majority of children under the age of six are looked after bya childm<strong>in</strong>der or at a day care centre or nursery every day. It is thetask of municipal authorities to provide day care facilities, and theoptions vary from authority to authority. The most common are:• Day care. This means that together with other children, thechild is looked after by a childm<strong>in</strong>der approved by the municipalauthority. This is particularly aimed at children from 0-3.• Day nursery - for children from six months up to the age of two.• Crèche - for children aged three and up to school start<strong>in</strong>g age.• Outdoor crèche - where children spend the day <strong>in</strong> the countrysideor the woods.• An <strong>in</strong>tegrated <strong>in</strong>stitution - for children aged six months and upto school start<strong>in</strong>g age.• Private day care. Some municipal authorities award a grant toparents so their children can be put <strong>in</strong> private day care.61


FAMILYIf you move to another municipal authorityIf you move to another municipal authority before the child hasbegun at a day care centre, you must contact the new authorityand have the child’s name placed on a wait<strong>in</strong>g list there.Remember to tell them how long the child has been wait<strong>in</strong>gso you are not put at the end of the queue.If you move to another municipal authority after the child hasbegun at a day care centre, you must contact the new authorityand have the child’s name placed on a wait<strong>in</strong>g list there. Youcan also keep the child at the day care centre <strong>in</strong> the authorityfrom which you have just moved.R<strong>in</strong>g and make an appo<strong>in</strong>tmentYou are always welcome to visit several day care centres beforedecid<strong>in</strong>g where you would like to place your child. Call and makean appo<strong>in</strong>tment so that you are sure that personnel have timeto talk to you and give you a tour of the centre.PaymentYou must bear the cost of hav<strong>in</strong>g your child looked after at a daycare centre. The state, however, pays part of the cost. If you haveseveral children <strong>in</strong> day care, you will receive sibl<strong>in</strong>g discount, andyou can also apply to the municipal authority for a free or partiallyfree place for your child. Ask your municipal authority.If you have not already found someone to look after your child,your municipal authority will offer you a place at a day carecentre or <strong>in</strong> day care. You are obliged to accept this. Failure todo so can lead to a suspension of f<strong>in</strong>ancial aid.Private day care grantThe municipal authorities award a grant to parents who wantto have their child <strong>in</strong> private day care, for example, by hir<strong>in</strong>g ananny. Some municipal authorities award parents a grant tolook after their own children. The authority decides whether itwill award such a grant.Help for language developmentIf your child needs it, it can be given special help to learnDanish, so-called language stimulation, from the age of three.It is your municipal authority that provides this service, and aspecial language expert will assess whether your child requireslanguage stimulation. If your child attends a nursery, languagestimulation will take place there. If the child is looked after <strong>in</strong> thehome, the child must receive 15 hours’ language stimulation aweek. Language stimulation is mandatory. Ask your municipalauthority.Duty to have the child looked afterIf you are out of work and receive cash benefit, unemploymentbenefit* or <strong>in</strong>troductory benefit*, it is your duty to make yourselfavailable to the job market. This means that you must be ableto start work as soon as one becomes available or be ready toaccept a job activation offer. This requires that your childrenbe <strong>in</strong> day care.62


My son developed alarge vocabulary play<strong>in</strong>gtogether with Danishchildren.“When our son began atschool, his teachers commentedon his large vocabulary.This was because he hadmostly played with Danishchildren. For even though Ispeak Danish to him, thereare words I don’t know butwhich he learns from otherchildren. We grown-ups canlearn from each other <strong>in</strong> thesame way. We have always<strong>in</strong>vited Danish children andtheir parents <strong>in</strong>to our home.We have discussed a greatmany topics and this hasproved educational for themand for us. A lot of prejudiceshave disappeared - on bothsides.”Gülay Ciftci emigratedfrom Turkey to <strong>Denmark</strong><strong>in</strong> 1977. She works as amunicipal <strong>in</strong>tegration andcash benefit consultant andis currently study<strong>in</strong>g to be asocial worker.63


Children and young peopleFAMILYContact between parents and personnelPositive contact between parents and day care personnel iscrucial to the healthy development of the child. Personnel will<strong>in</strong>form you about what happens at the day care centre on a dailybasis. They want to hear about your experiences with the childand changes <strong>in</strong> the family that affect the child.If you need more time to speak to personnel, you can arrangefor a parent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>g.Many day care centres employ bi-l<strong>in</strong>gual personnel who participate<strong>in</strong> the meet<strong>in</strong>gs. Otherwise you can be given an <strong>in</strong>terpreter.Parent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>gs and boardsIt is important that you take an active <strong>in</strong>terest <strong>in</strong> your child’sdaily life, also when your child is <strong>in</strong> the care of others. You canf<strong>in</strong>d out more about what is happen<strong>in</strong>g at your child’s day carecentre and make suggestions at parent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>gs heldtwice a year. At one of the parent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>gs, parentselect representatives to the parent board. Representatives havea say <strong>in</strong> the centre’s f<strong>in</strong>ances, activities and the education thatimpacts on the daily lives of the children.Between two culturesIt can be difficult be<strong>in</strong>g a child or a young person if there is a greatdifference between the norms and values <strong>in</strong> Danish society andthose you have grown up with at home. And it can be difficultbe<strong>in</strong>g a parent, experienc<strong>in</strong>g society’s norms and expectationsof children and young people that are so different from thoseof your native country.TeenagersIt does not get any easier when children reach their teenage yearsand experience important physical and emotional changes. Likeall other children they must f<strong>in</strong>d themselves, learn to stand ontheir own two feet and prove that they are <strong>in</strong>dependent. At thesame time, the parents are responsible for them and cont<strong>in</strong>ueto set boundaries for their teenage children.Agreements and rulesMost young people liv<strong>in</strong>g at home reach agreement with theirparents as to what rules apply to go<strong>in</strong>g to parties, what time theyhave to be home, and if they are allowed to spend the nightaway from home. Many young people - boys and girls - meetat cafés and discotheques <strong>in</strong> their spare time or hold privateparties. Some spend the night at each other’s houses.Many parents discuss their attitudes towards smok<strong>in</strong>g, dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>gand parties, for example, at parent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>gs. Individualfamilies have very different attitudes towards the rules that shouldapply and the degree of free scope afforded their children. Atparent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>gs, parents can establish common rulesfor their children - for example, <strong>in</strong> connection with schoolparties.64


FAMILYThe body and sexWhether or not you approve, you will often come acrosssex and nudity <strong>in</strong> Danish society. Newspapers write articlesabout sex and sex life, and adverts and commercials visuallyexploit the human body.This reflects a general social trend towards a more liberalview of sexual life. In the last decade, new ways of liv<strong>in</strong>gtogether have come <strong>in</strong>to be<strong>in</strong>g as well as greater freedomto decide over one’s own body and improved conditionsfor homosexuals, for example. With this freedom, however,comes responsibility.This means there are limits on what you can and can not do,and no one is allowed to force others to do th<strong>in</strong>gs aga<strong>in</strong>sttheir will. The assumption is that we respect each other’spersonal and sexual boundaries.Semi-naked sunbathers <strong>in</strong> the park and on the beach orscantily clad or naked bathers, for example, should not beseen as an open <strong>in</strong>vitation to sex. In the same way, neithera person’s body language nor provocative fashion shouldbe <strong>in</strong>terpreted as an open <strong>in</strong>vitation to sex. Sexual assaultmust be reported to the police so that the offender(s) canbe prosecuted.65


FAMILYLegislationDanish legislation establishes clear boundaries for children’srights and the protection of children. It is aga<strong>in</strong>st the lawto have sex with a m<strong>in</strong>or, i.e. a person under the age of15. Young people must be 16 before they are allowedto buy cigarettes and alcohol. Young people must be 18before they are allowed to buy alcohol <strong>in</strong> restaurants anddiscotheques.Leav<strong>in</strong>g homeAccord<strong>in</strong>g to Danish law, people have full legal capacity at18. This means the can take a driv<strong>in</strong>g test, borrow moneyand are legally responsible for themselves. Many youngpeople leave home once they turn 18 to live on their ownor together with others their own age.Children and their rights<strong>Denmark</strong> has signed the UN convention on children’srights which applies to all children under 18, regardlessof orig<strong>in</strong>. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to the convention, children havethe right to food, good health and a place to live, theright to go to school, to play and to be protected fromwar, violence, abuse and exploitation. They also havethe right to co-determ<strong>in</strong>ation and <strong>in</strong>fluence.Advice and guidanceIt is possible to get professional help to solve difficult problems.Both parents and children can seek advice and guidance- together or own their own. Ask your municipal authority orcontact a crisis l<strong>in</strong>e or a telephone helpl<strong>in</strong>e. These servicesare free and callers can rema<strong>in</strong> anonymous.In <strong>Denmark</strong>, it is aga<strong>in</strong>st the law to hit children; femalecircumcision is similarly aga<strong>in</strong>st the law.66


Help for children and families with problems.It is the parents’ responsibility to care for theirchildren and create a stable environment fortheir upbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g. Society does not <strong>in</strong>terfereunless there is a suspicion that the child’s welfareis at risk.FAMILYIf there are problems, the municipal authoritycontacts the family and tries to help solve them.The family or a family member can also seekhelp. This is a collaborative effort between theauthority and the family. Help consists of differentforms of family support.If parents fail <strong>in</strong> their duty to such an extent thatthe child can not thrive or develop properlywith<strong>in</strong> the family, the child is placed <strong>in</strong> alternativecare outside the family. This can happen withthe parents’ consent or take the form of forcedremoval. The child can be placed <strong>in</strong> an <strong>in</strong>stitutionor <strong>in</strong> foster care for a period of time. For example,this might be because the parents hit the childor because they are unable to care for the childproperly. Young people with serious socialproblems or who have become <strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> crimeand whose parents are unable to care for them,can be placed <strong>in</strong> special <strong>in</strong>stitutions. Here, theyget help to start an education or f<strong>in</strong>d a job.67


Children and adults with a disabilityFAMILYAs normal a life as possibleTogether with their families, children, teenagers and adultswith special needs or with a physical or mental disabilitycan get help so that their everyday lives are made easier.The aim is for people with a disability to live as active andnormal a life as possible.Special servicesMost children with disabilities or children with special needslive with their parents and attend normal nurseries, schoolsand leisure activities. But some go to special nurseries andschools where children are tra<strong>in</strong>ed and taught by speciallytra<strong>in</strong>ed personnel.Young people and adults have access to remedial <strong>in</strong>struction,day and 24-hour centres, drop-<strong>in</strong> centres, shelteredworkplaces and workshops.Some live <strong>in</strong> own accommodation and receive personaland practical help from the state. This may be a wheelchairor another auxiliary aid or a personal helper. Others live <strong>in</strong> aspecial <strong>in</strong>stitution or shared or sheltered accommodationwhere they receive the help they need.68


Life for the elderlyActive elderlyElder citizens have numerous opportunities to pursue their<strong>in</strong>terests and lead an active life. The Danish government’sage<strong>in</strong>g policy is founded on the pr<strong>in</strong>ciple that the elderlyshould have as much responsibility and say <strong>in</strong> their ownlives as possible. As an elderly citizen, you therefore reta<strong>in</strong>the right to be a part of the decision-mak<strong>in</strong>g process. Bothon a personal level and <strong>in</strong> relation to decisions affect<strong>in</strong>gyour local area.Municipal authorities have their own elderly councils whosemembers are locally elected elderly citizens who advise theauthority on matters of special importance to the elderly <strong>in</strong>the local community. Ask your municipal authority aboutthe possibilities and meet<strong>in</strong>g places.Work<strong>in</strong>g life and retirementDanish society also needs its elderly citizens to make acontribution if they can. Some people work until theyreach 70. Others retire when they reach 65 and have theright to draw a state pension. Others retire from the jobmarket earlier still, tak<strong>in</strong>g pre-retirement benefit and earlyretirement pension.State pensionMost people have the right to a state pension when theyreach 65. The pr<strong>in</strong>ciple beh<strong>in</strong>d the state pension schemeis that a person earns the right to a pension as a citizen <strong>in</strong>Danish society. If you have lived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> for 40 years fromthe age of 15 until you retire, you have the right to a full statepsnsion. If you have lived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> for a shorter time, youhave the right to a smaller pension. It is the municipal pensionoffice that calculates the size of the pension and can <strong>in</strong>formyou of the amount to which you are entitled.Pension sav<strong>in</strong>gsMany people supplement their state pensions with otherk<strong>in</strong>ds of pension. Many employees subscribe to pensionschemes. This means that each month the employer andthe employee pay a fixed amount towards a pension held bya pension provider. You can also make direct payments to aprivate pension sav<strong>in</strong>gs <strong>in</strong> a bank or a pension provider.If you pay to a private pension provider, the amount is taxdeductible and you will end up pay<strong>in</strong>g less tax.Early retirement benefitEarly retirement benefit enables people to retire or partiallyretire from work, as the scheme allows you to rema<strong>in</strong> asalaried employee while receiv<strong>in</strong>g a reduced early retirementbenefit.The earliest age you can take early retirement benefit is60. You must have been a member of an unemploymentfund for 30 years and have made special early retirementcontributions. Early retirement benefit stops, at the latest,when you reach 65.Early retirementSome people suffer from such major physical or mentalproblems that they are unable to work and must take earlyretirement. A person must fulfil certa<strong>in</strong> conditions <strong>in</strong> order toqualify for early retirement - one of them be<strong>in</strong>g their periodof residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Ask your municipal authorityFAMILY69


FAMILYIn-home helpMost elderly people live <strong>in</strong> their own homes for as long aspossible. It is possible to get help for th<strong>in</strong>gs like clean<strong>in</strong>g andshopp<strong>in</strong>g. If you are physically weak, you can also receivepersonal care. How much help will depend on how themunicipal authority assesses the <strong>in</strong>dividual’s needs.Hous<strong>in</strong>g for the elderlyIf you are a senior citizen with special needs or physicalproblems, you can apply to your municipal authority forsenior hous<strong>in</strong>g. Senior hous<strong>in</strong>g is specially designed tomeet the needs of the elderly and those with disabilities.A lot of senior hous<strong>in</strong>g is l<strong>in</strong>ked to healthcare centres sothat it is easy for residents to call for help. There may bewait<strong>in</strong>g lists for senior hous<strong>in</strong>g. So it is a good idea to putyour name down early.Sheltered hous<strong>in</strong>g or nurs<strong>in</strong>g homeElderly who are <strong>in</strong> need of a great deal of care can eitherbe housed <strong>in</strong> sheltered accommodation or live <strong>in</strong> a nurs<strong>in</strong>ghome. Here, personnel take care of practical th<strong>in</strong>gslike cook<strong>in</strong>g, laundry and clean<strong>in</strong>g and help residents withpersonal hygiene. Nurses are also on hand to adm<strong>in</strong>istermedic<strong>in</strong>e where needed and supervise elderly healthcaretreatment.70The elderly must pay for the help they receive. But pricesare usually so low that the elderly can manage, even on astate pension.


When life comes to a closeDeath certificateWhen a person dies, a doctor writes a death certificate.If the death occurs at home, a relative must contact thedoctor as soon as possible. The family receives the deathcertificate together with a death report which must be sentto the Registrar of the State Church. It is the Danish NationalChurch* which registers all deaths, irrespective of the religionof the deceased or their family, on behalf of the state.When a person dies, the probate court* is automatically<strong>in</strong>formed and summons the immediate family a short timeafter death. Here, it is decided what will become of thedeceased’s possessions and personal effects.BurialNormally, the deceased is buried or cremated with<strong>in</strong> eightdays. An undertaker can assist with the practicalities. It ispossible to obta<strong>in</strong> f<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance, a funeral grant, fromyour municipal authority. If the deceased is to be buried <strong>in</strong>another country, the municipal authority must issue a specialbody passport to accompany the deceased.2,100 cemeteriesThe Danish National Church* has about 2,100 cemeteriesat its disposal, and all citizens <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> have the right tobe buried <strong>in</strong> a cemetery. If you belong to another religiouscommunity you can not demand to have your traditionsand customs respected. But you can <strong>in</strong>form the cemeteryboard of your wishes.Cemeteries for other religious communitiesSome cemeteries have burial sites for the Mosaic ReligiousCommunity, Catholics and Muslims. Religious communitiesoutside the Danish National Church can also establish theirown cemeteries. For example, there is a Muslim cemetery<strong>in</strong> the Municipality of Brøndby. This is owned and managedby the Danish Islamic Burial Foundation.71


7SCHOOL AND EDUCATION


Learn<strong>in</strong>g is a life-long processGeneral education<strong>Denmark</strong> has a tradition of general education* which is asold as Danish democracy itself. It goes together with a beliefthat a well-<strong>in</strong>formed population is an important prerequisitefor a well-function<strong>in</strong>g society.Everyone has access to life-long learn<strong>in</strong>g. Not just with<strong>in</strong> theconf<strong>in</strong>es of the educational system but also by attend<strong>in</strong>gfolk high school or night school*, follow<strong>in</strong>g educationalprogrammes on the radio or on TV, or by do<strong>in</strong>g coursesat work.Compulsory education<strong>Denmark</strong> has a policy of n<strong>in</strong>e years’ compulsory education.Children are to be taught from the age of seven. Most children,however, start <strong>in</strong> a pre-school class when they are six.Collaboration and participationThe Danish education system is founded on a high degreeof freedom and co-determ<strong>in</strong>ation. From the earliest classesall the way through to university, students can participate<strong>in</strong> decision mak<strong>in</strong>g relat<strong>in</strong>g to school and education. Andteachers expect them to do so.Teach<strong>in</strong>g not only places emphasis on academic knowledgebut also on the student’s ability to develop communicativeand collaborative skills. Right from pre-school class, teachersteach children <strong>in</strong> groups and encourage them to solvetasks together.At <strong>in</strong>stitutions of higher education, students often work togetherto solve assignments and meet privately <strong>in</strong> study groups.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONMost people cont<strong>in</strong>ue their studies afterthe n<strong>in</strong>e years of compulsory education.After n<strong>in</strong>e years of primary and lower secondary school, itis up to the <strong>in</strong>dividual to decide whether they want pursuefurther education. Hav<strong>in</strong>g said this, there are fewer and fewerjobs for people without an education so the vast majority ofyoung people take a bus<strong>in</strong>ess education or upper secondaryeducation. Followed by a short-, medium- or long-termperiod of further study.73


The Danish education systemSCHOOL AND EDUCATIONCareersadvice centreYouth guidance centre(UU)Approximate age27262524232221201918171615Year group2019181716151413121110109Ph.d.ResearcheducationStx 1Long-cyclehighereducationHf 2 Hhx 3 Htx 4Upper secondary educationMedium-cyclehighereducationVocational education andtra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, social and health caretra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programme, etc.Vocational education and tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gShort-cyclehighereducationBasic vocationaleducationand tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g,tra<strong>in</strong>ee,productionschools, etc.Special coursesAdult education, e.g.Adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, Voluntary adult education,full-time adult education, general adult education, higher preparatory exam<strong>in</strong>ation,further adult education, diploma degree programme and executive master's programme148137126115Primary and lower secondary school10493827160Pre-school class1Stx: Upper secondary school leav<strong>in</strong>g exam<strong>in</strong>ation2Hf: Higher preparatory exam<strong>in</strong>ation3Hhx: Higher commercial exam<strong>in</strong>ation4Htx: Higher technical exam<strong>in</strong>ation


Primary and lowersecondary schoolMunicipal primary and lower secondaryschool and private schoolsAll children are entitled to free tuition at Danish municipalprimary and lower secondary school. This tuition <strong>in</strong>cludesa one-year, pre-school class followed by n<strong>in</strong>e years ofprimary and lower secondary school and a tenth classwhich is optional.In addition to municipal primary and lower secondaryschool, there are also <strong>in</strong>dependent primary and lowersecondary schools and private schools where tuition is paidfor by the parents. The private <strong>in</strong>dependent primary andlower secondary schools may have a different conceptualframework than municipal primary and lower secondaryschools, but from an academic and social po<strong>in</strong>t of view,children learn exactly the same. We refer to www.friskoler.dk for further details.You must enrol the child at schoolChildren automatically attend a municipal primary and lowersecondary school <strong>in</strong> the area where the family lives. Whenthe child nears school age, the parents will receive a letterfrom the school stat<strong>in</strong>g when you should enrol the child atschool and an offer to visit the school. You can also chooseanother municipal primary and lower secondary schoolor a private <strong>in</strong>dependent primary and lower secondaryschool. In that case, it is up to you to contact the schoolof your choice.What to remember when start<strong>in</strong>g schoolBefore the child beg<strong>in</strong>s <strong>in</strong> school, you will receive a letterlist<strong>in</strong>g the practical th<strong>in</strong>gs your child will need <strong>in</strong> school, suchas a school bag, writ<strong>in</strong>g implements and a lunchbox.The aims of municipal primary and lower secondaryschoolDanish primary and lower secondary education is basedon the Danish Education Act. In its <strong>in</strong>troduction, it statesthe follow<strong>in</strong>g about the aims of primary and lowersecondary education:“ § 1. “Section 1. Together with parents, primary and lowersecondary school shall provide pupils with knowledgeand skills that: prepare them for further study and givethem the desire to learn more, make them familiarwith Danish culture and history, provide them with anunderstand<strong>in</strong>g of other countries and cultures, contributetowards their understand<strong>in</strong>g for man’s <strong>in</strong>teraction withnature and promote the <strong>in</strong>dividual student’s all-rounddevelopment.Section 2. Primary and lower secondary school mustdevelop work<strong>in</strong>g methods and create a frameworkthat promotes experience, absorption and enterpriseso that students develop their imag<strong>in</strong>ation, sense ofrecognition and self-belief, thus enabl<strong>in</strong>g them to takea position and act.Section 3. Primary and lower secondary school shall preparethe students towards participation, jo<strong>in</strong>t responsibility,rights and duties <strong>in</strong> a free and democratic society. Schoolactivities must thus be characterised by <strong>in</strong>tellectualliberty, equality and democracy*.SCHOOL AND EDUCATION75


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONParents have <strong>in</strong>fluenceRegardless of whether a child attends a municipal primaryand lower secondary school or a private <strong>in</strong>dependent school,parents can ga<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>fluence at school level and become jo<strong>in</strong>tlyresponsible for their child’s education. Private <strong>in</strong>dependentschools are self-govern<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>stitutions which are runby a parent-elected board. Primary and lower secondaryschools have a board that <strong>in</strong>cludes school representativesand representatives elected by the parents themselves.Municipal authorities also cooperate with the teachers andparent representatives. The municipal authorities have theoverall responsibility for school matters.School-home cooperationSchools also stress positive contact with the parents of everystudent <strong>in</strong> order to give the child the best opportunities fordo<strong>in</strong>g well at school. Each year, you will be <strong>in</strong>vited to attendschool-home meet<strong>in</strong>gs which may focus on how the childis do<strong>in</strong>g at school, how the child is manag<strong>in</strong>g academically,the child’s homework and pay<strong>in</strong>g attention <strong>in</strong> class.Te a c h i n gPre-school classIn pre-school class, children learn the alphabet and numbers.They develop a vocabulary, concepts and work<strong>in</strong>g methodswith<strong>in</strong> a number of compulsory themes, and through playand teach<strong>in</strong>g they become familiar with school rout<strong>in</strong>es anda community spirit. As a rule, children from the pre-schoolclass will cont<strong>in</strong>ue together <strong>in</strong> the first class.Children stay together <strong>in</strong> the same classDanish education is comprehensive by nature. This meansthat children can cont<strong>in</strong>ue <strong>in</strong> the same class throughouttheir school education.Parents can elect parent representatives or contact parentswho work closely with teachers regard<strong>in</strong>g parent-teachermeet<strong>in</strong>gs or other events, for example. School-parentcollaboration may also take the form of theme even<strong>in</strong>gsor workshops. This differs greatly from school to school.The purpose of collaboration is to give parents the opportunityof contribut<strong>in</strong>g towards the child’s well-be<strong>in</strong>gand education.76


