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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

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

Cancelled SAS flights, early autumn events, a potential election and the sands of time run down on NemID this September in Denmark.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2022?
An autumnal image of Denmark from 2021. What can the country expect in September 2022? Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Many SAS flights remain cancelled 

Scandinavian airline SAS has cancelled 1,700 flights in September and October as a result of continuing staffing problems.

According to reports, 1,200 departures planned for September have been cancelled, as have around 500 planned departures for October.

Domestic flights in the Scandinavian region and international flights within Europe are both affected, with the airline blaming the after effects of the 15-day pilot strike it suffered in July

READ ALSO: SAS cancels 1,700 flights in September and October

Possible election?

August has seen plenty of speculation that a general election could be announced imminently. That has not happened at the time of writing, but the possibility remains strong going into September.

Although the government could wait until next year to call a general election – the last one was in 2019 – Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is under some pressure to hold the vote this autumn.

There are a number of factors involved, including a parliamentary stalemate that could hold up new legislation; and threats by the government’s allies, the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party to withdraw its backing for Frederiksen’s administration – depriving it of a parliamentary majority.

With the government still under fire over its handling of the mink scandal and recent poll results poor, it doesn’t seem like an ideal moment for Frederiksen to call an election. But her hand could be forced at some point in the coming weeks.

READ ALSO: How likely is Denmark to have a general election ahead of schedule?

Deadline for switching to MitID nears

If you haven’t yet moved from Denmark’s NemID secure online ID system to its replacement, MitID, now might be a good time to start.

The final deadline to switch – when NemID is set to be turned off – is October 31st. After this date, only MitID can be used to log on to secure platforms like banking and public services.

Some foreign residents need to visit the Borgerservice citizens’ service desk in the local municipality in order to change from NemID to MitID. This is because the change requires users to confirm their identities. This can be done online if you have a Danish passport – but of course, not everyone who lives in Denmark has one of these.

This doesn’t mean all foreign residents need to go to Borgerservice to set up MitID. If you have recently confirmed your identity with authorities in person (for example, if you set up NemID at Borgerservice not too long ago) then your details will be on record and you should be able to switch online.

For others, an appointment might need to be made, which will require a bit of planning ahead – hence the logic in getting things arranged before October rolls around.

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

Early autumn events

There are plenty of events to keep you entertained during the first month of autumn, catering to various tastes.

For example, international children’s film festival Buster starts in Copenhagen on September 26th, filling the capital’s cinemas with Danish and international movies for kids.

The Fredensborg Slotsmarked (Fredensborg Palace Market) on September 10th brings local foods and drink, art, design, antiques, furniture, clothes and toys to a large flea market on the doorstep of the royal residence in northern Zealand.

If you’re of an active nature, the Copenhagen Half Marathon (September 18th) usually brings a great atmosphere to the city’s streets, not to mention around 25,000 runners. The route is fast: a men’s world record was set by Kenyan athlete Geoffrey Kamworor during the 2019 edition.

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

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

A new government, MitID needed for online banking, the extension of border controls with Sweden and Germany and Christmas light switch-ons. Here are some of the things you can expect to see in Denmark in November.

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

Denmark forms a new government

Denmark’s parliamentary election takes place on November 1st and Denmark could find itself with a new Prime Minister.

The election decides the distribution of parliament’s 179 seats or mandates, mandater. Therefore, one of the two blocs can seal an overall election victory if it claims 90 or more mandates, giving it a majority. The ‘bloc’ classification, commonly referred to in Danish politics, broadly denotes whether a party or group of parties is on the right or left of centre.

READ MORE: ‘Bloc politics’: A guide to understanding parliamentary elections in Denmark

Mette Frederiksen will continue as Prime Minister if she has a majority of Denmark’s 179 MPs behind her – her own party along with allied parties.

Otherwise, a new prime minister must be found. This is done through a process known as a dronningerunde (literally a ‘Queen’s round’). Here, the leader of each party has an audience with the Queen. After this, the Queen nominates a person to lead the new government or lead negotiations to form it.

