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KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in June 2022

A referendum on Denmark’s EU defence opt-out, summer holidays, festivals and other major events in Denmark in June.

The Roskilde Festival
The Roskilde Festival during its most recent edition in 2019. photo: Maria Albrechtsen Mortensen/Ritzau Scanpix

Referendum on EU defence opt-out 

The June 1st referendum on one of Denmark’s four EU opt-outs – namely, defence – takes place on the first day in June and could signal a significant change in Denmark’s EU participation if a majority of voters tick the “yes” box in favour of ending the opt-out.

In short, the defence opt-out means Denmark does not participate in EU defence policy making and is not required to take part in specified missions. A referendum over the opt-out, which was first negotiated in the 1990s, was called after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The government has campaigned for a “yes” vote to scrap the opt-out in the referendum, saying now is a time for Denmark move closer to its European allies.


Another public holiday – but make the most of it

We’re just about still in boom season for public holidays in Denmark.

Following Great Prayer Day (Store Bededag) and Ascension Day (Kristi Himmelfartsdag), Monday June 6th is the pinse or Pentecost holiday.

The extra days off through the late spring are very welcome and should be enjoyed while they’re here, because the next public holiday is not until Christmas.

READ ALSO: What public holidays does Denmark have in 2022?

Summer holidays begin

Public holidays aside, many who go to school and work in Denmark will begin their annual summer leave this year. Schools break up for the summer around June 24th – although this can vary a little locally.

For those in full or part-time employment who are covered by the Danish Holiday Act (Ferieloven), most will take three weeks off during the next couple of months, with some of this falling in June.

Of the five standard weeks or (normally 25 days) of paid vacation covered by the Holiday Act, the “main holiday period” begins on May 1st and ends on September 30th. During this time, three weeks’ consecutive vacation may be taken out of the five weeks.

Many take three weeks off in a row, sometimes coinciding with the school holidays (although others break it up) – which is why you often hear Danish people who work full time wishing each other a “good summer holiday” as if it’s the end of the school term.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about vacation in Denmark

Return of summer music festivals 

It feels like they’ve been gone a long time. Major Danish music festivals such as NorthSide in Aarhus, Tinderbox in Odense and not least the Roskilde Festival, the largest music festival in northern Europe, all return at full capacity this year after two years of cancellations and restricted events.

A couple of smaller festivals have already taken place, but the season gets underway for real in June.

The NorthSide Festival begins on June 2nd and Tinderbox on June 23rd, while Roskilde kicks off on June 25th.

Former US president to visit Denmark

It’ll probably be less talked about than the infamous presidential visit that never happened in 2019, but former President of the United States Barack Obama will visit the town of Skive in northwest Jutland during a trip to Europe this summer.

Obama will take part in a moderated debate on June 12th at the KulturCenter Skive cultural centre in the Danish town, which has a population of around 20,000.

Tickets for the event will cost upwards of 3,000 kroner. Obama took part in a comparable event in another Jutland town, Kolding, in 2018

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For members


KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?

New parental leave rules come into force, schools return and summer flight disruption are among changes and events coming to Denmark this autumn.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in August 2022?

‘Earmarking’ parental leave laws take effect

New Danish parental leave rules, ratified last year to bring the country into line with EU directives, take effect in August.

After the EU in 2019 passed a directive which required member states to ensure a minimum of nine weeks’ “earmarked” parental leave for each parent by 2022, discussions in 2021 between the government and labour market representatives resulted in an agreement over new rules, which was passed by parliament towards the end of last year.

The parental leave is called “earmarked” (øremærket in Danish) because the two parents cannot transfer the leave from one to another, which would allow one parent to take all or nearly all of the statutory parental leave.

Under the outgoing system, 32 weeks of parental leave (forældreorlov) could be distributed between parents as much or either sees fit and can be taken concurrently or consecutively.

The new rules tag more of the statutory parental leave to each parent, with 24 weeks of leave granted per parent following the birth of a child, with a total of 11 weeks “earmarked” for each parent.

The mother has a right to four weeks’ pregnancy leave prior to giving birth and both parents can take two weeks’ parental leave immediately after the birth.

That leaves a remaining earmarked 9 weeks, which can be taken at any time withing the first year after birth but are tagged to each parent, as are the initial 2 post-birth weeks. If one parent does not use all of their 11 weeks, those weeks lapse.

We have full detail on the new rules in this article.

Kids return to school after summer holidays

The school summer holidays, which often coincide with the dates on which parents place their annual leave, are about to come to an end.

Most municipal childcare institutions (like vuggestue and børnehave) reopen on August 1st, as do childcare facilities for school-age children like skolernes fritidsordning, SFO.

The first school day after the summer holidays is Monday August 8th in most of the country, but it’s worth checking with local authorities if you’re in doubt. All municipalities post the school term dates on their websites – see Odense Municipality’s website here for an example.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about vacation in Denmark 

Festival season isn’t over yet

The return of Roskilde has successfully been and gone and the 2022 Tour de France will probably pass into Danish folklore, but it’s not all done and dusted for those who enjoy the summer vibe of music festivals and major sporting events.

August music festivals include the chillout vibes of the electronic festival Stella Polaris and the more upbeat Strøm Festival in Copenhagen.

Those with Tour de France withdrawal can bask in the Postnord Denmark Tour, the country’s traditional pro cycling race which takes in some of the locations spotted on this year’s Grand Depart.

End of negative interest rates at banks

Several Danish banks and mortgage providers announced in July that they would be increasing their interest rates.

In some cases, this means the end of negative interest rates that have seen many Danish bank customers pay to have their savings deposited with a bank.

Broadcaster TV2 lists Nykredit, Arbejdernes Landsbank, Vestjysk Bank, Lån & Spar, Saxo Bank, Stadil Sparekasse, Frørup Andelskasse, Facit Bank, Basis Bank, Bank Norwegian, Santander Consumer Bank and Lunar as banks without negative interest rates. The list is accurate from August 1st, from when Vestjysk and Lån & Spar announced they will scrap negative interest rates.

Meanwhile, Jyske Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea, Sydbank, Sparekassen Danmark and Spar Nord will all have higher interest rates effective in August (which first took effect in July in some cases), although the rates are still negative.

Since 2021, many major banks in Denmark have charged negative interest on personal accounts with a balance of more than 100,000 kroner. The policy has been a source of consternation to foreigners in Denmark, driving them (and their savings) to smaller banks that have a higher cap. 

READ ALSO: Denmark’s banks raise interest rates but many still remain negative

15,000 European flights cancelled in August

For those who have not yet been on their summer vacation, travel plans could be affected by a large number of flight cancellations for services in the coming month.

Airlines in July cancelled a further 15,000 flights in Europe this August as they continue to struggle with staff shortages and strikes, according to data.

The data, from flight airline analysis firm Citrium, show that airlines have cancelled 25,378 flights from their August schedules, of which 15,788 are in Europe.

Airlines across Europe have been struggling with staff shortages, with passengers reporting long queues at airports.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August