“It’s important to attendparent-teacher meet<strong>in</strong>gs andtake part <strong>in</strong> school-parentcollaboration <strong>in</strong> order tostay abreast of developmentsand build a bridge betweenDanish and Arab society. It’sabout secur<strong>in</strong>g our children’sfuture. You get to knowother parents and have theopportunity of <strong>in</strong>fluenc<strong>in</strong>gyour children’s education.You have to be open andprepared to tell people whatyou th<strong>in</strong>k and let them knowwhat you are capable of. Youmustn’t become isolated. Andmost important of all, youhave to learn the languageso you can get to know Danesbetter, and vice versa.”It’s all about secur<strong>in</strong>g ourchildren’s futureSabah Elawi emigrated to<strong>Denmark</strong> from Palest<strong>in</strong>e <strong>in</strong>1990. She is a primary andlower secondary schoolteacher and the mother oftwo children.77


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONMaths, languages, society and natural scienceThe law stipulates that students must learn certa<strong>in</strong> th<strong>in</strong>gs atschool. In addition, it is up to each school to decide how itwill organise teach<strong>in</strong>g.At primary and lower secondary school, children learnmaths, languages, social studies and natural science. Theyalso learn about Danish culture and history and about othercountries and their cultures.School also aims to strengthen the pupil’s developmentand stimulate their imag<strong>in</strong>ation and desire for learn<strong>in</strong>g.Written pupil plansThe pupil plan must conta<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>formation about how thebenefit derived by the pupil from the syllabus has beenevaluated and assessed throughout the year. The pupil plansmust also state how the teacher and pupil will follow upon the achieved results. The pupil plan must be preparedat least once a year and must address all subjects <strong>in</strong> whichthe pupil is taught. The pupil plan must be sent to theparents. The plan may also conta<strong>in</strong> agreements about ways<strong>in</strong> which parents can contribute towards the pupil’s positiveeducation and <strong>in</strong>formation about the child’s behaviour andwell-be<strong>in</strong>g at school.National testsThroughout their school education, all pupils sit a seriesof tests <strong>in</strong> different subjects. These tests are divided <strong>in</strong>toclasses and subjects:2nd class:3rd class:4th class:6th class:7th class:8th class:Danish/read<strong>in</strong>gMathsDanish/read<strong>in</strong>gDanish/read<strong>in</strong>g and mathsEnglishDanish/read<strong>in</strong>g, geography, biologyand physics/chemistryThere is also a voluntary test <strong>in</strong> Danish as a second language<strong>in</strong> the 5th and 7th classes.Grades <strong>in</strong> the oldest classesOnly pupils <strong>in</strong> the 8th, 9th and 10th classes get grades.At least twice a year, pupils get grades <strong>in</strong> those subjects <strong>in</strong>which they will have f<strong>in</strong>al tests. These subjects are:• Danish• Maths• English• German• French• Physics/chemistry• Biology• Geography• History• Social science• Christian studies• Needlework• Woodwork• Domestic scienceThe aim of the tests is to assess what the pupils get out ofteach<strong>in</strong>g. The results are used to plan the teach<strong>in</strong>g syllabusso that it is <strong>in</strong> keep<strong>in</strong>g with the abilities of the <strong>in</strong>dividualpupil.78


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONBoth sexes have the same subjectsBoys and girls are taught the same subjects. This appliesequally to the academic subjects such as Danish, English,social science and maths and the creative subjects. Bothsexes learn to sew, cook and use tools. Boys and girls dosport together but change and shower separately.Christian science and other religionsChrista<strong>in</strong> science deals with ord<strong>in</strong>ary questions about Christianityas well as other religions and outlooks on life.Sex educationChildren receive sex education at school. Here, they learnabout how the body works. They talk about love and fall<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong> love. And they hear about how to conceive children andcontraception.Sex education is not a subject on the school timetable.Nevertheless, health, sex education and family life aremandatory subjects. The same is true of the highway codeand education and bus<strong>in</strong>ess orientation.Teach<strong>in</strong>g does not preach religion but merely <strong>in</strong>formsabout Christianity and other religions. Tuition helps to givechildren an understand<strong>in</strong>g of the importance of religion<strong>in</strong> modern society.Your child can be exempted from Christian science tuition.Ask at your child’s school.79


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONCo-determ<strong>in</strong>ation and democracySchool must prepare children for a life <strong>in</strong> a free, democraticsociety that offers responsibility and equality. This is whythey learn to participate <strong>in</strong> decision mak<strong>in</strong>g and to takeresponsibility.Pupil councils are listened toChildren learn to express their op<strong>in</strong>ions. They can form pupilcouncils which are consulted when it comes to mak<strong>in</strong>gimportant school decisions.School campA school camp is a class trip with an academic content.School camp always lasts for several days. Together withsome of their teachers, pupils leave their school and livetogether for several days, for example, <strong>in</strong> a scout hut orsimilar surround<strong>in</strong>gs that offer room for teach<strong>in</strong>g, socialgather<strong>in</strong>g and an overnight stay. School camp forms partof the school syllabus. It also plays an important role <strong>in</strong> thesocial life of the class and pupil cameraderie.Before leav<strong>in</strong>g, the children prepare for the trip by read<strong>in</strong>gtexts, gather<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>formation, complet<strong>in</strong>g assignments andessays on academic subjects that are relevant to the trip.School camp <strong>in</strong> a safe sett<strong>in</strong>gSchool camp is part of school education, provid<strong>in</strong>g pupilswith the opportunity to ga<strong>in</strong> concrete experiences. Theteachers teach, advise and keep an eye on the children.At school camp, children will cook together, go on busand bike rides, visit museums, sights and companies, makebonfires, go on walks and play together. Boys and girls sleep<strong>in</strong> separate dormitories.The teachers discuss practical questions like food andsleep<strong>in</strong>g away from home with the parents so they canfeel safe about their children go<strong>in</strong>g on the trip.80


The frequency and duration of school camps differs fromschool to school. Trips, however, always <strong>in</strong>clude severalovernight stays.Danish as a second languageFrom the age of three, bil<strong>in</strong>gual children can get help tolearn Danish, where needed. This is a service provided by themunicipal authority follow<strong>in</strong>g an assessment of the child’sl<strong>in</strong>guistic development by a language specialist. The serviceconsists of special nursery or day care activities. Children whoare looked after at home are offered 15 hours of languagestimulation a week.If the child has difficulty keep<strong>in</strong>g upIf your child f<strong>in</strong>ds it very difficult to keep up <strong>in</strong> school, it canreceive extra or remedial <strong>in</strong>struction. This can take placedur<strong>in</strong>g or immediately after school hours. Speak to the classteacher about the possibilities.F<strong>in</strong>al testsPupils f<strong>in</strong>ish primary and lower secondary school with anexam <strong>in</strong> the 9th class. They may also choose to cont<strong>in</strong>ueon to the 10th class, which also ends with a f<strong>in</strong>al exam. Afterthis, pupils can enrol for a course <strong>in</strong> bus<strong>in</strong>ess tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g orcont<strong>in</strong>ue <strong>in</strong> upper secondary education.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONWhen a bil<strong>in</strong>gual child beg<strong>in</strong>s primary and lower secondaryschool, an assessment is carried out to determ<strong>in</strong>e whetherthe child needs help with Danish as a second language. If itis necessary, the child can receive special tuition <strong>in</strong> Danishas a second language at its own or another school. This isavailable to children from the pre-school class right throughto the 10th class, if needed.Mother-tongue teach<strong>in</strong>gThe municipal authorities must provide mother-tongueteach<strong>in</strong>g to pupils from Greenland and the Faroe Islands andto pupils whose parents are EU or EEA citizens. Teach<strong>in</strong>g willonly be undertaken, however, if there is a sufficient numberof registered pupils.Municipal authorities can provide voluntary mother-languageteach<strong>in</strong>g to pupils from other countries. Municipalauthorities can charge a fee for this service.81


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONCont<strong>in</strong>uation schoolPupils live at the schoolMany young people opt for one or more year at cont<strong>in</strong>uationschool <strong>in</strong> the 8th, 9th or 10 class. Cont<strong>in</strong>uationschools are free board<strong>in</strong>g schools where pupils reside.Cont<strong>in</strong>uation schools offer pupils an alternative wayof f<strong>in</strong>ish<strong>in</strong>g primary and lower secondary education.Many young people choose cont<strong>in</strong>uation school becausethey want to try someth<strong>in</strong>g new or because theyneed to get away from home for a while.You have to pay to goHuman developmentBy means of teach<strong>in</strong>g and social togetherness, cont<strong>in</strong>uationschools must strengthen the pupils’ knowledge oflife, general knowledge and democratic development,and teach<strong>in</strong>g therefore aims to address the pupils’ generalupbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g, human development and maturation. For thisreason, many cont<strong>in</strong>uation schools focus on creative andpractical subjects such as drama, music, sport, photography,farm<strong>in</strong>g and different k<strong>in</strong>ds of handicrafts. But their teach<strong>in</strong>gaims are the same as those of municipal primary and lowersecondary schools, and at the majority of cont<strong>in</strong>uationschools pupils can sit their f<strong>in</strong>al 9th and 10th class exams.Some special cont<strong>in</strong>uation schools offer remedial <strong>in</strong>struction,for example, to dyslexic pupils.A stay at a cont<strong>in</strong>uation school can promote a pupil’s academicdevelopment. They can get homework assistance andextra tuition <strong>in</strong> Danish, for example. A stay at a cont<strong>in</strong>uationschool is also a good way of prepar<strong>in</strong>g for youth educationand build<strong>in</strong>g up a social network.F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.efterskole.dk82


Outside school hoursAfter-school centres and theafter-school care schemeChildren can be looked after at after-school centres or <strong>in</strong>after-school care schemes (SFO) until they beg<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> the3rd or 4th class. Here, children can play with their friends,do homework and take part <strong>in</strong> various other activities.After-school centres and SFO are open daily until five orsix o’clock <strong>in</strong> the afternoon.A youth school can have a full-time school timetable withthe option of sitt<strong>in</strong>g the same exams as those of primary andlower secondary school. Some also have clubs and otherrecreational activities, some of which must be paid for byparticipants. Ask your municipal authority, a youth schoolor consult the Youth Education Guidance Service.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONYou must apply to your municipal authority for a place<strong>in</strong> an after-school centre or SFO scheme. You must bearsome of the costs for this care service, unless you are givena free place. You can apply to your municipal authority fora free place.Homework assistanceIn many municipalities, schools, libraries and local organisationswork together to provide homework assistance tochildren who need help. Ask at your school, library ormunicipal authority.Clubs for the older childrenSome municipal authorities also have recreational clubs.Children can come to the clubs when they have outgrownafter-school centres or SFOs.Youth schoolsAll municipal authorities have youth schools for childrenaged 14 to 18. Youth schools are a way of supplement<strong>in</strong>gschool education <strong>in</strong> your free time. Enrolment is voluntaryand tuition is free. Youth schools are open <strong>in</strong> the afternoonand even<strong>in</strong>g, and here it is possible to take academic andcreative subjects such as music, photography and ceramics,learn about IT and receive <strong>in</strong>struction on how to ride a moped.You can also simply meet other young people and hang outtogether. Many schools organise parties on Fridays.83


After primary and lower secondary schoolSCHOOL AND EDUCATIONYouth educationOnce you have completed your basic school education <strong>in</strong>the 9th or 10th class, you can apply for enrolment <strong>in</strong> a youtheducation programme. Youth education programmes arecourses of preparatory study or professional qualificationprogrammes usually last<strong>in</strong>g three or four years. Theseprogrammes are free and students can apply for SU, thestate education grant and loan scheme, once they havereached 18.The state education grant and loan schemeThe state education grant and loan scheme, SU, is a form off<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance given to students while they are study<strong>in</strong>g.SU consists of a free grant which is, however, taxable. Inaddition to the grant, students can take out a loan whichmust be repaid when they have f<strong>in</strong>ished their education.In order to qualify for SU, the education you have enrolledfor must be approved for a state education grant, and youare not allowed to receive any other forms of state supportto cover liv<strong>in</strong>g expenses.If you are a non-Danish citizenIf you are a non-Danish citizen, you can apply to the DanishEducational Support Agency and ask to be put on an equalfoot<strong>in</strong>g with Danish citizens before you apply.This is possible if, for example, you have moved to <strong>Denmark</strong>with your parents before your 20th birthday and still residehere, if you are married to a Danish citizen and have lived <strong>in</strong> thecountry for at least two years, or if you have had paid employment<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> prior to beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g your education.If you are an EU or EEA citizen, you can apply to be placedon an equal foot<strong>in</strong>g with Danish citizens <strong>in</strong> accordance withEU regulations. F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.su.dk.Most SU rules are the same regardless of education. Butthere are, however, certa<strong>in</strong> differences for youth educationprogrammes and those of further education. We refer towww.su.dk for further details.Everyone can <strong>in</strong>fluence educational contentAt all educational <strong>in</strong>stitutions, pupils and students can organisethemselves <strong>in</strong>to various bodies - student academic councils,student councils or pupil councils. These bodies look afterthe students’ <strong>in</strong>terests and make demands with regard toeducation content and quality. Everyone has the possibilityof <strong>in</strong>fluenc<strong>in</strong>g their education by stand<strong>in</strong>g for election to apupil or student council.Upper secondary school educationTwo to three yearsUpper secondary school educations last two to three yearsand provide access to programmes of higher education.Upper secondary school educations comprise:• Danish general upper secondary school (stx),which is a three-year course and ends with the universityentry exam<strong>in</strong>ation. At some schools (studentcourses), the programme can be completed with twoyears of full-time study. The aim of the programmeis to prepare students for higher education. Theprogramme also seeks to provide a general education.This means that pupils must learn to relate to theoutside world, their fellow man, nature, society andto their own development. To be accepted, as a m<strong>in</strong>imumrequirement you must have passed the munici-84


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONpal primary and lower secondary school 9th-class f<strong>in</strong>alexam. You may be asked to sit an entrance exam, orthe upper secondary school can accept you on thebasis of an academic assessment.• The Higher Preparatory Exam, HF, which is a twoyearcourse. The aim of the programme is to preparestudents for higher education. The programme alsoseeks to provide a general education. This means thatas a result of their education, pupils must learn to relateto the outside world, their fellow man, nature, societyand to their own development. To be accepted, youmust have completed the 10th class of the municipalprimary and lower secondary school or similar. Or youmust pass a special entrance exam.• Bus<strong>in</strong>ess college education: The Higher commercialexam<strong>in</strong>ation (hhx) and Higher technical exam<strong>in</strong>ation(htx), are both three-year courses. The aimof the programme is to prepare students for highereducation. The programme also seeks to provide ageneral education. This means that as a result of theireducation, pupils must learn to relate to the outsideworld, their fellow man, nature, society and to theirown development. To be accepted, as a m<strong>in</strong>imumrequirement you must have passed the municipalprimary and lower secondary school 9th-class f<strong>in</strong>alexam. You may be asked to sit an entrance exam, orthe school can accept you on the basis of an academicassessment.85


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONBus<strong>in</strong>ess tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g125 different courses to choose fromThere are 125 different programmes of study, for example,carpenter, plumber, mason, sales assistant, electrician, chefand data technician. The courses are held at vocationalcolleges and are free. To be accepted, you must have aneducation that corresponds to n<strong>in</strong>e years of primary andlower secondary school. Throughout the course, both thestudent and the tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g must achieve predef<strong>in</strong>ed goals.Danish examIf you have not attended a Danish school or have Danishcitizenship, the college might ask you to pass a special Danishexam <strong>in</strong> order to be accepted.1½ to 5½ yearsIt takes anywhere from 1½ til 5½ years to complete vocationaltra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, all depend<strong>in</strong>g on the specialist area you are study<strong>in</strong>g.Tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g ends with a completed apprenticeship or f<strong>in</strong>alvocational test, which is the f<strong>in</strong>al exam.School and practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gA few tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g courses are limited to the college. Most,however, alternate between college and practical bus<strong>in</strong>esstra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.New apprenticeshipIf you would prefer to beg<strong>in</strong> your practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g immediately,most vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g courses offer an apprenticeshipagreement with a company where studentscomplete most of their tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. This is called the craftapprenticeship. It is up to you to f<strong>in</strong>d a company will<strong>in</strong>g toenter <strong>in</strong>to an apprenticeship agreement with you. You mustprepare a tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g plan. The college and the company willhelp you with this.SU and salaryVocation college tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g is free. You can apply for SU forthe part of the course that takes place at college. When youare <strong>in</strong> vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, you will receive an apprenticesalary. The amount will depend on the chosen subject andyour age.Social and healthcare helperA social and healthcare helper looks after the elderly, thesick and disabled who are <strong>in</strong> need of special personal careand practical assistance. The work is carried out <strong>in</strong> privatehomes, nurs<strong>in</strong>g homes and <strong>in</strong> co-hous<strong>in</strong>g schemes.The course takes one year and two months. The sandwichcourse is divided <strong>in</strong>to approx. six months at vocational collegeand eight months <strong>in</strong> practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. For enrolment,you must apply to a social and healthcare college <strong>in</strong> yourmunicipal authority. If you are accepted, you will be givenan apprenticeship at a hospital or municipal authority. Youcan choose whether to beg<strong>in</strong> at college or with practicaltra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.The course is free and you will receive an apprentice salarythroughout your tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.Social and healthcare assistantOnce you have graduated as a social and healthcare helper,you can go on to tra<strong>in</strong> as a social and healthcare assistant.Social and healthcare assistants work <strong>in</strong> hospitals, nurs<strong>in</strong>g86


homes and <strong>in</strong>stitutions for the physically and mentally disabled.The course takes one year and eight months. You will receivean apprentice salary throughout your tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.Production collegesIf you are under 25, have not completed a youth educationprogramme and need time to th<strong>in</strong>k about your future career,you can be accepted <strong>in</strong>to a production college. There areabout 100 production colleges dotted around the country.They are very different <strong>in</strong> nature but comprise various workshopactivities and general subject tuition. Students work <strong>in</strong>production and solve assignments with the aim of sell<strong>in</strong>gwhat they produce. You have to apply to the college to beaccepted, and your municipal authority Youth EducationGuidance Service* has to approve your stay there.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONBasic vocational education andtra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g scheme (egu)Municipal authorities must provide a special basic vocationaleducation and tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g scheme for young people under30 liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the authority who have experienced difficultyf<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g employment or education.Egu is a practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g scheme aimed at help<strong>in</strong>g participantsf<strong>in</strong>d work or pursu<strong>in</strong>g further education. The coursenormally lasts two years and consists of college tuition andpractical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. It is tailored to the needs and preferencesof the <strong>in</strong>dividual and the employment and practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gopportunities <strong>in</strong> the local area.Follow<strong>in</strong>g agreement with municipal authorities, productionand vocational colleges can provide egu courses.Ask an education counsellor- At the <strong>in</strong>dividual colleges and educational <strong>in</strong>stitutions, educationcounsellors are on hand to advise you as to which course best suits yourneeds. You can also seek advice from the Youth Education GuidanceService <strong>in</strong> your municipal authority.F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g ontowww.borger.dk or www.uddannelsesguiden.dk87


“My father is an eng<strong>in</strong>eerso at fi rst I thought of follow<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong> his footsteps. Butthen I decided to tra<strong>in</strong> as acraftsman. I like my job andwork<strong>in</strong>g on different build<strong>in</strong>gsites. I am very happy withthe tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programme andhave no regrets about mychoice; there is no differentialtreatment between myselfand the other students. Itdoesn’t matter whether youtra<strong>in</strong> to be an eng<strong>in</strong>eer or acraftsman. The salary is thesame and you earn the samerespect.”I earn a good salaryand respectMohs<strong>in</strong> N. Rashad is a Turkwho formerly lived <strong>in</strong> Iraq.In 2001, he emigrated to<strong>Denmark</strong>. He is now tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gto be a plumber.88


Tra<strong>in</strong>ee or on-the-job learn<strong>in</strong>g sessionIn some trades, young people aged between 15 and 18 canenter <strong>in</strong>to a 3-6-month tra<strong>in</strong>ee employment agreement witha company where they receive a tra<strong>in</strong>ee salary. The aim ofthe tra<strong>in</strong>ee scheme is for both parties to subsequently enter<strong>in</strong>to an actual tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g agreement. Ask the Youth EducationGuidance Service.Advice about education and employmentToday there are more education opportunities than everbefore. Some education programmes are theoretical, whileothers focus on trades. It is important to f<strong>in</strong>d an educationthat matches the needs and <strong>in</strong>terests of the <strong>in</strong>dividual. Atschool, children are offered careers counsell<strong>in</strong>g whichaims to <strong>in</strong>troduce them to the Danish education systemand job market.The counsellorA counsellor is a person who speaks to young people andparents about choice of profession and education. The counsellorhelps to f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong>formation about different educationalprogrammes and expla<strong>in</strong>s the educational requirements.In this way, students are helped to choose programmes forwhich they are qualified - and able to complete.Youth education counsellor (UU)The Youth Education Guidance Service provides help andadvice regard<strong>in</strong>g education and employment to all youngpeople under 25. The UU works with schools to provide<strong>in</strong>formation that helps young people choose an education.The UU can be contacted at your local UU centre.Guidance at schoolAt school, it is the class teacher and the UU counsellorwho advises pupils and parents. The UU counsellor offerspersonal guidance. In other words, the counsellor talksto youngsters about education and employment. Thecounsellor also helps pupils <strong>in</strong> 6-10th classes compile aneducation booklet. In the 9th and 10th classes, pupils f<strong>in</strong>ishtheir education booklets by draw<strong>in</strong>g up an education plan<strong>in</strong> which they write down the education they have chosen.It is important that parents show an <strong>in</strong>terest <strong>in</strong> the m<strong>in</strong>ds oftheir children dur<strong>in</strong>g their school education. Parents canread the education booklet and the education plan, anddiscuss content with their children.Counsellors know a great deal, but parents and pupils canalso look <strong>in</strong>to the various possibilities themselves. This canbe done by search<strong>in</strong>g the Internet, for example, or by visit<strong>in</strong>gthe various educational <strong>in</strong>stitutions or public libraries.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONThere are different types of counsellors. At primary andlower secondary school, the counsellor is known as a UUcounsellor (Youth education counsellor), while at othereducational <strong>in</strong>stitutions he is referred to as a careers advisoror an education and vocational guidance counsellor.After-school guidanceYoung people who are pursu<strong>in</strong>g further education canreceive guidance from their educational <strong>in</strong>stitution. Thecounsellor can help with choice of subject, course plann<strong>in</strong>gand SU (the State Education Grant Scheme).89


