Denmark is not only the happiest country in the world. It is also a democratic, well-functioning nation. But are the Danes self-sabotaging themselves? What is the state of Denmark 2024?
Last November, the Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk announced an investment of 2.1 billion euros to expand the existing production site in Chartres, France, for the future product portfolio within serious chronic diseases. The investment is said to increase Novo Nordisk’s ability to meet future demands for innovative medicines.
Novo Nordisk is evidently not content with making life tolerable for the world’s half a billion diabetics. They now want to tackle a far more widespread problem, obesity. The company’s injectable prescription medicine Wegovy Flex Touch has catapulted sales and made Novo Nordisk the most valuable company in Europe by market capitalization.
According to the Novo Nordisk charitable funds website, the company “is dedicated to support activities in alignment with the company’s purpose of driving change to defeat diabetes and other serious conditions.” The fund is now the largest in the world.
But are the Danes now betting on one horse? Some fear that Denmark risks a Nokia/Finland scenario, and that the country’s economy is supposed to be single-handedly rescued from a recession by a company, valued more than Denmark’s GDP.
Danish companies (e. g. Novo Nordisk, Lego and Vestas) are in the top-100 list based on market capitalization.
Denmark shows solidarity with Ukraine through multifaceted and long-term support provided bilaterally and in concert with the country’s partners and allies. Since the outbreak of the war, Danish support to Ukraine amounts to approx. EUR 3.8 billion in military support and approx. EUR 388 million in civilian contributions. Of the civilian support, approx. EUR 294 million has been granted, and approx. EUR 94 million has been committed to guarantees and guarantee schemes. The Danish support to Ukraine excludes Danish support via the EU.
And the support continues. The Danish prime minister, Mette Fredriksen, has visited Kyiv three times, and Voldymyr Zelenski was in Denmark last month to accept a donation of 19 F-16 fighter jets.
On the opposite side, Denmark’s conflicted relationship with Islam continues to clash with its uncompromising approach to free speech. The burning of the Qur’an by a Danish extremist in front of Arabic embassies in Copenhagen has sent lawmakers into a twist. Clumsy wording of a new law means that protesters risk being caught in the legal net.
Denmark has economic interests in the Middle East through the country’s export of dairy products.
Regarding climate, Denmark has pledged carbon neutrality by 2050.
Denmark is a great cycling nation. The Danish professional cyclist Jonas Vingegaard Rasmussen made his Grand Tour debut at the 2020 Vuelta a Espana. In 2021, he participated in his first Tour de France and secured a second-place finish overall. In 2022, he claimed the polka dot jersey which made him the second Danish cyclist ever to win the Tour de France. Last year, Vinegaard achieved his second successive Tour the France general classification.
Actor Mads Mikkelsen is starring as Ludvig Kahlen, a poor 1755 veteran soldier with a modest pension, in the historical epic, The Promised Land (Bastarden). It’s a potential Oscar winner later this year.
The State of Denmark 2024, compiled by Tor Kjolberg