READ MORE: The Danish vocabulary you’ll need to follow the election

Leader of the Conservatives, Søren Pape Poulsen, Liberal leader, Jakob Ellemann-Jensen and former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, leader of the newly formed Moderates, are all contenders to become PM instead of Mette Frederiksen, although Rasmussen has not officially declared himself as a candidate.

Because the outcome is likely to be close, projected negotiations could take place before a new government — and possible change of Prime Minister — is announced.

Once a new prime minister and government agreed, they are formally nominated by the Queen at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen before emerging and facing the public on the palace square.

READ MORE: Three candidates for PM in Denmark, and one wild card

Delayed payment of energy bills begins

A scheme to delay payment of excess energy bills begins on November 1st. It is one of the components of the government’s winter package in response to record energy prices.

The deal will allow energy bills exceeding 2021 prices to be paid at a delayed time and in instalments. The additional cost of the bill, not the entire bill, will be eligible for delayed payment. The option will be available to both businesses and individuals.

The model is voluntary, meaning bill payers choose whether to freeze payments. The government are footing the bill with energy companies in the intervening period. Customers need to contact energy companies to set up the repayment plan. Denmark’s largest energy company, Andel Energi has announced its digital registration for the scheme.

As a result of supply stoppages for Russian gas, on top of inflation, energy prices in Denmark are expected to be high throughout the winter.

The government has also announced it will set electricity tax close to zero and increase welfare payments for families.

READ MORE: Denmark announces new winter aid package for households

Border controls at Sweden and German borders extend into November

One of the last decisions made by the outgoing Swedish government was to inform the EU Commission that Sweden’s border controls on the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark will be extended in November.

Sweden’s border controls have been renewed the same way, every six months, since November 2015.

However Sweden’s new Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has called for the temporary border controls to be “made permanent”, a move which would contradict EU law.

“The more we reduce the problem of cross-border crime, the more open we can be to surrounding countries. But as it is now, we have big problems which need to be brought under control, both at the border and within Sweden,” Kristersson said

READ MORE: Denmark confirms latest extension of checks at German border

Denmark has meanwhile decided to extend the checks carried out by Danish police on the border with Germany, by another six months.

The border control is technically temporary but has been in place since January 2016. The latest extension begins on the 12th November and will take the checks into an eighth year.

Under the rules of the Schengen agreement, countries can place temporary border controls under exceptional circumstances. After a six-month period, the temporary checks must be renewed.

No more NemID for online banking

NemID will be officially turned off for secure platforms like banking and public services on November 1st. After this, only the new system, MitID can be used to log on.

Other platforms, like online shopping, will still accept NemID for now. The old system will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

READ ALSO: 

Daylight hours shorten

The clock change at the end of October means we are officially into the dark season. On the 1st November, day light hours come in at 9 hours and 10 minutes. This decreases for the rest of the month by 1 hour and 45 minutes.

However temperatures aren’t set to drop massively.

“We see the winter as being warmer than usual,” said Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service that produces seasonal forecasts for the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

Christmas is coming….but with fewer twinkles

The first Sunday in Advent is on November 27th this year. This is the date the Christmas lights will be switched on in the centre of Copenhagen — two weeks later than in 2021. Due to the energy crisis, the lights will be switched on between 3pm and 9pm rather than the usual 7am until midnight.

READ ALSO: Copenhagen to retain but reduce Christmas lights amid energy crisis

In Aarhus, the Christmas parade and light switch on will happen on 11th November but the lights will only be switched on for seven hours a day, compared to 16 hours in previous years.

In Odense, the city has chosen to wait a week to switch on the Christmas lights on 19th November. The lights will also be on for fewer hours than usual.

Salling Group has announced that its shopping centres in Aalborg and Aarhus will not be putting up their usual Christmas light decorations, and the same decision has been made by Hotel d’Angleterre in Copenhagen.

Middelfart, Esbjerg and Aarhus have all decided against opening their traditional outdoor ice rinks this winter as a result of high energy prices.

But the Christmas markets (julemarkeder), complete with the winter-warm alcoholic drink gløgg, will all still be going ahead, with many opening at the end of November. Tivoli’s Christmas season opens on November 19th.

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