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONYoung people under 25 who left school after the 9th or 10thclass can receive guidance from their local UU centre. Thisapplies to young people, for example, who have not startedan education or who have started but failed to f<strong>in</strong>ish. Theaddress and telephone number of your local UU centre canbe obta<strong>in</strong>ed from your school, the town hall or by logg<strong>in</strong>gonto www. uddannelsesguiden.dk.Further education counsell<strong>in</strong>gSpread across the country are seven education and guidancecentres that offer higher education counsell<strong>in</strong>g. You can f<strong>in</strong>dthe address and telephone number of the nearest educationand guidance centre by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.ug.dk.Most educational <strong>in</strong>stitutions have a curriculum counsellorwho can advise about educational programme content,entrance requirements, applications and future careeropportunities.Language centres and VUCs (Adult learn<strong>in</strong>g centres) providecounsell<strong>in</strong>g on courses and education programmes that leadto further education. Counsell<strong>in</strong>g about vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gcourses and education programmes can be obta<strong>in</strong>ed fromvocational and social and healthcare colleges. Some dayhigh schools and folk high schools provide counsell<strong>in</strong>g aspart of their syllabus.Higher education counsell<strong>in</strong>g takes place at the country’sseven education and guidance centres or at the educational<strong>in</strong>stitution at which you are plann<strong>in</strong>g to enrol.F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.borger.dk, www.uddannelsesguiden.dkand www.vidar.dkAdult education and job counsell<strong>in</strong>gThere are various resources open to adults seek<strong>in</strong>g adviceabout education and employment.Anyone seek<strong>in</strong>g employment can apply to municipalauthority job centres.90


Further educationShort-, medium-, and long-term higher educationIf you have completed upper secondary education, youcan undertake a programme of higher education. Thereare three types of higher education programmes:• The short programmes of higher education normallytake two years. Here you can study to become alaboratory technician, market economist, certifiedelectrician or mechanical eng<strong>in</strong>eer. Both vocationaleducation and tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g and general upper secondaryeducation provide access to short programmes ofhigher education.• The medium-term, professional bachelor programmestake between three and four years. Here you can studyto become a teacher, social educator, nurse, eng<strong>in</strong>eeror social worker.• The long-term programmes of higher educationwhich are studied at university or higher education<strong>in</strong>stitutions. Here you can study to become a doctor,dentist, eng<strong>in</strong>eer or upper secondary school teacher.The university education programmes take betweenfive and six years and can be supplemented by a PhDprogramme where students receive a salary and workon research and teach for about three years.F<strong>in</strong>d out more about your education possibilities at www.uddannelsesguiden.dk.Entry requirementsEach programme has its own entry requirements that typicallyask for specific exams and sometimes other qualifications.Some education programmes operate a policy of restrictedadmission because there are more qualified applicants thanavailable places. Most education programmes have a quotasystem with two quotas. This means that they accept applicants<strong>in</strong> two quotas. In the first quota, applicants are accepted onthe basis of their qualification exam<strong>in</strong>ation grades. In thesecond quota, students are accepted on the basis of otherselection criteria specific to the programme.Coord<strong>in</strong>ated enrolment system (KOT)Nearly all higher education programmes require studentsto seek enrolment through the coord<strong>in</strong>ated enrolmentsystem (KOT). You can obta<strong>in</strong> application forms by logg<strong>in</strong>gonto www.optagelse.dk.Entrance exam<strong>in</strong>ationsSome education programmes require entrance exams. Thistypically applies to creative or craft-oriented study programmessuch as act<strong>in</strong>g, film direct<strong>in</strong>g, journalism and design.Foreign qualificationsSpecial admission rules apply to applicants hold<strong>in</strong>g a foreignqualification. You can read more about these rules <strong>in</strong> theexam<strong>in</strong>ation handbook at www.ciriusonl<strong>in</strong>e.dk.Familiarise yourself with the programmeand meet fellow studentsAt most universities and higher education <strong>in</strong>stitutions,programmes beg<strong>in</strong> with an orientation course for newstudents. Here, new students are <strong>in</strong>troduced to each otherand the programme by means of academic presentations,discussions and festive activities. Often, new students willgo off on a short cottage trip together.SCHOOL AND EDUCATION91


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONAt Copenhagen University,new students are welcomedby the rector.92


Special courses for adultsAll levelsAs a mature student, there are a great many education andtuition opportunities. You can take a course <strong>in</strong> general education,take a full-time education programme or cont<strong>in</strong>u<strong>in</strong>gtra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g. Nearly all levels of adult learn<strong>in</strong>g are represented<strong>in</strong> the Danish education system. At adult learn<strong>in</strong>g centres(VUC), adults can participate <strong>in</strong> preparatory adult education(FVU), courses for dyslexic adults, general adult education(AVU) and higher preparatory s<strong>in</strong>gle subject courses.Remedial <strong>in</strong>structionRemedial <strong>in</strong>struction is <strong>in</strong>dividualised as is <strong>in</strong>struction andcounsell<strong>in</strong>g to adults with physical or mental disabilities. Theaim is to help participants pursue an active and <strong>in</strong>dependentadult life.You can apply to your municipal authority if you would liketo be given an assessment to determ<strong>in</strong>e whether remedial<strong>in</strong>struction is relevant for you.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONLog onto www.vuc.dk or www.vidar.dk to f<strong>in</strong>d the addressof the adult learn<strong>in</strong>g centre closest to your home or placeof work. You can also f<strong>in</strong>d out more about education andyour possibilities for receiv<strong>in</strong>g f<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance whileyou study.Preparatory adult education (FVU)FVU is for adults who want to improve their read<strong>in</strong>g, writ<strong>in</strong>g,spell<strong>in</strong>g and mathematic skills. Tuition is divided <strong>in</strong>to threelevels, and you start on the level that best suits your abilitiesand needs. You can take a f<strong>in</strong>al test after each level. FVU isfree. To ga<strong>in</strong> an overview, log onto www.vidar.dk. Here youcan see where tuition takes place. Adult learn<strong>in</strong>g centres(VUC), night schools and private teachers are typically foundthroughout the country.Courses for dyslexic adultsCourses for dyslexic adults are aimed at adults who have difficultyread<strong>in</strong>g and writ<strong>in</strong>g due to dyslexia. Tuition is free. Logonto www.vidar.dk to see an overview of <strong>in</strong>stitutions offer<strong>in</strong>gtuition. Adult learn<strong>in</strong>g centres (VUC), night schools and private<strong>in</strong>stitutions are typically found throughout the country.93


SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONGeneral adult education (AVU)General adult education is tuition <strong>in</strong> a number of generalsubjects such as Danish, Danish as a second language,maths, computer subjects, English and social science. Thesesubjects are not aimed at any particular trade but may benecessary for further tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g or for gett<strong>in</strong>g on better <strong>in</strong>your job. The course can end with tests that correspond tothe f<strong>in</strong>al exam <strong>in</strong> the 9th or 10th class of primary and lowersecondary school.You can take classes dur<strong>in</strong>g the day, <strong>in</strong> the even<strong>in</strong>g, usedistance learn<strong>in</strong>g, or be an <strong>in</strong>dependent student whereyou study by yourself and sit the f<strong>in</strong>al exam.You have to pay a small fee to participate <strong>in</strong> classes.HF - higher preparatory s<strong>in</strong>gle subject courseHF, the higher preparatory exam<strong>in</strong>ation, is an upper secondaryeducation. At VUC, tuition is planned as a s<strong>in</strong>gle subjectcourse so that you can take the subjects you need.You can take classes dur<strong>in</strong>g the day, <strong>in</strong> the even<strong>in</strong>g, usedistance learn<strong>in</strong>g, or be an <strong>in</strong>dependent student whereyou study by yourself and sit the f<strong>in</strong>al exam.You have to pay a small fee to participate <strong>in</strong> classes.Further adult education (VVU)Adults with an education and experience have excellentprospects for further education. Many educational <strong>in</strong>stitutionsoffer courses and programmes for adults wish<strong>in</strong>g to improvetheir skills, for example while hold<strong>in</strong>g down full-time jobs.Depend<strong>in</strong>g on the programme and your experience, youcan take classes that correspond to short-, medium- andlong-term higher education.F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.vidar.dk and www.uddannelsesguiden.dk.94


Adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g (AMU)Short tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programmes:Adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programmes are short coursesfor skilled and unskilled workers employed <strong>in</strong> private orpublic companies. Adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programmescan also form part of the job activation* <strong>in</strong>itiatives offeredby job centres to the unemployed.2,500 different coursesThere are roughly 2,500 different adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gcourses available <strong>in</strong> a number of areas, for example, commerceand clerical, social and healthcare, construction,agriculture, the metal work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>dustry, the service <strong>in</strong>dustriesand the transport <strong>in</strong>dustry. For further details, we refer to theoverview at på www.vidar.dk.PaymentThere is a tuition fee. You may be able to have this refunded.Your unemployment fund or job centre will be able to tellyou more about this.For bil<strong>in</strong>gual citizensIf you are not sufficiently proficient <strong>in</strong> Danish to take part <strong>in</strong>a course, it is possible to take special courses. In this event,one or more adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programmes will becomb<strong>in</strong>ed with tuition <strong>in</strong> Danish. It is also possible to take anadult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g programme <strong>in</strong> Danish which is notcomb<strong>in</strong>ed with other forms of educational programmes.SCHOOL AND EDUCATIONHere you can also see where the courses are held. Thesecourses are held at adult vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g centres, technicalcolleges, bus<strong>in</strong>ess schools, social and healthcare colleges,national <strong>in</strong>stitutes for social educators and private <strong>in</strong>stitutionsaround the country.95


Recognition of foreign qualificationsSCHOOL AND EDUCATIONCan you use your qualification <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>?If you have completed your education outside <strong>Denmark</strong>, youneed to f<strong>in</strong>d out whether you can use it as it is, or whetheryou first need to retra<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> order to work <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Help <strong>in</strong> assess<strong>in</strong>g foreign qualificationsCIRIUS is the central body <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> to whom you canapply if you wish to have your foreign qualification assessed<strong>in</strong> relation to the Danish education system and job market.We refer to www.ciriusonl<strong>in</strong>e.dk/anerkendelse for furtherdetails.96


8EMPLOYMENT


Most people workF<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g workIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, the vast majority of people work. This is true forboth men and women.Most are salaried employees work<strong>in</strong>g for private or publiccompanies. But there is also a large self-employed bus<strong>in</strong>esscommunity with own bus<strong>in</strong>esses, restaurants, companies oragricultural activities.Division of employees accord<strong>in</strong>g to occupationIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, a little over 2.8 million(2,815,000) people work. They fall <strong>in</strong>to the Percentagefollow<strong>in</strong>g occupations:(rounded up)Agriculture, fisheries and raw materials 3Industry 16Energy and water supply 1Build<strong>in</strong>g and construction 7Commerce, hotels and restaurants 18Transport, postal services, telecommunications 6F<strong>in</strong>ance, bus<strong>in</strong>ess services, etc. 13Public and personal services 36In total 100,0Labour Market Survey, Statistics <strong>Denmark</strong>, 2007Before start<strong>in</strong>g to look for work, you can seek advice from acareers adviser at your municipal authority job centre. If youare a member of a trade union or an unemployment fund*(a-kasse), you can seek help and advice there.Job centresThe primary task of job centres is to help you f<strong>in</strong>d a job. Thisis also where you register if you are unemployed. Job centreshave PCs which you can use to search for work, and job centrestaff will help you prepare a job plan. You can f<strong>in</strong>d job centreaddresses by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.jobnet.dk.Many ways of f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g workYou can actively seek employment by:• Send<strong>in</strong>g applications <strong>in</strong> response to job ads <strong>in</strong> the newspaperand trade journals.• Send unsolicited applications to those companies whereyou would like to work, or apply to the company direct.• Use your network of contacts already <strong>in</strong> the job market.• Seek employment through private employmentagencies.• Search for jobs on the Internet (libraries and job centresprovide access to the Internet).• Place your own ad <strong>in</strong> a newspaper or on the Internet.EMPLOYMENTWhat skills do you already have?Whether you should start with further tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g or immediatelybeg<strong>in</strong> seek<strong>in</strong>g work will depend on your skills and age. If youhave no tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, you can start by do<strong>in</strong>g unskilled work, possiblyafter tak<strong>in</strong>g a few short courses.99


EMPLOYMENTTra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g and workIf you have an education and speak Danish, your chancesof f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a good job are excellent. And <strong>in</strong> many cases,speak<strong>in</strong>g Danish as well as your native tongue will provean advantage.If you have few qualifications and speak little Danish, f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>ga job can prove very difficult. But there are various optionsopen to you that can improve your chances of f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>gwork. You can take a language course, ga<strong>in</strong> on-the-jobexperience <strong>in</strong> a company or take a subsidised job <strong>in</strong> thepublic sector, for example. Later, you will be employedunder normal conditions.Qualifications are necessaryTo f<strong>in</strong>d a job <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, you will require qualificationsand skills that match the job opportunities that exist. Manyjobs require a short- or long-term period of study. Nearlyall jobs require special skills or the will<strong>in</strong>gness to acquirethem. This also applies to jobs where there are no majoreducational requirements, such as clean<strong>in</strong>g or factory work,for example, where you may have to learn a wide range ofjob functions. The same is true if you want to run your ownshop or bus<strong>in</strong>ess.Important to get startedYour first job may not be your dream job and may not paya very high salary. But it is nonetheless important that youget started <strong>in</strong> the job market. For once you have a job, itis easier for you to develop your skills and qualifications soyou can look for a better job.Application and job <strong>in</strong>terviewIt is easier to f<strong>in</strong>d work if you have a reasonable commandof Danish. But even with good qualifications, f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a jobcan take time. It may require many applications and job<strong>in</strong>terviews before the right open<strong>in</strong>g comes along.Written applicationsMost employers ask for a written job application. Your jobcentre, your trade union or unemployment fund can allhelp you with your written job application. An applicationshould fill a s<strong>in</strong>gle page, and should <strong>in</strong>clude why you areapply<strong>in</strong>g for the job, your qualifications and experience,and a little <strong>in</strong>formation about yourself.It is a good idea to enclose your CV, i.e. an overview of youreducational qualifications, professional experience and leisure<strong>in</strong>terests. It is also a good idea to enclose copies of exam<strong>in</strong>ationcertificates and references from former employers, workplacements and job activation programme activities.100


Job <strong>in</strong>terviewsIf you are called for a job <strong>in</strong>terview, it is important to be wellprepared. The employer will expect you to expla<strong>in</strong> what youare good at, why you are right for the job and how you willcontribute to the development of the company.Use the <strong>in</strong>terview to ask about th<strong>in</strong>gs you would like to knowabout the job, the company and its expectations of you.There will probably be more than one person present atthe job <strong>in</strong>terview. One of them might be an employeerepresentative.Employers place importance on the follow<strong>in</strong>g:• A good command of Danish.• Relevant professional experience.• A clear and well-formulated written application.• That you have the ability and will<strong>in</strong>gness to work <strong>in</strong>dependentlyand with others.• That you are good at tak<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>itiatives andresponsibility.• That you are flexible and open to new ideas.EMPLOYMENT101


If you becomeunemployedEMPLOYMENTContract of employmentWhen you are hired, you will receive a contract of employment.This conta<strong>in</strong>s <strong>in</strong>formation about the most importantterms and conditions of employment. These might be:• Job description• Salary and work<strong>in</strong>g hours• Holidays• Work times• Period of noticeUnemployment <strong>in</strong>suranceWhen you start work<strong>in</strong>g, it is a good idea to jo<strong>in</strong> an unemploymentfund*, a so-called a-kasse. This enables you to gethelp and f<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance, unemployment benefit*, if youbecome unemployed. Unemployment fund contributionsare tax deductible.As an unemployed person, you must fulfil certa<strong>in</strong> conditionsto qualify for unemployment benefit. You must have beena member of an unemployment fund for one year and hada certa<strong>in</strong> amount of work. Your unemployment fund must<strong>in</strong>form you about the exact details.Apply to the job centreIf you lose your job, you must apply to the job centre <strong>in</strong> yourmunicipal authority on the first day of be<strong>in</strong>g out of work.Here, you will be registered as a job applicant. If you are amember of an unemployment fund, you will be given abenefit card which you will need to claim unemploymentbenefit from your unemployment fund.If you are not a member of an unemployment fund, youmay qualify for cash benefit or start aid. You are entitled tocash benefit if you have resided <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> <strong>in</strong> seven outof the last eight years. If you have not, and are unable toprovide for yourself, you will receive start aid. Start aid is lessthan cash benefit.102Look<strong>in</strong>g for workAs quickly as possible, and no later than one month afterbecom<strong>in</strong>g unemployed, you must prepare a CV outl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gyour educational qualifications, professional experience,personal <strong>in</strong>terests and skills. Your CV will be placed <strong>in</strong> thejob centre’s national database, jobbanken, at www.jobnet.dk.You must prepare your own CV and are responsible for the<strong>in</strong>formation it conta<strong>in</strong>s. But your job centre or unemploymentfund can offer advice and help you to prepare it.


The Danish labour marketYou must make yourself availableto the job market.You must make yourself available to the job market. This meansthat you must look for work and accept a job offer as soonas there is one. If you can not f<strong>in</strong>d a job, the job centre willhelp you to f<strong>in</strong>d one. You must attend those job <strong>in</strong>terviewsto which you are summoned. And accept those job offerswhich your municipal authority gives you as part of their jobactivation programme*. Job activation may <strong>in</strong>clude courses,on-the-job tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g or subsidised employment.If you are <strong>in</strong> any doubt, consult your job centre or unemploymentfund.Agreements - the Danish modelIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, many wage and work<strong>in</strong>g conditions are agreedbetween the employee and employer organisations. Thistakes place <strong>in</strong> collective agreements which are signed bythe trade unions and employers’ associations. Collectiveagreements conta<strong>in</strong> regulations regard<strong>in</strong>g your salary,work<strong>in</strong>g hours, tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, pension and rules govern<strong>in</strong>g salarydur<strong>in</strong>g illness and terms of notice. <strong>Denmark</strong> does not havea tradition of legislat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> this area. This is why we talk aboutthe “Danish labour market model”.No-strike agreement <strong>in</strong> the settlement periodOnce a settlment has been reached, a no-strike period comes<strong>in</strong>to force. Among other th<strong>in</strong>gs, this means that employeesare not allowed to strike or lock-out dur<strong>in</strong>g the period of thesettlement. If conflicts arise, they must be resolved by thelabour market parties themselves without the state becom<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>volved <strong>in</strong> negotiations or f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a solution.EMPLOYMENT37 hours a weekNormal, full-time employment is 37 hours a week. As anemployee you earn the right to paid holiday. All employeeshave the right to five weeks’ holiday a year. Both men andwomen have the right to maternity leave. There are strictrules govern<strong>in</strong>g health and safety at work. Children under13 are not allowed to work outside the home.103


EMPLOYMENTTrade unionsA traditionIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, there is a tradition for employees to be amember of a trade union. The trade unions safeguard the<strong>in</strong>terests of their members <strong>in</strong> relation to employers, ensur<strong>in</strong>greasonable salary and work<strong>in</strong>g conditions. A trade union isnot the same as an unemployment fund.Ensures orderly conditionsThere is also a tradition for employers to be members oforganised associations. Most employers and their associationsare happy to work together with trade unions. They see itas an advantage that employees thrive and feel satisfied <strong>in</strong>the workplace. At the same time, collective agreementsensure stability and orderly conditions <strong>in</strong> relation to wage<strong>in</strong>creases, strikes and work<strong>in</strong>g hours.affiliations <strong>in</strong> connection with the hir<strong>in</strong>g or dismissal of anemployee. Nor can colleagues demand that a person jo<strong>in</strong> aparticular trade union. Many employees decide to become amember of the trade union that has a collective agreementwith their employer.Typically, trade unions are divided up accord<strong>in</strong>g to occupationand work area. Your choice of trade union will ultimatelydepend on your education and field of work. As a tradeunion member you must pay a membership fee.Freedom of associationIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, the pr<strong>in</strong>ciple of freedom of association applies.This means that it is up to the <strong>in</strong>dividual employee todecide whether to become a member of a trade union.For this reason, an employer may not demand trade union104


Life <strong>in</strong> the workplaceThe workplace plays a central role for most peopleWorkplaces differ greatly <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. However, commonto them all is the fact that they play a central role <strong>in</strong> mostpeople’s lives. A good work<strong>in</strong>g life with friendly colleaguesand a positive work<strong>in</strong>g environment is a key part of anymean<strong>in</strong>gful life.The importance of collegial relationsTo a great extent, it is up to the employees themselves tomake their workplace a pleasant place <strong>in</strong> which to be. Here,collegial relations plays an important role.Parties and alcohol <strong>in</strong> the workplaceAt most workplaces, the consumption of alcohol is prohibiteddur<strong>in</strong>g work<strong>in</strong>g hours. On trips and at parties, however, it isaccepted practice to dr<strong>in</strong>k alcohol.Responsibility and <strong>in</strong>itiativeMost employers expect their employees to work <strong>in</strong>dependentlyand show <strong>in</strong>itiative. It is common for <strong>in</strong>dividualemployees to be responsible for their own work areas. Inmany workplaces, employees work <strong>in</strong> teams to decide howthey will solve tasks and distribute the workload.Problems <strong>in</strong> the workplaceVarious problems can arise <strong>in</strong> the workplace. Health andsafety regulations may not be <strong>in</strong> order. Insufficient considerationmay be given to the health of the employees.There may be a poor work atmosphere or you may evenexperience harassment, derision or threats. This is, of course,unacceptable.Most workplaces have a tradeunion representative*Most employees elect a trade union representative torepresent their <strong>in</strong>terests to the employer. The trade unionrepresentative is the trade union’s representative <strong>in</strong> theworkplace.If you are experienc<strong>in</strong>g problems at work or feel badly orunfairly treated, contact your trade union representative.He or she will then raise the problem with your employeror trade union. A trade union representative is protectedaga<strong>in</strong>st dismissal and can therefore act as a mediator <strong>in</strong>conflicts. If you do not have a trade union representative,you will have to contact your trade union or speak to themanagement.EMPLOYMENTMonitor<strong>in</strong>g health and safety at workSafeguard<strong>in</strong>g a safe and healthy work<strong>in</strong>g environment is aresponsibility that falls jo<strong>in</strong>tly to the employer and employees.The employer is responsible for provid<strong>in</strong>g and ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>gproper health and safety conditions for employees. Theemployees have a duty to comply with the safety regulationsthat apply to their place of work. Workplaces with morethan 10 employees must have a safety organisation thatcomprises employee and management representativesand which assumes responsibility for daily health and safetyat work. In workplaces with fewer than 10 employees, theemployer and employees assume jo<strong>in</strong>t responsibility forhealth and safety at work.105


EMPLOYMENTHealth and safety representative*Many workplaces elect their own health and safety representative.The health and safety representative helps monitorhealth and safety to ensure that employees do not workon dangerous mach<strong>in</strong>ery and equipment, or work withhazardous substances without the correct safety equipment,or become stressed as a result of their work.Speak to your health and safety representative if you feelthat your work<strong>in</strong>g conditions are not as they should be. As<strong>in</strong> the case of the trade union representative, the health andsafety representative is protected aga<strong>in</strong>st dismissal.Occupational <strong>in</strong>juries must be reportedAll employers must <strong>in</strong>sure their employees aga<strong>in</strong>st occupational<strong>in</strong>juries and ensure that any such <strong>in</strong>juries are reported to theDanish Work<strong>in</strong>g Environment Authority* and the NationalBoard of Industrial Injuries*. It is the employer’s <strong>in</strong>surancecompany that pays out employee compensation.You are always free to report an <strong>in</strong>jury to the National Boardof Industrial Injuries* <strong>in</strong> the event of a work accident. It isimportant that you report the <strong>in</strong>cident with<strong>in</strong> one year ofthe event. Otherwise you may lose out on compensation.Discrim<strong>in</strong>ationIt is aga<strong>in</strong>st the law to discrim<strong>in</strong>ate on the grounds of sex,age, disability, race, colour, religion, political affiliation, sexualorientation, nationality or social or ethnic orig<strong>in</strong>.The Danish Parliament has passed a law establish<strong>in</strong>g anequal opportunities commission that deals with sexualdiscrim<strong>in</strong>ation. We refer to www.ligenaevn.dk for furtherdetails. The Institute for Human Rights has appo<strong>in</strong>ted acompla<strong>in</strong>ts committee for ethnic equality. Its task is to dealwith discrim<strong>in</strong>ation on the grounds of ethnic orig<strong>in</strong>. Werefer to www.klagekomite.dk for further details.All discrim<strong>in</strong>ation cases can be brought before the ord<strong>in</strong>arycourts.If you are a member of a trade union and are experienc<strong>in</strong>gdiscrim<strong>in</strong>ation at work or <strong>in</strong> connection with seek<strong>in</strong>g newemployment, you can contact your union and ask themfor help.106


Start<strong>in</strong>g your own bus<strong>in</strong>essRules and regulationsStart<strong>in</strong>g your own bus<strong>in</strong>ess requires a good amount offorethought and preparation. There are a number of lawsand regulations with which you need to be familiar. Thepurpose of these is to protect citizens and employees aga<strong>in</strong>stpoor hygiene and occupational <strong>in</strong>juries, and to ensure thatbus<strong>in</strong>esses do not commit tax and VAT fraud.Seek advice and guidance before you beg<strong>in</strong>.You can get help from your local bus<strong>in</strong>ess developmentcentre, from a start-up consultant, from SKAT (the Danishtax authorities) and your job centre. The Internet can alsoprovide you with an overview of advice options as well as<strong>in</strong>formation regard<strong>in</strong>g laws, regulations, f<strong>in</strong>anc<strong>in</strong>g and othertopics relevant to start<strong>in</strong>g your own bus<strong>in</strong>ess. We refer towww.virk.dk for further details.Your unemployment fund can also advise you about howstart<strong>in</strong>g your own bus<strong>in</strong>ess will affect your ability to claimunemployment benefit*.EMPLOYMENT107


EMPLOYMENTCompany registrationAs a general rule, all companies must register with theDanish Commerce and Companies Agency. This is optional,however, if your annual earn<strong>in</strong>gs are less than DKK 50,000.Once the company has been registered, you will receivea CBR-number (Central Bus<strong>in</strong>ess Register), which is thecompany’s identification number. You will need your CBRnumber,for example, when it comes to complet<strong>in</strong>g yourtax and VAT declaration. You can register your company bylogg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.eogs.dk.Trade and dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licenceAll companies that sell more than DKK 50,000 of foodstuffsper year must be registered <strong>in</strong> a special bus<strong>in</strong>ess register.In this connection, foodstuffs are taken to mean any k<strong>in</strong>dof foodstuffs, beer, w<strong>in</strong>e, soft dr<strong>in</strong>ks and other foodstuffsregardless of whether they are <strong>in</strong> sealed packag<strong>in</strong>g.The police are responsible for issu<strong>in</strong>g trade licences tobus<strong>in</strong>esses without a dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licence, whereas municipalauthorities are responsible for issu<strong>in</strong>g dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licences. InCopenhagen, however, it is the municipal authority thatissues trade licences.A restaurant can apply for a dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licence, and the restaurantkitchen must live up to certa<strong>in</strong> requirements fromthe health authorities.Tax and VATYou must file trad<strong>in</strong>g and bus<strong>in</strong>ess accounts with the Danishtax authorities, also known as SKAT.Insur<strong>in</strong>g employeesIf your company employs staff, you must take out employer’sliability <strong>in</strong>surance to cover them.The Danish Cater<strong>in</strong>g and Restaurant Act applies to allself-employed bus<strong>in</strong>esses that serve food and dr<strong>in</strong>ks. Suchbus<strong>in</strong>esses might be restaurants, bars, discotheques, pizzerias,grill bars or hot dog stands.The Danish Cater<strong>in</strong>g and Restaurant Act stipulates whichregulations must be complied with when persons or companiesapply for a trade or dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licence. If you apply fora dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licence, you must meet certa<strong>in</strong> age requirementsand be able to provide a f<strong>in</strong>ancial bus<strong>in</strong>ess plan.108


“I thought about it for anumber of years beforedecid<strong>in</strong>g to become selfemployed.I thought it mightbe a problem that Danesweren’t used to see<strong>in</strong>g animmigrant as a self-employedmason. But that hasn’t beenthe case. Customers arehappy as long as you are goodat your job and do the bestyou can. My work br<strong>in</strong>gs me<strong>in</strong>to close contact with a lotof people, so I’ve discoveredthat Danes are just as differentas everyone else.I now have twoemployeesEMPLOYMENTNow I have two employees, aDane and a Vietnamese, andI enjoy be<strong>in</strong>g an employer.My advice is: be yourself.Many immigrants are scaredof failure; there’s no need.There’s room for us.”Mansur Sheik emigratedfrom Somalia to <strong>Denmark</strong> <strong>in</strong>1993. He tra<strong>in</strong>ed as a masonand is now self-employed.109


9ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTION


Manag<strong>in</strong>g your personal f<strong>in</strong>ancesIncome and expensesYour personal f<strong>in</strong>ances consist of any assets you may have,your <strong>in</strong>come and your expenses. Income may be salary,self-employment <strong>in</strong>come or state aid. Expenses may berent, heat<strong>in</strong>g, electricity, food, clothes and whatever elseyou may need. You must pay <strong>in</strong>come tax and tax on owncompany earn<strong>in</strong>gs.Bank accountsElectronic transfersAn ever <strong>in</strong>creas<strong>in</strong>g number of payments are made to payeebank accounts us<strong>in</strong>g electronic transactions. This applies tosalaries, cash benefit, child ma<strong>in</strong>tenance payments and pensions,for example. This is why you need a bank account.Automatic payment of billsYou can go <strong>in</strong>to any bank and set up an account. If youhave a bank account, you can arrange to have your billspaid automatically from your account.For example, you can set up a budget account to pay fixed overheadssuch as rent, heat<strong>in</strong>g, electricity and telephone.Cash cardWhen you open a bank account, the bank will issue youwith a cash card which you can use to withdraw money <strong>in</strong>the bank and the bank’s cashpo<strong>in</strong>t mach<strong>in</strong>es.Dankort payment card*If the bank gives you a positive f<strong>in</strong>ancial assessment, youwill be issued with a Dankort payment card. You can usethe card to withdraw money from all the bank’s cashpo<strong>in</strong>tmach<strong>in</strong>es and <strong>in</strong> most shops, and you can use it to payfor goods <strong>in</strong> most shops. You will be sent a PIN numberwhich you will need <strong>in</strong> order to use the card <strong>in</strong> cashpo<strong>in</strong>tmach<strong>in</strong>es and shops. Some shops require a signature on aDankort card receipt.Many banks offer a comb<strong>in</strong>ed Visa/Dankort card. With a Visa,you can pay for goods and services and withdraw money<strong>in</strong> most parts of the world.Bank loans and credit facilitiesYou will need a reasonable, regular <strong>in</strong>comeBanks provide loans and credit facilities to their customers.But they require customers to have a stable <strong>in</strong>come andsound f<strong>in</strong>ances. The bank will assess your personal f<strong>in</strong>ancesand ask to see copies of salary slips and your f<strong>in</strong>al tax settlementfrom SKAT.Bank loan or overdraft?If your personal f<strong>in</strong>ances are based on a regular <strong>in</strong>come butyou have a short-term need for extra cash to buy furniture,for example, then a bank loan is usually the best answer.ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTION111


ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTIONIf you are a self-employed bus<strong>in</strong>ess owner with an irregular<strong>in</strong>come, it might be an advantage to open an overdraftfacility. An overdraft is an agreement between you and yourbank which enables you to withdraw a certa<strong>in</strong> amount ofmoney from your account even if there is not money <strong>in</strong>the account to cover it. You should be aware that overdraftfacilities command high <strong>in</strong>terest rates.Shop around to check out the possibilitiesCredit facility and loan prices vary from bank to bank. Andthe amount of <strong>in</strong>terest will depend on the type of loan youtake out. This is why it is worth shopp<strong>in</strong>g around to f<strong>in</strong>d outwhere you can get the cheapest loan.F<strong>in</strong>ancial adviceMost banks offer f<strong>in</strong>ancial counsell<strong>in</strong>g.Even though your bank will probably give you soundf<strong>in</strong>ancial advice, it is worth remember<strong>in</strong>g that they are not<strong>in</strong>dependent advisors but a private, commercial enterprisewhose job it is to make a profit.Accountants for complicated personal f<strong>in</strong>ancesIf you have complicated personal f<strong>in</strong>ances because you areself-employed or run a bus<strong>in</strong>ess, it is a good idea to speakto an accountant.May not demand Danish citizenshipBanks are not allowed to demand that you are aDanish citizen before lend<strong>in</strong>g you money.Shops are not allowed to demand that you area Danish citizen before you can rent or buy oncredit. They are, however, allowed to demand thatyou have a regular <strong>in</strong>come and a fixed address <strong>in</strong><strong>Denmark</strong>.112


Hir<strong>in</strong>g and buy<strong>in</strong>g on creditMany shops offer customers the possibility of hir<strong>in</strong>g goods,especially expensive ones. These may be refrigerators,freezers, television sets and computers.If you leave the country before settl<strong>in</strong>g your debts, companiescan collect the outstand<strong>in</strong>g amount through the debt collectionagencies with whom they collaborate.Charge cardMany shops have account systems that enable customersto buy on account. It is the <strong>in</strong>dividual shop that assesseswhether they will issue you with a charge card.ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTIONBuy<strong>in</strong>g on creditOther shops offer customers the possibility of buy<strong>in</strong>g oncredit. In pr<strong>in</strong>ciple, this means you are borrow<strong>in</strong>g moneyat a fixed rate of <strong>in</strong>terest. You should be aware that these<strong>in</strong>terest rates can be very high. At the same time, you haveto pay a charge for sett<strong>in</strong>g up the credit loan.Check the contract carefullyIf you hire or buy on credit, you will have to sign a contractoutl<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g the terms and conditions. It is important that you readthe contract carefully - or have someone else expla<strong>in</strong> - thecontract to you so that you avoid any unpleasant surprises.Breach of contractIf you fail to pay the <strong>in</strong>terest payments or your <strong>in</strong>stalments,you risk be<strong>in</strong>g listed as a bad debt. This means that you cannot hire or buy on credit aga<strong>in</strong> - either from the person towhom you are <strong>in</strong> debt or anywhere else.113


InsuranceECONOMY AND CONSUMPTIONPrivate <strong>in</strong>suranceYou can protect yourself and your family by tak<strong>in</strong>g outprivate <strong>in</strong>surance.There are many <strong>in</strong>surance companies and many differenttypes of <strong>in</strong>surance. From life, accident and liability <strong>in</strong>suranceto household, health and motor <strong>in</strong>surance.Prices and terms and conditions vary from company tocompany, mak<strong>in</strong>g it difficult to ga<strong>in</strong> an overview. The mostexpensive <strong>in</strong>surance is not always the best.You should give careful consideration to which types of<strong>in</strong>surance and how much coverage you need, as well asthe amount of excess you want to pay.Contents <strong>in</strong>suranceContents <strong>in</strong>surance provides coverage <strong>in</strong> the event that thefamily’s furniture, clothes or computers are stolen, damagedby water or fire or are destroyed by vandalism.Liability <strong>in</strong>suranceLiability <strong>in</strong>surance covers you <strong>in</strong> the event that a memberof the family causes <strong>in</strong>jury to a third person(s) and theirpossessions.Legal aid <strong>in</strong>suranceLegal aid <strong>in</strong>surance sometimes provides coverage of legalcosts <strong>in</strong> connection with private court cases. F<strong>in</strong>d out moreby logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.forsikr<strong>in</strong>gsoplysn<strong>in</strong>gen.dkCompulsory <strong>in</strong>surancesSome types of <strong>in</strong>surance are compulsory by law. You musthave fire <strong>in</strong>surance if you are a homeowner. And you musthave liability <strong>in</strong>surance if you own a dog, car, motorbikeor moped. Liability <strong>in</strong>surance covers accidents to othersthan yourself.Family <strong>in</strong>suranceAll <strong>in</strong>surance companies offer family <strong>in</strong>surance which coversall family members liv<strong>in</strong>g at the same address. It also providescoverage for children under 21 liv<strong>in</strong>g on their own. A family<strong>in</strong>surance <strong>in</strong>cludes contents, liability and legal aid.114


Consumer rightsCompla<strong>in</strong>ts with<strong>in</strong> 24 monthsAs a consumer, you have certa<strong>in</strong> rights to protect you frombe<strong>in</strong>g cheated. In accordance with the Sale of Goods Act,you have the right to have a defective article - or one thatdoes not live up to the assurances of the seller - exchangedor repaired. All you have to do is approach the seller with<strong>in</strong> 24months of the purchase date. You must br<strong>in</strong>g the purchasereceipt. And you must not be responsible for the defect.GuaranteeWhen you buy an electrical appliance or someth<strong>in</strong>g larger,for example, you may be issued with a guarantee. This is aservice provided by the dealer, and <strong>in</strong> no way does it replacethe terms and provisions of the Sale of Goods Act. But thedealer can choose to issue you with a guarantee. A guaranteemust put you <strong>in</strong> a better position than the right of compla<strong>in</strong>tprovided by the Sale of Goods Act, which ensures the rightof compla<strong>in</strong>t for two years and possibly the right to havethe item exchanged or repaired.ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTIONIf you change your m<strong>in</strong>dYou do not have the right to exchange an item simplybecause you regret hav<strong>in</strong>g bought it. Hav<strong>in</strong>g said this, it isstill possible to do so <strong>in</strong> many shops. Some shops will alsorefund your money. While others will issue you with a creditnote for the amount or the possibility of exchang<strong>in</strong>g theitem for someth<strong>in</strong>g else <strong>in</strong> the shop.115


ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTIONDeclaration and labell<strong>in</strong>gYou have the right to know the manufacture date of thefoodstuffs you buy as well as their storage life. There areseveral schemes for the labell<strong>in</strong>g and control of foodstuffs.For example, this may be a guarantee that a product hasbeen organically manufactured. Non-foodstuff productsare labelled to show whether they are environment-friendlyor energy-efficient, for example.Ø-mærket (the Danish Ø-label)The Ø-mærket (the Danish Ø label) is used <strong>in</strong> connectionwith foodstuffs and plants. The Danish Ø-label <strong>in</strong>dicates thatthe product is guaranteed by state-control to be organic <strong>in</strong>orig<strong>in</strong>. This means that no pesticides have been used <strong>in</strong> theproduction process, with a few exceptions such as sulphur,for example. Artificial fertlizer is prohibited if at least 80% ofpet fodder is organic.Energy labell<strong>in</strong>gEnergy labell<strong>in</strong>g is a mandatory, jo<strong>in</strong>t European labell<strong>in</strong>g ofdifferent white goods, electric ovens, cars and light sources,i.e. electric light bulbs, halogen lamps, fluorescent light<strong>in</strong>g,etc. The A-label shows that the product has the lowest energyconsumption compared to correspond<strong>in</strong>g products.Svanen (the Danish Swan label)Svanen (the Danish Swan eco label) is the Nordic Councilof M<strong>in</strong>isters’ eco label for non-foodstuff products such asdetergent powder, clean<strong>in</strong>g agents and toilet paper. The label<strong>in</strong>dicates that the products are the most environmentallysusta<strong>in</strong>able <strong>in</strong> the relevant product category.Possibilities for compla<strong>in</strong>tIf you feel you have been unjustly treated by a shop orseller when you have compla<strong>in</strong>ed about their product,you can contact the Consumer Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Board* or aprivate compla<strong>in</strong>ts and appeal board. You will have to paya fee when you register your compla<strong>in</strong>t. If the board f<strong>in</strong>ds<strong>in</strong> your favour, you will get a full refund. You can f<strong>in</strong>d outmore about your compla<strong>in</strong>t possibilities by logg<strong>in</strong>g ontowww.forbrug.dk.116


The Danish tax systemEveryone pays taxEveryone who lives <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> must pay tax if they receivean <strong>in</strong>come. This also applies if you are:• Unemployed and receive cash benefit from the stateor unemployment benefit from your unemploymentfund.• A student and receive SU, the state education grantsand loan scheme.• A pensioner who receives a state pension.• Work abroad or have an <strong>in</strong>come from abroad but live<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.• Have your own bus<strong>in</strong>ess.To the state and the municipal authoritiesThe Danish tax system works <strong>in</strong> such a way that all privatepersons pay <strong>in</strong>come tax to the state and municipal authorities.If you are a homeowner you must pay property tax.Members of the Danish National Church have to pay churchtax. Companies have to pay corporate tax. If you have acapital <strong>in</strong>come, from securities for example, you have topay tax on these as well.Indirect taxesIn addition to <strong>in</strong>come tax, we also pay <strong>in</strong>direct taxes <strong>in</strong> theform of VAT every time we buy a product or service. Wealso pay tax on a number of goods such as cars, petrol,alcohol and tobacco.Possibilities for allowanceSome costs can be deducted from <strong>in</strong>come before the taxauthorities calculate your tax contribution.These <strong>in</strong>clude <strong>in</strong>terest costs on debts, trade union membershipcosts, unemployment <strong>in</strong>surance and child ma<strong>in</strong>tenance, andtransport costs <strong>in</strong> connection with work. The latter, however,will depend on how far you have to your place of work. Inaddition, you will receive a personal tax allowance which isnot l<strong>in</strong>ked to any particular cost.Tax returnIf you are an employee, your tax will automatically bededucted at source before you receive your salary.Every year you must complete a tax return which conta<strong>in</strong>s<strong>in</strong>formation about your <strong>in</strong>come and the allowances towhich you are entitled. You will receive your tax return <strong>in</strong>March, and if you have any changes to make, you musthand it <strong>in</strong> no later than 1 May. You can make changes us<strong>in</strong>ga form that accompanies the tax return, and send it off toSKAT. You can also make changes over the phone or theInternet at www.skat.dk.Later, you will get an annual tax return which <strong>in</strong>dicates howmuch tax you have paid and whether you have to makean additional payment or whether you are entitled to atax refund.ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTION117


ECONOMY AND CONSUMPTIONTAX on most th<strong>in</strong>gsParticularly <strong>in</strong> the case of employees, the tax authorities(SKAT) already have much of the <strong>in</strong>formation they require,as they obta<strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>formation from companies, banks andthe like. This also usually applies to those costs which are taxdeductible. But it may be necessary for you to <strong>in</strong>form thetax authorities about certa<strong>in</strong> tax deductible expenses - suchas transport costs, for example.If you have just arrived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>If you have just arrived <strong>in</strong> the country, you need to contactyour tax centre and obta<strong>in</strong> a prelim<strong>in</strong>ary <strong>in</strong>come assessmentand a tax rate and deduction card. There are about 30 taxcentres spread around the country. Log onto www.skat.dkto see which tax centre you belong to.Self-employedIf you are self-employed, you must ensure that you pay yourtax. You have to complete a tax return which must be handed<strong>in</strong> before 1 July. You are also required to file accounts whichhave been approved by an accountant.If you are self-employed and VAT registered, you mustpay VAT and tax on the products you sell. You must makesure you keep accounts and have them approved by anaccountant.Amount of taxHow much tax you have to pay will depend on your <strong>in</strong>comeand tax allowance. In addition, the rate of taxation variesfrom municipal authority to authority.Rate of taxation <strong>in</strong>creases with size of <strong>in</strong>comeThe Danish tax system is progressive. This means that themore a person earns, the higher their rate of taxation - i.e.the percentage of their <strong>in</strong>come on which their tax base iscalculated. The purpose of this system is to ensure that thosewho earn most contribute most towards the implementationof common tasks <strong>in</strong> society.118


“In the beg<strong>in</strong>n<strong>in</strong>g, I was veryconfused because so muchwas different to the systemI knew <strong>in</strong> Macedonia. But Ilike the Danish system whereyou pay tax and <strong>in</strong> return haveaccess to free healthcare andschools. The Danish schoolsystem is really excellent. Thechildren enjoy a great dealof co-determ<strong>in</strong>ation. That’s agood th<strong>in</strong>g because it makesthem more <strong>in</strong>dependentand responsible towardsthemselves and society.”I like the DanishsystemNevzat Ibisi emigrated fromMacedonia to <strong>Denmark</strong> <strong>in</strong>1990. He is a tra<strong>in</strong>ed teacherand teaches children froma multitude of ethnicbackgrounds.119


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Lots of opportunities<strong>Denmark</strong> has a wide range of cultural and recreationalactivities. These comprises everyth<strong>in</strong>g from music, theatre,c<strong>in</strong>ema, art, museums and exhibitions to lectures, voluntaryeducation, sport and many different k<strong>in</strong>ds of associations.The municipal authorities collaborate with associationsregard<strong>in</strong>g activities <strong>in</strong> the local community. You can f<strong>in</strong>d outmore by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto your municipal authority’s website.Some activities and events are free, while others cost a lotof money. Pensioners and students are eligible for discounts<strong>in</strong> many places.Many libraries have clubs for young people, arrange exhibitions,screen films and organise children’s theatreperformances and <strong>in</strong>vite guest speakers. Many also offerhomework assistance, language stimulation activities andvarious <strong>in</strong>tegration events.Books <strong>in</strong> several languagesAt the library you can also get help to f<strong>in</strong>d books andjournals <strong>in</strong> different languages. If the library does not havethe books and journals you are look<strong>in</strong>g for, they can orderthem for you.CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEYou can f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong>formation on current cultural events aroundthe country by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.kultunaut.dk.Start at the libraryThe library is a good place to start if you want to know moreabout Danish society or f<strong>in</strong>d out what is happen<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> themunicipal authority <strong>in</strong> which you live.Help is at handIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, libraries are free. You can borrow books, music,DVDs and computer games from the library. You can alsoga<strong>in</strong> access to the Internet, read the day’s newspapers andget help to f<strong>in</strong>d specific <strong>in</strong>formation or materials. Amongother th<strong>in</strong>gs, you can f<strong>in</strong>d lots of useful pamphlets fromorganisations and public authorities.121


The media and public debateCULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEThe right to th<strong>in</strong>k and speak freelyThe right to th<strong>in</strong>k and speak freely is an important part ofDanish democracy. This manifests itself <strong>in</strong> the free press andthe public debate.Media for citizens of immigrant orig<strong>in</strong>Danish daily life is characterised by numerous TV and radiostations, newspapers and periodicals and extensive communicationvia the Internet. Numerous media are speciallyaimed at citizens of immigrant orig<strong>in</strong>. F<strong>in</strong>d out more bylogg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.f<strong>in</strong>fo.dk.TV programmes, regardless of whether you listen to themon the radio, TV, mobile phone or your computer. A medialicence is paid twice a year. It is the Danish Parliament thatregulates the media licence fee.You can register for a media licence* by logg<strong>in</strong>g ontowww.dr.dk.You can also subscribe to and pay for various private cableTV schemes.The broad media pictureA large part of the media concerns itself with pure enterta<strong>in</strong>ment.But the cultural, political and rema<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g publicdebate takes up a lot of space <strong>in</strong> the news, and this helps tocentre focus on problems and solutions that are importantto society.Media licence*<strong>Danmark</strong>s Radio and TV2 are public service* stations. It is theirjob to provide a wide range of radio and TV programmesof <strong>in</strong>terest to all sections of the population.Among other th<strong>in</strong>gs, the basis for public service mediaprogramm<strong>in</strong>g is a charge known as a media licence*. Thisis a charge you have to pay if you want to receive radio and122


Active <strong>in</strong> your leisure timeTogether with othersIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, many people use their leisure time to improvetheir skills with<strong>in</strong> a given field or subject, develop theircreativity or attend lectures. They do so by attend<strong>in</strong>g nightschool, folk high schools and as association members. Meet<strong>in</strong>gand be<strong>in</strong>g together with other people is an importantpart of these activities.Folk high schoolsGeneral educationIn the middle of the 19th century, a tradition for generaleducation was established that to this day characterisesDanish society. In essence, it encompasses the ideal thateveryone should have access to social knowledge andlearn<strong>in</strong>g. As a result of this cultural movement, the Danishfolk high school came <strong>in</strong>to be<strong>in</strong>g*.Today, there are folk high schools, usually just called “highschools” spread across the country. High schools offer courses<strong>in</strong> everyth<strong>in</strong>g from creative subjects to academic subjectsand more general social studies.If you do not want to stay or do not have the possibility ofstay<strong>in</strong>g at a high school, you can live at home and simplyattend as a day student.F<strong>in</strong>d out more about high schools at www.hojskoler.dk.For young immigrantsThe association of folk high schools <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> organisesspecial courses and stays at high schools for immigrants. Oneexample is the “Sommercamp” (summer camp), a threeweekhigh school course for young people. “Sommercamp”will be held from 2007 to 2009. Participants receive tuition<strong>in</strong> school and general subjects and are thus able to improvetheir academic skills dur<strong>in</strong>g the summer holidays. F<strong>in</strong>d outmore about “Sommercamp” at www.campsommer.dk.You may be eligible for f<strong>in</strong>ancial aid <strong>in</strong> connection withyour high scool stay. F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.emph.dkCULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEAcademic and personal developmentAt a high school, people can improve and develop bothacademically and on a personal level, and at the same timeget to meet different people. You can also use a high schoolstay to discover whether you have the necessary motivationto complete vocational tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g, a youth educationprogramme or higher education.Cultural activitiesYou live and eat at the school for the duration of the course.Courses may range from one week to one year. In additionto tuition, the stay forms a framework for a number ofcultural activities: excursions, parties and lecture even<strong>in</strong>gs.123


CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEAt high school I havefriends from all overEurope“Be<strong>in</strong>g a student at highschool is an experience I willnever forget. I have madefriends from all over Europeand I’m learn<strong>in</strong>g languagesand lots of th<strong>in</strong>gs about Danishsociety. I’m improv<strong>in</strong>g myknowledge the whole time.In our leisure time we havefun watch<strong>in</strong>g movies, play<strong>in</strong>gfootball or basketball. You arenever lonely here.”Ali emigrated from Afghanistanto <strong>Denmark</strong> <strong>in</strong> 2003. He isa student at the European highschool <strong>in</strong> Kalø. Afterwards, hewants to enrol on the socialand healthcare assistantcourse <strong>in</strong> order to becomea radiographer.124


Association activitiesNight schoolsTuition <strong>in</strong> many subjectsMany people attend night school where they receive tuition<strong>in</strong> many different subjects. This may take the form of languagetuition or other academic subjects. But subjects may also <strong>in</strong>cludephilosophy, history, br<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g up children and talks about culturaltopics. There are also classes <strong>in</strong> body and motion, cookery, sew<strong>in</strong>g,mail<strong>in</strong>g, s<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g and a great deal more. Many night schoolsoffer special courses to new citizens. As a general rule, nightschools are run by an educational association* such as AOF (theWorkers Education Association), LOF (the Liberal Adult EducationAssociation) or FOF (the Adult Education Association).The courses are not free but given the fact the schools receivesubsidies from the municipal authorities, participants do nothave to pay the whole amount.Log onto your municipal authority’s website to f<strong>in</strong>d out moreabout night school activities <strong>in</strong> your local area.People who share a common <strong>in</strong>terest<strong>Denmark</strong> is one of the few countries <strong>in</strong> the world where themajority of its citizens are members of an association. Here,people who share a common <strong>in</strong>terest meet. This may be an<strong>in</strong>terest of an academic, political or cultural nature.Many different k<strong>in</strong>ds of <strong>in</strong>terests<strong>Denmark</strong> has <strong>in</strong>numerable associations, organisations andclubs. Sport, political party, hous<strong>in</strong>g, art, music, immigrant,religious associations and associations for those with aspecial hobby - to name but a few. Check under “associations”<strong>in</strong> your local telephone directory. And your municipalauthority website.Some work for a causeSome associations work towards safeguard<strong>in</strong>g the <strong>in</strong>terestsof different groups such as the disabled, various patientgroups, the eldery or homosexuals. And some also worktowards a specific political goal, such as the environmentor animal welfare.CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEMeet<strong>in</strong>g placesF<strong>in</strong>ally, there are also meet<strong>in</strong>g places, clubs and club houseswhich are usually associated with a residential area wherepeople play cards, hold debates, pursue a leisure <strong>in</strong>terest orlisten to talks and lectures.Anyone can start an associationEveryone has the right to start an association. All that isrequired is that you hold a meet<strong>in</strong>g - a statutory generalmeet<strong>in</strong>g - where you decide on and note down the aims125


CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEof the association and the articles of association that are toapply. Articles are rules relat<strong>in</strong>g to who can be a memberof the association, how many members the board shouldhave, when the annual general meet<strong>in</strong>g should be held,etc. A standard version of association articles can be foundat www.familieadvokaten.dk.You can play a partAn association can be a good way of meet<strong>in</strong>g other peopleand actively participat<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> your local community. Associationsare managed by a board elected by association members. Asa member, you can put forward suggestions for associationwork and stand for election to the association board.Associations for new citizensThere are a number of associations that may be of special<strong>in</strong>terest to new citizens. Such associations are for specificnationalities, friendship associations and associations thatfocus on <strong>in</strong>tegration and cultural contact. We refer to www.f<strong>in</strong>fo.dk for further details.Sport and exerciseIf you want to do sports or exercise together with others, youcan become a member of a sport club. Here, for example,you can play football, handball, tennis, badm<strong>in</strong>ton, swimand gymnastics.Limited feeNearly all forms of formalised exercise and sport are runby associations or organisations that people can jo<strong>in</strong>. Youhave to pay to become a member, but <strong>in</strong> some cases themunicipal authority will contribute towards the cost so thatthe fee rema<strong>in</strong>s low.Parents help outMany children and young people do different k<strong>in</strong>ds of sport<strong>in</strong> their spare time. It is common for parents to supporttheir children, for example, by pay<strong>in</strong>g their membershipfees, ferry<strong>in</strong>g the children to and from their activities andby participat<strong>in</strong>g at events.126


ReligionEveryone is free to practise their religionIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, everyone is free to practise their religion orpursue their outlook on life as long as they respect the law.Everyone is free to change their beliefs or religious affiliations- for example, by leav<strong>in</strong>g one religious community tobecome a member of another. <strong>Denmark</strong> embraces manyreligions, beliefs and outlooks on life. Some people believe<strong>in</strong> a div<strong>in</strong>e be<strong>in</strong>g; others do not but base their outlook onlife on secular, humanitarian or other values.The Danish National Church*Perform<strong>in</strong>g services for societyIn accordance with the Danish constitution, the EvangelicalLutheran Church of <strong>Denmark</strong>* is the Danish National Churchand is officially supported by the government. The DanishNational Church performs a number of tasks and servicesfor society as a whole. This <strong>in</strong>cludes the registration of births,christen<strong>in</strong>gs and the registration of deaths.CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEMost people are members of theDanish National ChurchThe majority of Danes belong to the Danish NationalChurch. Most became members when they were christenedas children.If you have moved to <strong>Denmark</strong> from abroad and wouldlike to jo<strong>in</strong> the Danish National Church, there are severaloptions open to you:• If you are a member of another Evangelical Lutherancommunity other than the Danish National Churchand make this clear, you will be registered as a memberof the Danish National Church at the same time as youare registered <strong>in</strong> the Danish national register.• If you have been christened but not by an EvangelicalLutheran religious community, you can become amember of the Danish National Church by contact<strong>in</strong>gthe priest <strong>in</strong> your local community.• If you have not been christened, you can become amember of the Danish National Church by allow<strong>in</strong>gyourself to be christened.If you do not want to become a member of the DanishNational Church, you can cancel your membership bycontact<strong>in</strong>g the priest <strong>in</strong> your local community.127


CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEChurch taxMembers of the Danish National Church have to pay churchtax. This money is used run the churches and ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> thecemeteries. Churches hold services and perform churchceremonies such as christen<strong>in</strong>gs, wedd<strong>in</strong>gs and funerals.You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about becom<strong>in</strong>g a member of theDanish National Church by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto the M<strong>in</strong>istry ofEcclesiastical Affairs’ website at www.km.dk.Other religious communities150 different religious communitiesThere are about 150 different religious communities, largeand small, <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.The right to erect build<strong>in</strong>gsReligious communities have the right to employ priests,imams, rabbis or appo<strong>in</strong>t religious community leaders.Religious communities also have the right to erect build<strong>in</strong>gsthat can be used for religious worship. All that is required isthat they follow the normal plann<strong>in</strong>g rules and regulations.Religious communities can also run their own voluntaryeducation for children and young people.Eleven religious communities have been approved trossamfund<strong>in</strong> accordance with former regulations. This meansthat they can perform christen<strong>in</strong>gs and marriages. They canalso issue certificates with the same validity as those of theDanish National Church.Both approved and recognised religious communities canobta<strong>in</strong> permission to build a cemetery.Membership fees are tax deductible.Members of approved and recognised religious communitieshave the right to deduct their fees and religious communitygifts from tax once the tax authorities have approved thereligious community’s right to do so. No property tax is dueon religious community churches or cemeteries. Nor doapproved and recognised religious communities pay anyform of land tax for any land on which there are build<strong>in</strong>gsof religious worship.You can f<strong>in</strong>d out more about religious communities bylogg<strong>in</strong>g onto the M<strong>in</strong>istry of Ecclesiastical Affairs’ websiteat www.km.dk.Approved and recognised religious communitiesMore than 100 religious communities, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g the Islamic,Buddhist and H<strong>in</strong>du communities, are approved <strong>in</strong> the sensethat their priests have the right to or can obta<strong>in</strong> the rightto perform marriages.128


Parties and social togethernessIn recreational life, you will come across those traditions andcustoms that relate to city life, neighbourl<strong>in</strong>ess, friendship,social gather<strong>in</strong>gs and birthday parties. Many schools, day carecentres and sports clubs hold parties and social events. Manytowns, cities and residential areas have their own traditionsfor hold<strong>in</strong>g parties and social gather<strong>in</strong>gs.Children’s birthday partiesMany parents with children at nursery and school <strong>in</strong>vitetheir child’s friends or classmates to the child’s birthday party.Some only <strong>in</strong>vite the boys or the girls. Layer cake, buns,chocolate milk and soft dr<strong>in</strong>ks. S<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g birthday songs andplay<strong>in</strong>g games is an <strong>in</strong>tegral part of a a traditional Danishchildren’s birthday party. Children who are <strong>in</strong>vited to abirthday party are expected to be<strong>in</strong>g a birthday presentalong. If you are unsure how expensive a gift to buy, askthe other parents.CULTURE AND LEISURE TIMEParties and social gather<strong>in</strong>gsIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, parties are held <strong>in</strong> connection with numerousevents such as: wedd<strong>in</strong>gs, christen<strong>in</strong>gs, confirmation,birthdays and religious festivals. People also hold partieswhen they purchase a new home, f<strong>in</strong>ish their education,are about to set off travell<strong>in</strong>g - or simply because theyfeel like it.Then, they <strong>in</strong>vite friends, family or work colleagues alongfor food, music and danc<strong>in</strong>g.If you are <strong>in</strong>vited to a party or a d<strong>in</strong>ner, it is a good ideato be<strong>in</strong>g along a small present for the hosts. A bottleof w<strong>in</strong>e, a bouquet of flowers, chocolate or someth<strong>in</strong>gsimilar. If you are <strong>in</strong>vited to a birthday party, you areexpected to buy a present.129


1 1 HEALTH AND SICKNESS


The Danish health serviceYour GPWhen you register with the national register <strong>in</strong> your municipalauthority, you can choose which GP you want; whether youprefer a male or female doctor, for example.Access to the public health service is through your GP. YourGP can treat some health problems immediately. Othersmay require a referral for further exam<strong>in</strong>ation or treatmentby a specialist or treatment at a hospital.In <strong>Denmark</strong>, visit<strong>in</strong>g your GP is free.Visit<strong>in</strong>g your GP is free, as is hospitalisation. The costs areborne by the tax payer.Th<strong>in</strong>gs you have to pay forYou have to pay towards the cost of medic<strong>in</strong>e, dental careand physiotherapy, for example. But you may also be eligiblefor a subsidy.HEALTH AND SICKNESSYou do not need a referral from your GP if you need to goand see a dentist or if you are <strong>in</strong> acute pa<strong>in</strong> and need to go tohospital emergency or require immediate hospitalisation.Danish health <strong>in</strong>surance cardThe health <strong>in</strong>surance card sent to you by your municipalauthority is your proof that you are entitled to publichealth treatment. The card states your name, address andpersonal identification number and the name and addressof your GP.Provides coverage when travell<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> EuropeYou must take your health <strong>in</strong>surance card with you whenyou visit the dentist, hospital emergency or <strong>in</strong> the event ofhospitalisation. You must also have it with you when youtravel outside <strong>Denmark</strong>. The health <strong>in</strong>surance card providescover if you fall ill or have an accident while travell<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>Europe as long as the trip is for pleasure and you are awayfor less than a month. F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.sundhed.dk131


At the doctor’sHEALTH AND SICKNESSMake an appo<strong>in</strong>tmentIf you need to see your doctor, be sure to call and makean appo<strong>in</strong>tment. Most GPs have office hours from 8 a.m.to 4 p.m., daily. You will be given an appo<strong>in</strong>tment no laterthan five days after the time of your call. If you are feel<strong>in</strong>gvery unwell, your doctor will probably make room to seeyou the same day.Exam<strong>in</strong>ation, treatment or referralThe doctor will exam<strong>in</strong>e you and decide on the next step.You may be given a medical prescription.The doctor can also refer you for further exam<strong>in</strong>ation ortreatment by a specialist - for example, a dermatologist or agynaecologist. Visits to a specialist are also free. Your doctormay refer you for a form of treatment for which you arerequired to pay some of the costs. This might be treatmentby a physiotherapist or a psychologist.F<strong>in</strong>ally, your doctor can arrange for you to be hospitalised,if this is deemed necessary.InterpreterYour doctor must ensure that you understand each other. Ifyou do not speak the same language, the doctor must callfor an <strong>in</strong>terpreter. F<strong>in</strong>d out more about us<strong>in</strong>g an <strong>in</strong>terpreter<strong>in</strong> Chapter 4, New <strong>Citizen</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Visit<strong>in</strong>g your GP• Be on time.• Call ahead of time if you are unable to keep yourappo<strong>in</strong>tment.• Your doctor may be busy with another patient so thatyou will have to wait a little when you arrive for yourappo<strong>in</strong>tment.• Come by yourself or with one other person. Makethe doctor aware <strong>in</strong> advance that you will need an<strong>in</strong>terpreter.132


Psychological problems“Emotional heartache and distress”In <strong>Denmark</strong>, it is not uncommon to suffer from psychiatricproblems. Feel<strong>in</strong>g emotionally distressed is not the same asbe<strong>in</strong>g mentally ill. Many Danes seek help and get treatmentfor psychological problems. If you have arrived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>to escape war or persecution, there may be several reasonsfor suffer<strong>in</strong>g mental problems that you would not have hadunder normal liv<strong>in</strong>g conditions.Psychiatric problems can result <strong>in</strong> physical pa<strong>in</strong>Visit your doctor if you are experienc<strong>in</strong>g psychiatric problemsand need help. Psychiatric problems can also lead to physicalpa<strong>in</strong>. If, for example, you are suffer<strong>in</strong>g from back pa<strong>in</strong>s,stomach pa<strong>in</strong>s or headaches without any obvious physicalcause, or you are sleep<strong>in</strong>g badly, you should visit your doctor.Your doctor will exam<strong>in</strong>e you to determ<strong>in</strong>e whether thereis a psychiatric cause.Psychological counsell<strong>in</strong>gYour doctor may feel that your symptoms can not be treatedus<strong>in</strong>g medic<strong>in</strong>e alone. You may, therefore, be referred to apsychologist who can help you.If you are experienc<strong>in</strong>g mental anguish as a result of war ortorture, your doctor will refer you to a centre for traumatisedrefugees.Children can also feel poorlyYou should be aware that your children may also be suffer<strong>in</strong>gfrom after affects and require help. You can talk about this withyour doctor, case officer, health visitor, teachers or personnelat your child’s nursery, crèche or after-school recreationscheme. They can advise you on how to proceed.HEALTH AND SICKNESSAsk<strong>in</strong>g about your problemsYour doctor might ask you if you are worried or have a lot onyour m<strong>in</strong>d. Whether you are experienc<strong>in</strong>g marital problems.Or whether you miss your family and native country. Orwhether you have been exposed to traumatic experiencessuch as war and torture or been held <strong>in</strong> prison.Your doctor has to observe secrecyYour doctor must observe secrecy, so you are not at risktalk<strong>in</strong>g to him or her about your problems. Whatever yousay will rema<strong>in</strong> between you and will not be passed on tothe authorities, unless you wish it.133


Emergency doctor serviceEmergency 112HEALTH AND SICKNESSOutside normal consultation hoursIf you need the doctor after 4 p.m. on weekdays, aroundthe clock at weekends and public holidays, you must callthe emergency doctor service. You can f<strong>in</strong>d the telephonenumber of your emergency doctor service <strong>in</strong> your telephonedirectory or by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto your municipal authority’swebsite or www.sundhed.dk.QuestionsWhen you call the emergency doctor service, the on-dutydoctor will ask you how you are feel<strong>in</strong>g. Or if you are call<strong>in</strong>gon someone else’s behalf, they will ask how he or she isfeel<strong>in</strong>g. They will ask you questions like: Do you have a feverand if so, how high is it? Are you experienc<strong>in</strong>g any pa<strong>in</strong>? Ifit is an <strong>in</strong>jury, the doctor will ask questions to determ<strong>in</strong>ehow serious it is.In an emergencyIf someone suddenly collapses, can not breathe, suffers anaccident or is attacked, you must call the emergency callcentre immediately on 112.At the emergency call centre, you will be asked your name,address and the phone number from which you are call<strong>in</strong>g.The call centre will then make sure that an ambulance or thepolice or some other form of help is sent immediately.Based on the answers, the doctor will assess whether youshould visit your own doctor the next day, whether a doctorshould visit you at home, or whether you should drive over tothe emergency doctor service or go to hospital emergency.You will also be asked for your own or the patient’s personalidentification number.Only use the emergency doctor servicewhen it is absolutely necessaryOnly call the emergency doctor service when it is absolutelynecessary or if you are <strong>in</strong> doubt as to how sick you or yourchild may be.134


Children’s exam<strong>in</strong>ations and vacc<strong>in</strong>ationsN<strong>in</strong>e exam<strong>in</strong>ationsFrom the age of five weeks to 15 years, your child will begiven n<strong>in</strong>e preventive health exam<strong>in</strong>ations by the doctor.The first seven will take place before the child beg<strong>in</strong>s school,the last two when the child beg<strong>in</strong>s and leaves school.Exam<strong>in</strong>ation programmeThe exam<strong>in</strong>ation follows a fixed programme. The purpose isto monitor your child’s well-be<strong>in</strong>g and development. In thisway you and your doctor can determ<strong>in</strong>e whether your childhas any problems and take action where necessary.German measlesIf you contract German measles dur<strong>in</strong>g pregnancy, you riskyour child be<strong>in</strong>g born with a handicap. For this reason youshould be vacc<strong>in</strong>ated before becom<strong>in</strong>g pregnant if you area woman and have not had German measles, or if you havenot been vacc<strong>in</strong>ated aga<strong>in</strong>st this disease.Children <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> are vacc<strong>in</strong>ated accord<strong>in</strong>g to thefollow<strong>in</strong>g programme:AgeVacc<strong>in</strong>eHEALTH AND SICKNESSMake an appo<strong>in</strong>tmentYou must make an appo<strong>in</strong>tment with your doctor for thefirst seven exam<strong>in</strong>ations.Free vacc<strong>in</strong>ationsAll children can be vacc<strong>in</strong>ated aga<strong>in</strong>st a number of diseases.The vacc<strong>in</strong>ations are free. It is your doctor who vacc<strong>in</strong>atesyour child. This may take place at the same time as yourchild receives a normal health exam<strong>in</strong>ation.Three monthsFive monthsTwelve monthsFifteen monthsFive yearsTwelve yearsDi-Te-Ki-Pol-HibDi-Te-Ki-Pol-HibDi-Te-Ki-Pol-HibMFR IDi-Te-Ki-PolMFR IIIt is the Danish health authorities that decide which diseasesyour child can be vacc<strong>in</strong>ated aga<strong>in</strong>st. These are diphtheria(Di),tetanus(Te), whoop<strong>in</strong>g cough(Ki), polio(Pol), measles, mumps,German measles(MFR) and men<strong>in</strong>gitis(Hib).135


HEALTH AND SICKNESSOther vacc<strong>in</strong>ationsIf you are the mother of a child and have hepatitis B, thechild will be vacc<strong>in</strong>ated aga<strong>in</strong>st this disease. The child willreceive the first vacc<strong>in</strong>ation immediately after birth. Thechild will receive follow<strong>in</strong>g vacc<strong>in</strong>ations when it is four tofive weeks old, two months old and at 12 months.If a member of your family has been <strong>in</strong>fected with hepatitisB, the rest of the family can be vacc<strong>in</strong>ated aga<strong>in</strong>st the diseasefree of charge by your GP.Vacc<strong>in</strong>ations before travell<strong>in</strong>gIf you need special vacc<strong>in</strong>ations <strong>in</strong> connection with travelabroad, you must pay for these yourself.Tell and askHealth and disease are sensitive and personal issues.At the same time, we also perceive health and diseasedifferently accord<strong>in</strong>g to our cultural upbr<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong>g. Forthis reason misunderstand<strong>in</strong>gs can easily occur whendifferent cultures’ health perceptions meet. Especiallyif it is difficult to understand each other.Hospital health personnel will tell you about yourtreatment, your rights and duties as a patient. It isimportant that you listen carefully to what they say,and respect the way th<strong>in</strong>gs are done. But it is equallyimportant that you tell them about your wishesand expectations. And ask questions when there issometh<strong>in</strong>g you do not understand.136


At the hospitalExam<strong>in</strong>ations and treatmentYou can be admitted to hospital if you suddenly suffer an <strong>in</strong>juryor fall ill. Or you can be referred by your own doctor for anexam<strong>in</strong>ation or treatment at the hospital. Many exam<strong>in</strong>ationsand a lot of treatment take place before you are admitted tohospital. This allows you to go home the same day.Free choice of hospitalIn relation to many treatments, you can choose which hospitalyou wish to be admitted to. If you choose a hospital outsidethe region where you live, you many not be admitted due toa lack of available bed space. Talk to your doctor about yourchoice of hospital.HEALTH AND SICKNESSMulti-patient wardsIf you are admitted to hospital, you will stay <strong>in</strong> a ward togetherwith two or three other patients. Men and women lie <strong>in</strong> separatewards.Rules govern<strong>in</strong>g food and visit<strong>in</strong>g hoursPeace and quietPeople who are ill need peace and quiet. This is why most hospitalshave fixed visit<strong>in</strong>g hours. And hospitals expect visitors to be quietand show consideration towards all patients.The hospital provides meals, clothesand bath<strong>in</strong>g facilitiesThe hospital makes sure that patients are fed, bathed, wear cleanclothes and that their various needs are met. Visitors are allowedto br<strong>in</strong>g fruit along, but may only br<strong>in</strong>g food <strong>in</strong>to the hospitalafter consultation with hospital personnel.137


HEALTH AND SICKNESSChildren <strong>in</strong> hospitalParents can spend the night with their childrenMost hospitals provide stay-over facilities for the parents ofhospitalised children. Parents of sick children may also stayat the hospital outside normal visit<strong>in</strong>g hours.Psychiatric hospitalInterviews and medical treatmentPeople who suffer so much from a psychiatric illness that theycan no longer function <strong>in</strong> their daily lives may be admittedto a psychiatric ward until they feel better. Here, patients cantalk about their problems and receive medical treatment.In many cases, patients take an active part <strong>in</strong> plann<strong>in</strong>g theirown treatment. At many psychiatric hospitals it is possibleto be admitted to a private ward. Psychiatric hospitals haveopen and closed wards.Compulsory hospitalisationPeople who are suffer<strong>in</strong>g from severe psychiatric illness andwho pose a danger to themselves or others should be admittedto a psychiatric ward. If the person refuses, he or she may becommitted if the doctor deems this necessary. Compulsoryhospitalisation always takes place <strong>in</strong> closed wards.138


Dental careDental care for childrenFree dental care from 0 to 18All children <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> are entitled to free dental healthcare from the age of 0 to 18. They attend regular dentalcheck-ups. Here, they learn how to look after their teeth,and their teeth are treated and adjusted where necessary.Look after milk teethYour child will be asked to attend a dental appo<strong>in</strong>tmentbefore the age of two. Even though the child does not haveany teeth, it is still a good idea to keep the appo<strong>in</strong>tment.And even though milk teeth fall out dur<strong>in</strong>g the child’s earlyyears, you still need to take good care of them while theyare there. Otherwise you risk damag<strong>in</strong>g the permanentteeth that follow.HEALTH AND SICKNESSMany municipal authorities have dental cl<strong>in</strong>ics that areaffiliated to schools. Some smaller authorities have anagreement with a private dentist. But here, too, children’sdental care is free.School dental careWhen your child beg<strong>in</strong>s school, it will automatically be calledfor a dental check-up. Dental healthcare workers also visitschools to teach children how to look after their teeth.It is a good idea for parents to accompany children to thedentist’s while the children are small. If the child requiresmajor treatment, the parents will first be consulted.Adult dental healthcareF<strong>in</strong>d your own private dentistAdults over 18 must f<strong>in</strong>d their own private dentist, forexample, by look<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> the local telephone directory. Youhave to pay for check-ups and treatment, but the state payspart of the cost. This amount is automatically deductedfrom your bill.139


Medic<strong>in</strong>eHEALTH AND SICKNESSIf you have private health <strong>in</strong>surance, you can get extraf<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance to pay for regular and special treatmentor major dental operations.Visit your dentist regularlyIt is a good idea to visit your dentist on a regular basis andnot just when you have a dental problem. Your dentistmay discover a cavity before it starts to cause pa<strong>in</strong>. And thetreatment will be less extensive and costly. You should makearrangements with your dentist about how often you shouldcome for check-ups.Make an appo<strong>in</strong>tmentYou have to make an appo<strong>in</strong>tment and arrive at the appo<strong>in</strong>tedtime. If you want to attend regular check-ups, yourdentist will send you a rem<strong>in</strong>der with an appo<strong>in</strong>tment foryour next check-up.With and without a prescriptionSome types of medic<strong>in</strong>e can only be bought with a medicalprescription. Others can be bought without. At thechemist’s you can buy all k<strong>in</strong>ds of medic<strong>in</strong>e. Medic<strong>in</strong>erequir<strong>in</strong>g a doctor’s prescription can only be bought at achemist’s. Medic<strong>in</strong>e for light headaches, a sore throat andproducts designed to help people stop smok<strong>in</strong>g can alsobe bought <strong>in</strong> supermarkets, at grocery stores and at somepetrol stations.Subsidised medic<strong>in</strong>eThe state can give a subsidy towards certa<strong>in</strong> types of medic<strong>in</strong>e.This will depend on the f<strong>in</strong>ances of the <strong>in</strong>dividual andthe amount of medic<strong>in</strong>e taken <strong>in</strong> one year. Consult yourdoctor or chemist.Dental healthcare for people withphysical and mental disabilitiesThe municipal authorities provide dental healthcare forpeople with severe physical and mental disabilities. And thestate pays most of the cost.Outside normal dental hoursIf you suddenly experience severe toothache outsidenormal dental hours, you can visit a 24-hour dental emergencyservice. You will f<strong>in</strong>d the number listed <strong>in</strong> your localtelephone directory.140


Healthy diet and exerciseImportant for avoid<strong>in</strong>g diseaseFood provides energy and nutrition which the body needs tofunction. A healthy diet <strong>in</strong>cludes lots of fruit and vegetablesand only a small amount of fat and sugar. Movement andexercise are important for a healthy life and avoid<strong>in</strong>g anumber of the diseases we are exposed to <strong>in</strong> our modernsociety.Diabetes, heart disease and cancerDiseases like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heartdisease and cancer are called lifestyle diseases becausethey are attributable to the way <strong>in</strong> which we live. Today,we have mach<strong>in</strong>es to do most of the tasks that previouslyrequired physical labour. Most people have jobs where theyare seated for most of the day and which <strong>in</strong>volve driv<strong>in</strong>gto and from work. Many people lead a busy day and f<strong>in</strong>d itis easier to buy ready-made food <strong>in</strong>stead of cook<strong>in</strong>g theirown healthy meals.At riskFood that conta<strong>in</strong>s too much fat or sugar, too little physicalactivity, smok<strong>in</strong>g and too much alcohol <strong>in</strong>crease the risk oflifetsyle diseases. Genes can also play a role. If your parents orsibl<strong>in</strong>gs have type 2 diabetes, for example, you are also at riskof contract<strong>in</strong>g the disease. You must therefore be especiallym<strong>in</strong>dful of eat<strong>in</strong>g healthy food and do<strong>in</strong>g exercise.HEALTH AND SICKNESS141


Good advice about healthHEALTH AND SICKNESSYou can do a lot to reduce the risk of contract<strong>in</strong>g a lifestyledisease. Lead a healthy life. This means: do not smoke, dr<strong>in</strong>kalcohol <strong>in</strong> moderation and follow eight tips from the Danishhealth authorities. The eight tips are listed here:Eat fruit and vegetables - at least 600 grams a day.If you eat at least 600 grams of fruit and vegetables a day,you will reduce the risk of gett<strong>in</strong>g heart disease, diabetesand cancer. If you eat an apple, orange, banana and a carrotevery day and if you use vegetables <strong>in</strong> your hot meal, youwill easily consume 600 grams a day. Nuts and dried fruitcan also be <strong>in</strong>cluded.Eat fish and fish products - several times a weekFish is healthy because it conta<strong>in</strong>s fish oil, vitam<strong>in</strong> D andselenium. Most other foods conta<strong>in</strong> little of these <strong>in</strong>gedients.You can eat fish cooked, as a starter or on sandwiches. Youcan also eat herr<strong>in</strong>g, mackrel or t<strong>in</strong>ned tuna, for example.Eat potatoes, rice, couscous or pasta - every dayBread, flour and corn products are healthy and conta<strong>in</strong> littlefat. Whole-gra<strong>in</strong> bread and oatmeal are particularly healthybecause they conta<strong>in</strong> lots of fibre and vitam<strong>in</strong> B. Choosebread that conta<strong>in</strong>s little sugar and rye bread rather thanwhite bread. White bread conta<strong>in</strong>s less fibre and thereforefills you up less than courser bread.142


Eat only a little sugar - especially<strong>in</strong> soft dr<strong>in</strong>ks and cakesSweets conta<strong>in</strong> lots of calories and very few healthy <strong>in</strong>gredients.Too many sweets leave little room for healthy food.Eat only a small amount of fat - especially<strong>in</strong> dairy products and meatYour body needs fat but not too much of it. It is best to useplant oil and reduce your <strong>in</strong>take of animal fat. Choose leanmeats and remove extra visible fat. Choose low-fat milk,yoghurt and cheese.Eat a varied diet - and ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>your normal weightEat different k<strong>in</strong>ds of bread, fruit, vegetables, meat anddairy products every day. This will give you all the vitam<strong>in</strong>sand m<strong>in</strong>erals your body needs. If your weight <strong>in</strong>creases, eatsmaller portions and exercise more. It is easier to ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong>your weight if you are physically active every day.Quench your thirst <strong>in</strong> waterYour body needs between 1 and 1½ litres of water every day.Ord<strong>in</strong>ary tap water is best because it quenches your thirstand does not conta<strong>in</strong> calories.Diet supplementsVitam<strong>in</strong> DIf you have dark sk<strong>in</strong>, spend most of the day <strong>in</strong>doors orensure your sk<strong>in</strong> is covered so that it does not receivemuch daylight, you should take a vitam<strong>in</strong> D supplement.You should take a supplement of 10 micrograms a day. Askyour chemist how best to cover your need for vitam<strong>in</strong> D.Babies and small children should be given vitam<strong>in</strong> D drops.Ask your health visitor.The body produces its own supply of vitam<strong>in</strong> D when thesk<strong>in</strong> is exposed to sunlight. But if you spend all your time<strong>in</strong>doors or <strong>in</strong> the shade, your body will f<strong>in</strong>d it more difficultto produce vitam<strong>in</strong> D, and few foodstuffs actually conta<strong>in</strong>this vitam<strong>in</strong>. If your body does not get enough vitam<strong>in</strong> D,you may end up experienc<strong>in</strong>g pa<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong> your arms and legsand hav<strong>in</strong>g weak muscles.CalciumIf you do not dr<strong>in</strong>k enough milk or eat enough dairyproducts then you need to take extra calcium, between500 and 1000 grams a day.HEALTH AND SICKNESSStay physically active - at least 30 m<strong>in</strong>utes a dayUse the stairs, go for a walk. Your body needs at least 30m<strong>in</strong>utes of daily exercise. And it is a good idea to do sportonce or several times a week. Children should stay activefor at least an hour every day. All k<strong>in</strong>ds of physical activityare healthy for children and adults, young and old. It is goodfor your body and general disposition, and it makes it easierto ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> your ideal weight.F<strong>in</strong>d out more by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.altomkost.dk andwww.helse.dk.143


1 2 PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS


Customs and red-letter daysIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, people celebrate a number of public holidays,red-letter days and customs throughout the year. On someof these days, children are given the day off from schooland adults the day off from work.ShrovetideFastelavn (Shrovetide) is another word for “Carneval” - aspr<strong>in</strong>g festival, which can be traced as far back as AncientGreece. In <strong>Denmark</strong>, Shrovetide orig<strong>in</strong>ally marked thecommencement of fast<strong>in</strong>g accord<strong>in</strong>g to the Christian faith.Accord<strong>in</strong>g to ancient custom, children dressed up <strong>in</strong> fancydress and beat a barrel. In ancient times, the barrel conta<strong>in</strong>eda cat. Today, the person who breaks the barrel is called thecat k<strong>in</strong>g. Shrovetide falls 49 days before Easter.8th March8th March is International Women’s Day and is celebratedwith events around the country.EasterEaster is the Christian religious festival that marks the crucifixion,death and resurrection of Christ. In <strong>Denmark</strong>, Easteris often a time of family celebration. From ancient times,there persists a tradition of giv<strong>in</strong>g each other chocolateeaster eggs. The egg is an ancient symbol of fertility. Easterfalls each year between March and April.1st May1st May is International Workers’ Day and is celebrated withprocessions and events across the country.WhitsunAccord<strong>in</strong>g to Christian faith, Whitsun commemorates thecom<strong>in</strong>g of the Holy Spirit to Earth. Orig<strong>in</strong>ally, Whitsun markedthe end of seven weeks’ easter celebration. At Whitsun, thereis a tradition of ris<strong>in</strong>g early to watch the sun “dance”, andmany people eat a Whitsun picnic <strong>in</strong> the forest. Whitsunfalls each year <strong>in</strong> May or June.Constitution Day5th June is Constitution Day, where people hold meet<strong>in</strong>gsand speeches to commemorate <strong>Denmark</strong>’s democraticconstitution, the constitution of the K<strong>in</strong>gdom of <strong>Denmark</strong>.<strong>Denmark</strong> celebrated its first constitution <strong>in</strong> 1849.Midsummer DayIn <strong>Denmark</strong>, Midsummer Day is commemorated on theeven<strong>in</strong>g of 23rd June. Midsummer Day has its orig<strong>in</strong>s <strong>in</strong>heathen folk tradition and Christianity. The celebrationmarks mid-summer, and accord<strong>in</strong>g to ancient custom, dollssignify<strong>in</strong>g witches are burnt atop blaz<strong>in</strong>g fires. MidsummerDay also commemorates John the Baptist’s birthday on24th June.PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND RELIGIOUS FESTIVALS145


PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND RELIGIOUS FESTIVALSChristmasChristmas celebrates the birth of Christ. Christmas Eve ison 24th December. Here, the family gathers to eat andgive each other presents. Most people dance around theChristmas tree and s<strong>in</strong>g Christmas carols and other songs.Many people attend a church Christmas service. And atChristmas, all the shops and streets are decorated with lights,hearts and spruce. Pixies, small fantasy creatures which arepart of the heathen tradition, also have an important partto play at Danish Christmas celebrations. In December,many workplaces hold Christmas lunches, and at nursery,schools and after-school recreational centres, childrenmake Christmas presents. Many children have a Christmascalendar just like the ones they see on the Christmas calendarTV programmes. These calenders count down the days toChristmas Eve. On the 25th and 26th December, which arecalled Christmas Day and Box<strong>in</strong>g Day, many families gatherfor a Christmas lunch.Other religious festivals and red-letter daysIt l<strong>in</strong>e with the grow<strong>in</strong>g trend of global cultural “imitation”,and as more and more Danes of foreign orig<strong>in</strong> have takentheir place <strong>in</strong> Danish society, a number of alternative customsand red-letter days have been adopted.• Some schools celebrate Ramadan - the Muslim monthof fast<strong>in</strong>g.• In many places, the American tradition of Halloween iscelebrated on 31 October. Children dress up as witchesand ghosts, for example. Pumpk<strong>in</strong>s are gouged out,given a mouth and eyes and a lighted candle is thenplaced <strong>in</strong>side.• In many parts of the country, people hold carnivalsmimick<strong>in</strong>g the traditional South American celebrationwith samba music and processions. The biggest carnivalsare held <strong>in</strong> Copenhagen at Whitsun.New YearNew Year’s Eve falls on 31st December, and across the landpeople celebrate the com<strong>in</strong>g of the new year by sett<strong>in</strong>g offfireworks. On New Year’s day, 1st January, nearly all shopsand places of work rema<strong>in</strong> closed.146


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1 3 REPATRIATION


Advice and f<strong>in</strong>ancial aidIf you are consider<strong>in</strong>g return<strong>in</strong>g to your home country, you canseek advice and guidance from the Danish Refugee Council.You may also be eligible for f<strong>in</strong>ancial aid <strong>in</strong> return<strong>in</strong>g to yournative country or former country of residence. This, however,does not apply to citizens of the EU or Scand<strong>in</strong>avia.It is up to the municipal authorityIf you are consider<strong>in</strong>g return<strong>in</strong>g to your native countryor former country of residence, you must <strong>in</strong>form yourmunicipal authority. Based on your grounds for residence,your authority will assess your f<strong>in</strong>ancial situation and anyf<strong>in</strong>ancial aid you might receive. F<strong>in</strong>ancial aid can covertravel costs, help towards the transportation of personaleffects, re-establishment aid, help towards the purchase andtransport of bus<strong>in</strong>ess equipment, help <strong>in</strong> pay<strong>in</strong>g for health<strong>in</strong>surance and prescribed medic<strong>in</strong>e.Re-<strong>in</strong>tegration assistanceIf you have turned 60, or if you have turned 50 and are unableto work, you are eligible for a special type of assistance. Thisis called re-<strong>in</strong>tegration assistance. This is a monthly paymentthat is made for a period of five years. You also have thepossibility of opt<strong>in</strong>g for a lifelong payment where you arepaid a slightly smaller amount each year. A preconditionfor receiv<strong>in</strong>g this allowance is that you have permanentresidence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> and have resided <strong>in</strong> the country forthe past five years.We refer to the Danish Refugee Council’s website at www.flygtn<strong>in</strong>g.dk.REPATRIATIONYou must travel togetherIf you arrived <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> as a result of family reunification,you can only receive f<strong>in</strong>ancial repatriation aid if you arerepatriated together with the person with whom you wereorig<strong>in</strong>ally reunified. This, however, does not apply <strong>in</strong> caseswhere you have divorced or your spouse is deceased.Only onceIt is possible to receive repatriation aid, or aid <strong>in</strong> return<strong>in</strong>gto the former country of residence, once.Right of revocationIf with<strong>in</strong> 12 months of leav<strong>in</strong>g <strong>Denmark</strong> and be<strong>in</strong>g repatriated<strong>in</strong> your home country you regret your decision, it should bepossible for you to return to <strong>Denmark</strong>. Right of revocationonly applies once, however.149


Practical <strong>in</strong>formationPRACTICAL INFORMATIONEmergencyIn acute life-threaten<strong>in</strong>g emergenciessuch as fire, grievous bodily assault andacute illness, call 112.ChemistsAt the chemist you can buy prescriptionand non-prescription medic<strong>in</strong>e.Many supermarkets and petrol stationssell various k<strong>in</strong>ds of non-prescriptionmedic<strong>in</strong>e such as pa<strong>in</strong>killers and coughmedic<strong>in</strong>e.Chemists are normally open between09.00 and 17.30 on weekdays, with theexception of Saturday when the majorityclose at 13.00 or 14.00.In addition, chemists take turns <strong>in</strong> offer<strong>in</strong>g24-hour service. You can f<strong>in</strong>dout which chemists operate a 24-hourservice by call<strong>in</strong>g your nearest chemistor by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.sundhed.dk.You will have to pay a charge for buy<strong>in</strong>gmedic<strong>in</strong>e outside normal open<strong>in</strong>ghours.BanksBanks are open on Monday, Tuesday,Wednesday and Friday from 10.00 to16.00. On Thursdays, banks stay openlonger, until 17.30 or 18.00.Many banks have cashpo<strong>in</strong>t mach<strong>in</strong>eswhere it is possible to withdraw moneyus<strong>in</strong>g a Dankort card or credit card.LibrariesAll municipal authorities have librarieswhere you can borrow books, CDsand videos and ga<strong>in</strong> free access tothe Internet.Most ma<strong>in</strong> libraries are open on weekdaysfrom 10.00 to 19.00, and from10.00 to 13.00 or 14.00 on Saturday.Local libraries usually have shorteropen<strong>in</strong>g hours.Check your municipal authority websitefor local library open<strong>in</strong>g hours.Borger.dk (citizen.dk)Borger.dk is a portal that deals withpublic authorities <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Hereyou can f<strong>in</strong>d <strong>in</strong>formation on all publicauthorities and their respective areas ofresponsibility. The website also provides<strong>in</strong>formation on what you can do yourself,and who to contact to f<strong>in</strong>d out more.There are many self-service options,for example, how to notify authoritieswhen you move or how to f<strong>in</strong>d yournearest GP or chemist.ShopsAll shops are allowed to stay openMonday to Saturday from 06.00 to17.00. Shops must normally close onSundays, public holidays, ConstitutionDay, Christmas Day and after 15.00 onNew Year’s Day. Shops with a smallturnover, however, may also stay openon Sundays and public holidays.150


All shops are also allowed to stay openon six Sundays a year. Two of theseSundays must be <strong>in</strong> July or August. Inaddition to these six Sundays, shopsare allowed to stay open on the firstSunday of each month as well as allSundays <strong>in</strong> December lead<strong>in</strong>g up toChristmas Day.Most small shops are open Mondayto Thursday from 10.00 to 18.00. Theystay open longer on Friday and closeearlier on Saturday. Many of the majorsupermarkets and department storesare open from 08.00 or 09.00 to 20.00or 21.00 <strong>in</strong> the even<strong>in</strong>g.MuseumsThere are about 850 museums andcollections around the country. Onehundred and forty are national museumsor receive grants from the state. Someof these charge an admission fee, butchildren and youngsters under 18 havefree admission to national and stateapprovedmuseums <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. Adultsalso have free admission to the NationalMuseum and Statens Museum for Kunst,and certa<strong>in</strong> other museums offer freeadmission on selected days.Danish museums <strong>in</strong>clude the majornational museums of art and historyas well as the smaller museums oflocal history and those with specialthemes such as maritime, trade andfishery. <strong>Denmark</strong> also has special prisonmuseums and museums of medic<strong>in</strong>eand medical knowledge, not to mentiontoy, chocolate, bicycle, potato andbottle ship museums.F<strong>in</strong>d out more about museums by logg<strong>in</strong>gonto www.borger.dk and click<strong>in</strong>gon “Culture and leisure time”.Public authority officesMost public authority offices havefixed office hours and times whenthey are open to the public. Many stayopen longer on Thursday and closeearly on Friday. Municipal authorities,regions and m<strong>in</strong>istries have their ownwebsites with <strong>in</strong>formation and selfserviceoptions.We refer to www.borger.dk for furtherdetails.Public transport<strong>Denmark</strong> has a well-developed publictransport system, both national andlocally. You can buy a monthly travelcard and a discount card for buses andtra<strong>in</strong>s. Ask at your tra<strong>in</strong> or bus station,or ask your municipal authority if youneed further <strong>in</strong>formation. Or log ontowww.rejseplanen.dk.PostSome kiosks and newsagents sell stamps,which are otherwise sold at post offices.Post offices dispatch letters andpackages, and handle domestic andoverseas payments. You can also notifythe authorities of a change of addressat your local post office. Here it is alsopossible to buy tickets for the theatre,concerts and various sports events.National and overseas mail must beplaced <strong>in</strong> the red letterboxes that youwill f<strong>in</strong>d almost everywhere. Collectiontimes are posted on the letterboxes.Local post offices have different open<strong>in</strong>ghours but most are open daily from 09.30to 17.00. Post offices close at 17.30 onThursday and 13.00 on Saturday.PRACTICAL INFORMATIONLog onto www.postdanmark.dk for acomplete list of postcodes and postoffice open<strong>in</strong>g hours.151


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONTelephoneTelephone boxes are to be found <strong>in</strong> manypublic places. Here you can use co<strong>in</strong>sor a special pay card, which is availablefrom newsagents and post offices.All local areas have their own telephonedirectory which is distributed to allhouseholds. In addition to telephonenumbers, it conta<strong>in</strong>s a good deal of practical<strong>in</strong>formation about your municipalauthority, the emergency doctor service,the police, associations, museums, amap of the local area and the “yellowpages” which provide <strong>in</strong>formation onlocal bus<strong>in</strong>esses.You can also f<strong>in</strong>d telephone numbersby call<strong>in</strong>g “directory enquiries” on 118,or by logg<strong>in</strong>g onto www.degulesider.dk, www.krak.dk or www.eniro.dk, forexample.152


Places to f<strong>in</strong>d more <strong>in</strong>formationInternetwww.borger.dkA complete overview of state, regionaland municipal authority <strong>in</strong>formationand self-service options. In Danish.www.f<strong>in</strong>fo.dkInformation about Danish society <strong>in</strong> anumber of languages. Here you can alsof<strong>in</strong>d a list of ethnic and cross-culturalassociations <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.www.denmark.dkInformation about Danish society <strong>in</strong> English,German, French and Spanish.www.workimport.dkInformation about seek<strong>in</strong>g employment<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. In Danish, English,German, Swedish and Polish.www.work<strong>in</strong>denmark.dkInformation for foreign knowledgeworkers about liv<strong>in</strong>g and work<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><strong>Denmark</strong>. In English.www.study<strong>in</strong>denmark.dkInformation about liv<strong>in</strong>g and study<strong>in</strong>g<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. In English.Telephone1881 - here you can get help to f<strong>in</strong>drelevant public <strong>in</strong>formation regard<strong>in</strong>gDanish society, authorities or self-serviceoptionsService <strong>in</strong> Danish and EnglishIf you are call<strong>in</strong>g from abroad, youneed to dial: 70 10 18 81Your local libraryYour local library can help you f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>formation and <strong>in</strong>formation searches.Most libraries have their own computersthat provide Internet access for<strong>in</strong>formation search<strong>in</strong>g.Your municipal authorityYour municipal authority is the first steptowards ga<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g a foothold <strong>in</strong> Danishsociety. Here you can seek help andadvice about hous<strong>in</strong>g, education andemployment.At www.kl.dk, Local Government <strong>Denmark</strong>’s(KL) website, you can f<strong>in</strong>d municipalauthority addresses, website ande-mail addresses, telephone numbersand a great deal more.Factsheet <strong>Denmark</strong>A series of <strong>in</strong>formation sheets withgeneral <strong>in</strong>formation about <strong>Denmark</strong>’shistory, politics economy, culture, etc.<strong>in</strong> English, German, French and Spanish,which can be obta<strong>in</strong>ed from thefollow<strong>in</strong>g l<strong>in</strong>k:www.um.dk/da/servicemenu/Publikationer/<strong>Danmark</strong>s<strong>in</strong>formationPaaAndreSprogYou can also obta<strong>in</strong> them bycontact<strong>in</strong>g:Udenrigsm<strong>in</strong>isteriet (the Danish M<strong>in</strong>istryof Foreign Affairs) Asiatisk Plads 21448 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 92 08 89E-mail: ke@um.dkPRACTICAL INFORMATIONYou can also contact KL on 33 70 33 70to obta<strong>in</strong> this <strong>in</strong>formation.153


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONOverblik (Overview)- <strong>in</strong> simple DanishOverblik is published 10 times a year. Thepublication conta<strong>in</strong>s eight pages of currentarticles about <strong>Denmark</strong>, <strong>in</strong>ternationalaffairs, culture and sport.The publication can be ordered from:Notat GrafiskNordkystvejen 2F8961 All<strong>in</strong>gåbroTelephone: 86 48 08 54Website: www.paaletdansk.dkE-mail: adm@pptekst.dk154


Organisations and <strong>in</strong>stitutions of special importance tonew citizensM<strong>in</strong>isteriet for Flygtn<strong>in</strong>ge,Indvandrere og Integration(the M<strong>in</strong>istry forRefugees, Immigration &Integration Affairs)Holbergsgade 61057 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 92 33 80Website: www.nyidanmark.dkE-mail: <strong>in</strong>m@<strong>in</strong>m.dkDeals with matters relat<strong>in</strong>g to generalimmigration and <strong>in</strong>tegration policy as wellas citizenship. Acts as an appeals body forImmigration Service decisions on familyreunification, visas and employmentresidence permits or permits issued onspecial grounds, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g those issuedfor humanitarian reasons.<strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>g asylum cases, family reunification,residence and work permits, andvisas. Acts as an appeals body <strong>in</strong> casesdeal<strong>in</strong>g with residence and work permits<strong>in</strong> accordance with special EU/EEAregulations.Flygtn<strong>in</strong>genævnet(the Refugee Board)St. Kongensgade 1-31264 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 92 96 00Website: www.fln.dkE-mail: fln@<strong>in</strong>m.dkThe Refugee Board deals with compla<strong>in</strong>tsregard<strong>in</strong>g Immigration Service decisionson immigrant citizens’ requests forasylum <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>.Advises the M<strong>in</strong>ister for Integration onimportant questions relat<strong>in</strong>g to immigrantsand refugees. Elected fromamongst representatives of the municipal<strong>in</strong>tegration councils.Statsforvaltn<strong>in</strong>gen(the State Adm<strong>in</strong>istration)There are five regional state adm<strong>in</strong>istrations<strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>. These adm<strong>in</strong>istrationsdeal with cases relat<strong>in</strong>g to separation,divorce, spousal support, child supportpayments, custody, co-habitation casesand names. They also deal with casesrelat<strong>in</strong>g to residence and work permits<strong>in</strong> accordance with special EU/EEAregulations.Website: www.statsforvaltn<strong>in</strong>g.dkPRACTICAL INFORMATIONUdlænd<strong>in</strong>geservice(The Immigration Service)Ryesgade 532100 Copenhagen ØTelephone: 35 36 66 00Website: www.nyidanmark.dkE-mail: udlst@udlst.dkProcess<strong>in</strong>g of cases deal<strong>in</strong>g with immigrantaccess to residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>,Rådet for EtniskeM<strong>in</strong>oriteter (the Councilfor Ethnic M<strong>in</strong>orities)M<strong>in</strong>istry for Refugees, Immigration &Integration AffairsHolbergsgade 61057 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 92 27 90Website: www.rem.dkE-mail: rem@<strong>in</strong>m.dkJob centresEvery municipal authority has its ownjob centre. Each job centre has its ownwebsite featur<strong>in</strong>g local <strong>in</strong>formation forjob seekers and employers. The ma<strong>in</strong>job centre website conta<strong>in</strong>s further<strong>in</strong>formation about job centre services and<strong>in</strong>dividual job centre contact details.Website: www.jobnet.dk155


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONDansk Flygtn<strong>in</strong>gehjælp(the Danish Refugee Council)Borgergade 10, 3rd floorPostboks 531002 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 73 50 00Website: www.flygtn<strong>in</strong>g.dkE-mail: drc@drc.dkA humanitarian organisation that helpsrefugees, supports voluntary <strong>in</strong>tegrationwork and advises on the possibilitiesfor immigrant and refugee repatriation.The Danish refugee Council alsoprovides homework assistance andsocial activities such as women’s clubsand communal eat<strong>in</strong>g.Dansk Røde Kors(the Danish Red Cross)Blegdamsvej 272100 Copenhagen ØTelephone: 35 25 92 00Website: www.drk.dkE-mail: <strong>in</strong>fo@drk.dkHumanitarian organisation that providesvoluntary <strong>in</strong>tegration assistance. DanishRed Cross activities <strong>in</strong>clude homeworkassistance and bicycle tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g for adults,women’s groups and cross-culturalevents.Ungdommens Røde Kors(the Danish Red Cross Youth)Borgergade 10, 2nd floor2200 Copenhagen ØTelephone: 35 37 25 55Website: www.urk.dkE-mail: <strong>in</strong>fo@urk.dkAn <strong>in</strong>dependent humanitarian youthorganisation under the Danish RedCross. Danish Red Cross Youth activities<strong>in</strong>clude homework assistance cafés forchildren and young people.Institut for Menneskerettigheder(the Danish Institutefor Human Rights)Strandgade 561401 Copenhagen KTelephone: 32 69 88 88Website: www.humanrights.dkE-mail: center@humanrights.dkAn <strong>in</strong>stitute that gathers knowledge onhuman rights <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, Europe and<strong>in</strong>ternational human rights. In addition,the <strong>in</strong>stitute handles <strong>in</strong>dividual compla<strong>in</strong>tsabout racial discrim<strong>in</strong>ation outside thelabour market.Klagekomitéen for EtniskLigebehandl<strong>in</strong>g(Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Committee forEthnic Equal Treatment)Strandgade 561401 Copenhagen KTelephone: 32 69 89 44/ 32 69 89 45Website: www.klagekomite.dkE-mail: klagekomite@humanrights.dkThe Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Committee’s task isto handle <strong>in</strong>dividual compla<strong>in</strong>ts ofdiscrim<strong>in</strong>ation on the basis of race orethnic orig<strong>in</strong>. It does not cost anyth<strong>in</strong>gto file a compla<strong>in</strong>t and anyone canregister a compla<strong>in</strong>t with the Compla<strong>in</strong>tsCommittee.156


Political partiesList of parties eligible to stand for parliamentaryelection as of 1 October 2006(<strong>in</strong> alphabetical order).Dansk Folkeparti(the Danish People’s Party)Christiansborg1240 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 37 51 99Website: www.danskfolkeparti.dkE-mail: df@ft.dkEnhedslisten - the Red-GreensStudiestræde 24, 1st floor1455 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 93 33 24Website: www.enhedslisten.dkE-mail: landskontoret@enhedslisten.dkKonservative Folkeparti, Det(the Danish Conservative Party)<strong>Ny</strong>havn 4Postboks 15151051 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 13 41 40Website: www.konservative.dkE-mail: <strong>in</strong>fo@konservative.dkKristendemokraterne(the Christian Democratic Party)Allégade 24 A, 1st floor2000 FrederiksbergTelephone: 33 27 78 10Website: www.kd.dkE-mail: kd@kd.dkRadikale Venstre, Det(the Danish Radical Left Party)Christiansborg1240 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 37 47 47Website: www.radikale.dkE-mail: radikale@radikale.dkSocialdemokratiet(the Danish SocialDemocratic Party)Danasvej 71910 Frederiksberg CTelephone: 72 30 08 00Website: www.socialdemokraterne.dkE-mail: <strong>in</strong>fo@socdem.dkSocialistisk Folkeparti(the Danish SocialistPeople’s Party)Christiansborg1240 Copenhagen KTelephone: 33 37 44 44Website: www.sf.dkE-mail: sf@sf.dkVenstre, <strong>Danmark</strong>s Liberale Parti(Venstre, <strong>Denmark</strong>’sLiberal Party)Søllerødvej 302840 HolteTelephone: 45 80 22 33Website: www.venstre.dkE-mail: venstre@venstre.dkPRACTICAL INFORMATION157


Explanation of wordsPRACTICAL INFORMATIONAccess to recordsIn accordance with the Public Records Act,everyone has access to records held bythe state and municipal authorities.Authorities can deny access to safeguardthe privacy of others, state security orthe f<strong>in</strong>ancial <strong>in</strong>terests of the state.If you party to a case, you have expandedright of access to case records.ActivationIf you are claim<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong>troductory benefit,cash benefit or unemployment benefit,you must have help and guidance tobeg<strong>in</strong> an education or f<strong>in</strong>d employment.This is called activation and may take theform of courses or on-the-job tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.It is both a right and a duty to participate<strong>in</strong> activation as well as a precondition forreceiv<strong>in</strong>g f<strong>in</strong>ancial assistance.Build<strong>in</strong>g management officeThe owner of a build<strong>in</strong>g hires staff tomanage the build<strong>in</strong>g. They handle rentalcontracts, collect rent, hire caretakersand ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> contact with tenants.<strong>Citizen</strong>s' listA citizens' list is a list of non-party candidatesat a municipal election. <strong>Citizen</strong>s'lists represent special local <strong>in</strong>terests.Consumer Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Board, TheThe Consumer Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Board is astate <strong>in</strong>stitution that deals with consumercompla<strong>in</strong>ts relat<strong>in</strong>g to goods and services.The National Consumer Agency of<strong>Denmark</strong> is secretariat to the ConsumerCompla<strong>in</strong>ts Board.CustodyCustody is the parents' duty to care fortheir child and make personal decisionson the child's behalf that serve the best<strong>in</strong>terests of the child. Parents who aremarried have jo<strong>in</strong>t custody of theirchildren. If the parents are unmarried, themother will be awarded custody unless theparents decide otherwise. If the parentsare separated or get divorced, they arenormally awarded jo<strong>in</strong>t custody.Council of Europe, TheThe Council of Europe is an <strong>in</strong>ter-governmentalpolitical organisation founded<strong>in</strong> 1949. The Council has 47 memberstates that work together to promotedemocracy and human rights. It is theCouncil of Europe that is responsible fordraw<strong>in</strong>g up the European Conventionon Human Rights of 1950.Danish Parliament, TheFolket<strong>in</strong>get is the Danish National Parliament.Folket<strong>in</strong>get has 179 members, twoof whom are from Greenland and theFaroe Islands.Members are elected to serve for afour-year term. The prime m<strong>in</strong>ister cancall for a general election before theend of the four-year term. Elections areheld us<strong>in</strong>g proportional representation.This means that the parties runn<strong>in</strong>gfor election are given a number ofmandates <strong>in</strong> the Danish parliamentcorrespond<strong>in</strong>g to the number of votesthey received.Danish Work<strong>in</strong>g EnvironmentAuthority, TheThe Danish Work<strong>in</strong>g Environment Authorityis a public body whose task is tocreate a safe, healthy and progressivework environment <strong>in</strong> the workplace. Toachieve these goals, the authority carriesout regular <strong>in</strong>spection of companies,draws up rules and regulations and158


publishes <strong>in</strong>formation about occupationalhealth and safety. The Danish Work<strong>in</strong>gEnvironment Authority has offices aroundthe country. We refer to www.at.dk forfurther details.Dankort payment cardThe Dankort card is a special Danish paymentcard issued by the banks. Dankortcards are accepted <strong>in</strong> most places. Youwill be given a PIN code which must beused when withdraw<strong>in</strong>g money fromcashpo<strong>in</strong>t mach<strong>in</strong>es. Some shops requirea signature on a Dankort receipt.DemocracyThe word "folkestyre" meansdemocracy.District courtThe district court is the court of first<strong>in</strong>stance <strong>in</strong> the Danish judicial system.District courts deal with civil cases andthe majority of crim<strong>in</strong>al cases.Educational associationAn educational association is an organisationthat coord<strong>in</strong>ates and manageseducation work, especially <strong>in</strong> connectionwith vocational education.EEA, TheThe EEA is an abbreviation of the EuropeanEconomic Area. This is an agreementbetween the EU member states andIceland, Norway and Liechtenste<strong>in</strong>. Theagreement came <strong>in</strong>to force <strong>in</strong> 1994 anddeals with the free movement of labour,goods, people, services and capital as wellas uniform rules of competition.EU, TheUp until 1993, the European Union wasknown as the EC (the European Community).Cooperation has graduallyevolved s<strong>in</strong>ce the first six countries signedthe Treaty of Rome <strong>in</strong> 1957. <strong>Denmark</strong>became a member of the EC follow<strong>in</strong>ga national referendum <strong>in</strong> 1972. The EUnow comprises 27 European memberstates. These are Belgium, Bulgaria,Cyprus, <strong>Denmark</strong>, England, Estonia,F<strong>in</strong>land, France, Greece, Holland, Ireland,Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland,Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,Spa<strong>in</strong>, Sweden, the Czech Republic,Germany, Hungary and Austria.European Parliament, TheThe European Parliament has 785 memberswho are elected by the citizens ofits 27 EU member states. Members areelected to serve for a five-year term.The number of members depends onthe size of the country. <strong>Denmark</strong> has14 members.Evangelical LutheranThe Danish National Church is an EvangelicalLutheran Church. This meansthat it belongs to the Christian Church,which split off from the Roman CatholicChurch dur<strong>in</strong>g the Reformation <strong>in</strong> the16th century.Folk high schoolThe folk high school - commonly referredto as the high school - is a special formof board<strong>in</strong>g school for adults and youngpeople. High schools came <strong>in</strong>to be<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong><strong>Denmark</strong> <strong>in</strong> the mid-n<strong>in</strong>eteenth century.The idea beh<strong>in</strong>d the high school is togive young people and adults an <strong>in</strong>sight<strong>in</strong>to history, culture and social life. Highschools offer courses <strong>in</strong> music, art, sport,philosophy and social studies. Tuitiondoes not lead to formal qualificationsand pupils do not sit exams.PRACTICAL INFORMATION159


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONGeneral educationGeneral education is tuition and educationfor adults <strong>in</strong> general subjects, andis not work-related. General educationis especially managed by high schools,libraries, cultural, ecclesiastical or politicalorganisations.Health and safety representativeA health and safety representative iselected by work colleagues to representtheir <strong>in</strong>terests <strong>in</strong> relation to the employer<strong>in</strong> questions regard<strong>in</strong>g health and safety<strong>in</strong> the workplace. A health and safetyrepresentative is elected for a two-yearterm <strong>in</strong> the same way as a trade unionrepresentative, and must receive specialtra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g.High schoolWe refer to Folk high school for furtherdetails.Homeowners' associationA homeowners' association is an associationformed by private homeowners <strong>in</strong>a given residential area. The associationdeals with matters of common <strong>in</strong>terest- such as the ma<strong>in</strong>tenance of pavementsand roads, for example.Immigration Service, TheThe Immigration Service is part of theM<strong>in</strong>istry of Integration, but its decisionsare <strong>in</strong>dependent of the m<strong>in</strong>istry. TheImmigration Service deals with numerousmatters relat<strong>in</strong>g to immigrant entryand residence <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, <strong>in</strong>clud<strong>in</strong>gasylum, family reunification, visas andwork permits, for example. The ImmigrationService makes its decisionson the basis of specific applications,and provides <strong>in</strong>formation on entry endresidence conditions.Industrial Court, TheThe Industrial Court is a special courtthat rules <strong>in</strong> cases deal<strong>in</strong>g with the <strong>in</strong>terpretationand violation of agreementsand accords between employers andemployees. Judges are appo<strong>in</strong>ted bythe M<strong>in</strong>ister of Employment.K<strong>in</strong>gdom of <strong>Denmark</strong>, TheThe K<strong>in</strong>gdom of <strong>Denmark</strong> is an economic,judicial and l<strong>in</strong>guistic communitythat unites <strong>Denmark</strong>, the Faroe Islandsand Greenland together <strong>in</strong>to one k<strong>in</strong>gdomunder the Danish constitution.With<strong>in</strong> the conf<strong>in</strong>es of the agreement,Greenland and the Faroe Islands arelargely self-govern<strong>in</strong>g.Maritime and CommercialCourt, TheThe Maritime and Commercial Court is acourt that deals with commercial mattersand accidents at sea. The Maritime andCommercial Court consists of a president,one or more vice president(s), a judgeand a number of experts.Maternity wardsA maternity ward is a hospital wardwhere women are admitted togetherwith their newborn babies immediatelyafter birth.Media licenceA media licence is the user fee youpay when you own a radio, a TV or acomputer that can receive radio and TVprogrammes. This is a fee for the rightto receive radio and TV programmes.The media licence is used to f<strong>in</strong>ance<strong>Danmark</strong>s Radio - both its radio and TVdepartments - and TV2. Both stations havea so-called public service duty.Mortgage providerA mortgage is a loan which is securedaga<strong>in</strong>st real property. When you takeout a mortgage your house acts as asecurity for the loan. Mortgage lendersand mortgage credit <strong>in</strong>stitutes providethis k<strong>in</strong>d of loan.160


Municipal authoritiesAs of 1 January 2007, <strong>Denmark</strong> is divided<strong>in</strong>to 98 municipal authorities. Amunicipality is a public authority thatperforms a number of services <strong>in</strong> the localcommunity. The municipal authoritiesare free to make their own decisions <strong>in</strong>most areas.Municipal authorities are run by municipalcouncils which are elected everyfour years by the citizens liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> theauthority.Municipal wasterecycl<strong>in</strong>g centresIt is the job of the municipal authoritiesto ensure that as much waste as possibleis recycled. For this reason, authoritieshave municipal waste recycl<strong>in</strong>g centreswhere people can grade their wasteand place it <strong>in</strong> special conta<strong>in</strong>ers forcardboard, glass, metal and gardenwaste, for example. Hazardous waste isdelivered separately.National Board ofIndustrial Injuries, TheThe National Board of Industrial Injuries isa neutral body that determ<strong>in</strong>es whetheran <strong>in</strong>jury or illness can be recognised asan occupational <strong>in</strong>jury. The board alsodecides whether you are entitled tocompensation. It is the employer's <strong>in</strong>surancecompany that pays out employeecompensation.We refer to www.arbejdsskadestyrelsen.dk for further details.National Church, TheAccord<strong>in</strong>g to the Danish constitution,the Evangelical Lutheran Church isthe National Danish Church. The word"national" signals that the majority of thepopulation belongs to the Church, andthat it has a closer association with thestate than other religious communities.In accordance with the constitution, thestate must support the National Church,and parliament sets the guidel<strong>in</strong>es forthe adm<strong>in</strong>istration of church affairs, andthe state does not normally <strong>in</strong>terfere <strong>in</strong>ecclesiastical matters. Danish NationalChurch services are open to the public,and church members can freely availthemselves of church ceremonies suchas christen<strong>in</strong>gs, confirmations, marriagesand funerals. National Church priests andparish clerks are responsible for register<strong>in</strong>gall births <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong>, a traditionthat dates back to ancient times. Oneexception, however, is Southern Jutland,where a person's registrar is responsiblefor register<strong>in</strong>g births. National Churchpriests also act as a funeral authority,and as such must grant permissionbefore the deceased can be buried orcremated.National referendumsA national referendum gives the populationthe opportunity to vote on a specificdecision that the Danish Parliament hasmade or is about to make. Nationalreferendums can either be b<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g orof an <strong>in</strong>dicative nature for parliament.In accordance with the Danish constitution,changes to the constitution andquestions regard<strong>in</strong>g loss of sovereigntyto supranational authorities must bedecided by national referendum. Thelast time a national referendum wasused was <strong>in</strong> connection with <strong>Denmark</strong>'smembership of the EU.PRACTICAL INFORMATION161


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONNATONATO is an abbreviation for North AtlanticTreaty Organisation, which is a westerndefence organisation formed <strong>in</strong> 1949.NATO is based on the Atlantic Treaty,which was signed by 12 countries. Todaythere are 26 member countries and theorganisation collaborates with Russia.Night schoolNight school is voluntary educationthat takes place <strong>in</strong> a person's leisuretime. Tuition covers a wide range ofsubjects such as languages, history,IT, philosophy, draw<strong>in</strong>g and physicalexercise. The classes do not lead toqualifications and there are no exams.Night school classes are normally runby an educational association*.Non-prescription medic<strong>in</strong>eVarious k<strong>in</strong>ds of medic<strong>in</strong>e can bebought over the counter, i.e. withouta doctor's prescription. Chemists stockboth non-prescription and prescriptionmedic<strong>in</strong>e.OECDOECD is an abbreviation for the Organisationfor Economic Cooperation andDevelopment. This <strong>in</strong>ter-governmentalorganisation numbers 30 membercountries. It was founded <strong>in</strong> 1961. Itsgoal is to ensure a high standard ofliv<strong>in</strong>g and economic growth for itsmember states.Probate Court, TheThe Probate Court is a division of thedistrict court. It deals with estates, bankruptestates and questions regard<strong>in</strong>g thedistribution of spousal assets follow<strong>in</strong>gdivorce.Public prosecutorA public prosecutor represents thestate <strong>in</strong> crim<strong>in</strong>al cases tried by the highcourts.Public servicePublic service is a term for radio and TVchannels whose purpose it is to broadcastprogrammes of <strong>in</strong>terest to the generalpublic. <strong>Danmark</strong>s Radio (DR) and TV2are public service stations. They havea duty to broadcast balanced, culturaland <strong>in</strong>formative programmes.Regional councilsAs of 1 January 2007, <strong>Denmark</strong> is dividedup <strong>in</strong>to five regions, each of whichmanages regional tasks such as hospitaladm<strong>in</strong>istration, public transport andregional development tasks. Regionsare run by regional councils compris<strong>in</strong>g41 members who are elected everyfour years by the citizens liv<strong>in</strong>g <strong>in</strong> theregion.Remanded <strong>in</strong> custodyTo be remanded <strong>in</strong> custody simply meansthat a person who is suspected of hav<strong>in</strong>gcommitted a crime is kept <strong>in</strong> prison.Rent control boardAll municipal authorities must haverent control boards. Many municipalauthorities have a jo<strong>in</strong>t rent controlboard. The rent control board deals162


with compla<strong>in</strong>ts about the amount ofrent, the condition of the apartmentand other matters relat<strong>in</strong>g to tenancyconditions.Representational democracyA representative democracy is a form ofgovernment whereby the people electmembers to a representative body. In<strong>Denmark</strong>, these bodies consist of theDanish Parliament, the five regions andthe municipal authorities.Resident associationA resident association is an associationformed by residents who are tenantsof the same build<strong>in</strong>g association. Theassociation represents the <strong>in</strong>terests of theresidents <strong>in</strong> relation to the landlord.Schengen Agreement, TheThe Schengen Agreement is a collaborativeagreement between theEU member states, Belgium, <strong>Denmark</strong>,F<strong>in</strong>land, Greece, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg,Portugal, Spa<strong>in</strong>, Germanyand Austria and Norway, which is nota member of the EU. Accord<strong>in</strong>g to theprovisions of the Schengen Agreement,member state citizens can freely crosseach other's borders without bordercontrol. <strong>Denmark</strong> has been a members<strong>in</strong>ce 1997.Schengen <strong>in</strong>formationsystem, TheOne of the central features of the SchengenAgreement is the establishment of anelectronic network that enables all policeauthorities and consulates <strong>in</strong> Schengenmember countries to have access to<strong>in</strong>formation about reported personsand miss<strong>in</strong>g articles and vehicles.SSP schemeThe SSP scheme is a collaborative effort<strong>in</strong>volv<strong>in</strong>g schools, municipal socialauthorities and the police. Its aim is toprevent crime amongst children andyoung people.State adm<strong>in</strong>istration, TheThe state adm<strong>in</strong>istration consists ofregional state bodies whose duties <strong>in</strong>cludea number of tasks <strong>in</strong> connection withseparation, divorce, custody and childvisit<strong>in</strong>g rights. The state adm<strong>in</strong>istrationalso handles adoption compla<strong>in</strong>t cases,and rules on municipal authority decisionsconcern<strong>in</strong>g work and social matters.In areas where there are no specialregulatory authorities, the state regionaladm<strong>in</strong>istrations monitor the municipalauthorities to ensure that they observethe laws particularly relat<strong>in</strong>g to publicauthorities.Subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g associationA subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g association buildsand rents out state-subsidised hous<strong>in</strong>g.Municipal authorities have a certa<strong>in</strong>number of subsidised apartments attheir disposal that can be allocated tolocal residents.Everyone over the age of 15 can havetheir names put down on a wait<strong>in</strong>g listfor a subsidised apartment. There is asmall charge for this service. In manycases, f<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g a subsidised apartmentcan take many years.PRACTICAL INFORMATION163


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONTrade union representativeA trade union representative is electedby and from among work colleaguesfor a two-year period. The trade unionrepresentative must represent the <strong>in</strong>terestsof the employees <strong>in</strong> relation tothe employer. It is also the job of therepresentative to represent the tradeunion <strong>in</strong> the workplace.UN, TheThe UN is an abbreviation for the UnitedNations, the United Nations Organisationof 1945. The organisation's goal isto ma<strong>in</strong>ta<strong>in</strong> <strong>in</strong>ternational peace andsecurity, and to cooperate <strong>in</strong>ternationallyto resolve <strong>in</strong>ternational economic,social, cultural and humanitarian conflictsand promote respect for human rights.The UN has 192 members and six ma<strong>in</strong>organs. These are the General Assembly,the Security Council, the Economic andSocial Council, the Trusteeship Council,the International Court of Justice andthe Secretariat. The UN headquartersare <strong>in</strong> New York.Unemployment benefitUnemployment benefit is f<strong>in</strong>ancialassistance given to unemployed whoare members of an unemploymentfund (a-kasse).Unemployment fundAn unemployment fund or a-kasse isa private association of employees or<strong>in</strong>dependent bus<strong>in</strong>ess owners, and itspurpose is to provide f<strong>in</strong>ancial assistanceto its members if they becomeunemployed. Unemployment fundsare closely associated with trade unionsbut you can become a member of anunemployment fund without be<strong>in</strong>g amember of a trade union.WHOWHO is an abbreviation for World HealthOrganisation, (Verdenssundhedsorganisationen),which is an organisation thatwas founded <strong>in</strong> 1948 under the UN. Itsgoal is to monitor <strong>in</strong>fectious diseases andimplement health programmes.Yellow pages, TheThe yellow pages are pages <strong>in</strong> a telephonedirectory that provide <strong>in</strong>formation onbus<strong>in</strong>esses. The yellow pages can alsobe found at www.degulesider.dk.Youth education counsellorYouth education counsellors (UU) canbe contacted at special centres <strong>in</strong> yourmunicipal authority. Here, people under25 can seek educational advice andcounsell<strong>in</strong>g.164


INDEX24-hour dental emergencyservice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140AAbortion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Access to records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,158Accountant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112Activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103,158Adult education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93Adult vocation tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g (amu) . . . . . . . 95Advisory centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58Aerial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51Aerial association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51Aerial scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51After-school centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103Alarm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134Alcohol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105,141Allowance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117Annual meet<strong>in</strong>g, association . . . . 46,125Application, asylum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28Application, job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101Associations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125Asylum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28BBallot paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,111,150Bank account . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111Bi-l<strong>in</strong>gual children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81Birth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Birth certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Birth certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Birth certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Birth preparation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Boards, approved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Body passport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Build<strong>in</strong>g adm<strong>in</strong>istration office . . . 49,159Build<strong>in</strong>g association . . . . . . . . . . 43,49,158Burial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71,128Burial assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Burial sites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71,128Bus<strong>in</strong>ess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99CCapital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Capital punishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Careers advisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89Caretaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49Case history . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58Cash benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102CBR number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Cemetery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Cemetery, Muslim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Chemist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140,15Child placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Child support payments . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Childm<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29,58,64Children's birthdays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129Choice of hospital, free . . . . . . . . . . . .137Christen<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Christian studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146Christmas lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146Church tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117,128Circumcision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66Cirius . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96<strong>Citizen</strong>s' lists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,159<strong>Citizen</strong>s test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39<strong>Citizen</strong>ship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38<strong>Citizen</strong>ship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39Cohabitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Colleagues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105Common rooms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50Company, establish<strong>in</strong>g a . . . . . . . . . . .107Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,106Compla<strong>in</strong>t guidel<strong>in</strong>es, hous<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . 46Compla<strong>in</strong>ts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115Comprehensive school . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76Compulsory education . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73Compulsory hospitalisation . . . . . . . .138Compulsory hospitalisation . . . . . . . .138Constitution Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145Constitutional rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Consultancy, company . . . . . . . . . . . . .107Consultancy, f<strong>in</strong>ancial . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112Consumer Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Board . .116,161Consumer rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115Cont<strong>in</strong>uation school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82Contraception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Conventions, International . . . . . . . . . . 21Conversion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52Cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46Cooperative hous<strong>in</strong>g member . . . 46,52Cooperative Hous<strong>in</strong>g Society . . . . 46,52Council of Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21,16Courts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,19Credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111Crime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Crime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Crim<strong>in</strong>al record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Crisis aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58Crisis centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58Crisis help l<strong>in</strong>e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66Customs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145CV (curriculum vitae) . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101Cyclists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10PRACTICAL INFORMATION165


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONDDanish Alien Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37Danish Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Danish education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34Danish Education Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Danish National Church . . . . . . . . . 127,16Danish Refugee Council . . . . . . .149,156Danish tuition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37,81Danish Work<strong>in</strong>gEnvironment Authority . . . . . . .106,159Dankort payment card . . . . . . . . .111,159<strong>Danmark</strong>s Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122,162Day care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Day-care centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Day-care subsidy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62Death . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Death certificate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Death report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Debate, public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122Democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161Democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,163Democratic society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Democratic societyfounded on law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Dental care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139Dentist, private . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139Deportation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31Deposit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Deposit, hous<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Development Co-operation,<strong>in</strong>ternational . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22Diatery supplement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143Disability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68Discrim<strong>in</strong>ation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106District court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,14,159Divorce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Dr<strong>in</strong>k<strong>in</strong>g licence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Duty of secrecy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18,33,133EEarly retirement pension . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Easter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111Education. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73Education, foreign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96EEA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25,16Elderly council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Electricity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Emergency doctor service . . . . . . . . .134Employment contract . . . . . . . . . . . . .102Employment <strong>in</strong>terview . . . . . . . . . . . . .100Enrolment, higher education . . . . . . . . 91Entry requirements, education . . . . . . 91Estate agent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47EU (the European Union) . . . . . . . 21,159European Convention onHuman Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21European Parliament . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,159Evangelical Lutheran church . . . . 127,16Exam, foreign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96Exam, municipal primary andlower secondary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81FFamily . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55,67Family <strong>in</strong>surance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,114Family reunification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Family types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55Fee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,117F<strong>in</strong>e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Fire <strong>in</strong>surance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114Folket<strong>in</strong>get, the Danish Parliament . . 13,161Forced marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29,56Free Legal Aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Free place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62Freedom of association . . . . . . . . . . . .104Freedom of speech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13GGeneral education . . . . . . . . . . 73,123,161General elections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17General practitioner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,18Grades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78,91Green Card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26,27HHealth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131,142Health and SafetyRepresentative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106,163Health <strong>in</strong>surance, private . . . . . . . . . . .140Health Service, the Danish . . . . . . . . .131Health visitor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60Healthcare card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33,131Healthcare centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70Heat<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Hf (higher preparatoryexam<strong>in</strong>ation) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85,93Hhx (higher commercialexam<strong>in</strong>ation) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85High Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14High school. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123,16Homeowner's association . . . . . . . 49,161Homework assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83Homosexual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Hospital, rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137House rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49Hous<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Hous<strong>in</strong>g office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Hous<strong>in</strong>g, exchange of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47Hous<strong>in</strong>g, sheltered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70Htx (higher technical exam<strong>in</strong>ation . . . 85Human rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21,156166


IIllness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132Immigration service . . . . . . . . . 28,155,164Infidelity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Informative consumer labell<strong>in</strong>g . . . .116Institution, <strong>in</strong>tegrated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53,114Integration contract . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37Integration council. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15Interpreter assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33Introductory payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38Introductory programme . . . . . . . . . . . 37JJob centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99,102,155Job tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158Jo<strong>in</strong>t property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56KK<strong>in</strong>gdom of <strong>Denmark</strong> . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,163LLabell<strong>in</strong>g, consumer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116Labour market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103Legal Advice Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Legal aid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Leisure time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123Liability <strong>in</strong>surance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121,150,153Lifestyle disease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141Loan, bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,111Loan, property purchase . . . . . . . . 48,162MMak<strong>in</strong>g an appo<strong>in</strong>tment, dentist . . .140Mak<strong>in</strong>g an appo<strong>in</strong>tment, doctor . . .132Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56,128Marriage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Marriage, physical abuse . . . . . . . . . 30,58Maternity leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Maternity ma<strong>in</strong>tenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Maternity ward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Maternity ward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59,159Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122Media licence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122,162Medic<strong>in</strong>e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140Mentally ill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138Midwife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58M<strong>in</strong>isteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Monarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Mortgage credit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,162Mortgage lender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,162Mothers groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60Mother-tongue teach<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . 81Mov<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53Municipal authority . . . . . . . . . . 13,17,162Municipal primary and lower secondaryschool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Municipality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Museums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151NNam<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59National Board of IndustrialInjuries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106,158National Consumer Agencyof <strong>Denmark</strong> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .161National referendum . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,16NATO (the North AtlanticTreaty Organisation) . . . . . . . . . . . 22,162Night school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123,158Nordic Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Nurs<strong>in</strong>g home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70OOccupational health & safety . .105,159Occupational <strong>in</strong>jury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106OECD (Organisation forEconomic Co-operation& Development) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22,162Offices, public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151Ombudsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18Outdoor nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61Overdraft facility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111Owner occupied hous<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . 47PParent board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Parent meet<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Parental custody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56,161Parental leave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59Partnership, registered . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56Partnerships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105,129Party . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,157Passport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40Pension sav<strong>in</strong>gs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Period of notice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102Personal contents <strong>in</strong>surance . . . . . 53,114Personal identification number . . . . . . 33Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20Population . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Possibilities for compla<strong>in</strong>t . . . . . . . . . .116Postal service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151Power, executive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Power, judicial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Power, legislative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Practical tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86Pregnancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58Pre-retirement benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Pre-school class . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76PRACTICAL INFORMATION167


PRACTICAL INFORMATIONPrescription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140Preventive health exam, child . . . 60,135Primary and lowersecondary school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Prime M<strong>in</strong>ister . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14,161Prison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Private employment agency . . . . . . . . 99Probate Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71,163Production school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87Property tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117Prosecution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Psychiatric hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138Psychological counsell<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . .133Public holidays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145Public Prosecutor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21,163Public service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122,162Pupil councils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80RRate of taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118Rate of taxation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118Recreational club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83Recreational life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129Recycl<strong>in</strong>g centres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51,161Red-letter days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145Refugee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22,28Refugee Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29,155Refuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51Region . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Regional council . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13,163Registrar of the State Church . . . . . 59,71Registration card, for EU citizens . . . . . 25Re-<strong>in</strong>tegration allowance . . . . . . . . . .149Religious festivals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146Remand <strong>in</strong> custody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .164Rent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Rent Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Rent Control Board . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50,162Rent lease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Rent subsidy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Rent subsidy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45Rent subsidy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46Rented accommodation . . . . . . . . . . . . 43Residence permit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26,3Resident association . . . . . . . . . . . . 49,159Resident democracy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49Retirement age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Right to vote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Right to vote . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17Royal Family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14SSchengen Agreement . . . . . . . . . . 25,163School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75School camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80School dental care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139School start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Self-government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9,163Self-redress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21Senior hous<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70Senior policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Sentence, suspended . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Sentence, unsuspended . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Separation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57Sex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65,66SFO (After-school care facility) . . . . . . 83Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150Sibl<strong>in</strong>g discount . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62Social and HealthcareTra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g Programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86Social studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34Special Court of F<strong>in</strong>al Appeal . . . . . . . . 15Special education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93Special pay cardt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159Specialist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131Sport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126Sport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126Sports association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125SSP Scheme (schools, socialauthorities and police) . . . . . . . . 20,163State adm<strong>in</strong>istration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14State Adm<strong>in</strong>istration. . . . . . . . . . . .155,164State pension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Student councils . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84SU (State Education Grant) . . . . . . . . . 84Sub-lett<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47Supreme Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15TTax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117Tax allowance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118Tax return . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117Teach<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73,75Teenagers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Telephone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152Tenant areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50Tenants Association Board . . . . . . . . . . . 49Tenants Compla<strong>in</strong>ts Board . . . . . . . . . . 50Tests, national . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78Theft . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20,53168


Trade licence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108Trade union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104Trade union representative . . . . .105,164Traffic, public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17,151TV 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122,162UUN (the United Nations) . . . . . . . . . 22,16Unemployment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102Unemployment benefit . . . . . . . .102,158Unemployment benefit . . . . . . .102,158Unemployment fund (akasse). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99,102,158Unemployment <strong>in</strong>surance . . . . . . . . .102Upper secondary school . . . . . . . . . . . . 84VVacc<strong>in</strong>ation, children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135Vacc<strong>in</strong>ation, foreign travel . . . . . . . . . .136VAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108,117Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58Visa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Visit<strong>in</strong>g hours, hospital. . . . . . . . . . . . . .137Vocational educationand tra<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86Vocational uppersecondary education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85Voluntary education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121Vuc (Adult Education Centre) . . . . . . . 90WWait<strong>in</strong>g list, childm<strong>in</strong>d<strong>in</strong>g . . . . . . . . . . . 61Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Welfare state . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55Whitsun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145WHO (World HealthOrganisation) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21,164Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99Work permit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26Work<strong>in</strong>g hours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103Written pupil plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78YYellow pages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159Youth culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Youth education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84Youth school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83Youth, crime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20PRACTICAL INFORMATION169


ColophonTitle:<strong>Citizen</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Denmark</strong> - a handbook for new citizens <strong>in</strong>Danish society.Published by:M<strong>in</strong>istry for Refugees, Immigration & Integration AffairsM<strong>in</strong>isteriet for Flygtn<strong>in</strong>ge, Indvandrere og IntegrationHolbergsgade 61057 København KTelephone: 33 92 33 80E-mail: <strong>in</strong>m@<strong>in</strong>m.dkEditorial team:The M<strong>in</strong>istry for Refugees, Immigration & IntegrationAffairs <strong>in</strong> collaboration with Commitment KommunikationApS.This <strong>in</strong>formation was correct at the date of go<strong>in</strong>g topr<strong>in</strong>t - 30 May 2007.ISBN, pr<strong>in</strong>ted edition:978-87-91850-02-8ISBN, electronic edition:978-87-91850-42-42. edition, 1st pr<strong>in</strong>t run:Danish language edition, August 2007.Copies:10,000.Project management:Commitment Kommunikation ApSNitivej 102000 Frederiksberg.Telephone: 70 22 07 10E-mail: post@commitment-aps.dkWebsite:www.commitment-aps.dkGraphic design and layout:Mark Gry Christiansen.Pr<strong>in</strong>ters:Pr<strong>in</strong>foHolbæk-Hedehusene A/SPicture editor:Michael Daugaard.Photos:Per Morten Abrahamsen: 134. Mark Andersen: 139. Lars Bahl: 31,47, 52, 73, 93 and 129. Ole Christiansen: 8 and 142. Jacob Dall:24. Michael Daugaard: Front and back page, 10, 15, 16, 27, 28,32, 35, 36, 41, 44, 47, 49, 50, 51, 53, 55, 58, 63, 66, 68, 75, 77, 80,82 88, 92, 94, 100, 104, 107, 109, 110, 112, 113, 115, 119, 122, 124,126, 137, 140 and 148. Anne-Li Engström: 54. Per Folkver: 132.L<strong>in</strong>da Henriksen: 85. Sonja Iskov: 61. Ulrik Jantzen: 141. StuartMcIntyre: 120. Kissen Møller-Hansen: 60, 76, 79 and 130. MortenNilsson: 20 and 96. He<strong>in</strong>e Pedersen: 127. Kristian Juul Pedersen:13. Jørgen Schytte: 65, 72, 144 and 147. Niels Aage Skovbo: 83.Stig Stasig: 67. Søren Svendsen: 70. Mikkel Østergaard: 12, 18,42, 87, 98, 101 and 138. Map of <strong>Denmark</strong>: Kampsax/Cowi: 11.Healthcare card: Danish Regions: 131.Copy:Annie Hagel <strong>in</strong> collaboration with the M<strong>in</strong>istry forRefugees, Immigration & Integration Affairs.


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