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WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

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

Energy cash relief for selected students and retirees, the end of NemID moves closer and will a general election be called? Here are some of the things you can expect to see in Denmark in October.

KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in October 2022?
Autumnal scenes like this one at Præsteskov forest in 2021 are on the way this October. Photo : Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Energy compensation begins for selected students and retirees  

From Friday October 1st, people who receive the ældrecheck supplement to the Danish state pension will see an extra 2,500 kroner arrive in their bank accounts.

The amount represents the first half of a 5,000 kroner compensation agreed by parliament in September for pensioners likely to be worst affected by the energy crisis. The second 2,500 kroner will be paid out at the beginning of next year.

Most eligible people will receive the cash on Friday, but it could take up to five days to come through, the Ministry of Employment said in a press statement on September 23rd.

Later in the month, students who receive the state student grant, SU will be given a 2,000 kroner one-off compensation if they receive a disability or single-parent supplement to their regular monthly grant (termed SU-handicaptillæg and SU-forsørgertillæg in Danish, respectively).

The extra compensation for students will be paid out around the middle of the month.

READ ALSO: SU: Can foreigners receive Denmark’s state student grant?

Clarity over general election?

August saw a lot of speculation that a general election would be announced imminently. That did not happen in September (at the time of writing, with one day to go), but a key date is coming up in October.

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party earlier this year demanded Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen call an early election. The demand was issued in response to the conclusions of an inquiry into the government’s 2020 mink scandal, which resulted in Frederiksen receiving a rebuke.

The Social Liberals have threatened to bring down the government through a vote of no confidence if an election is not called by October 4th, the date parliament reopens for the autumn season.

Although the government could wait until June 4th, 2023 to hold a general election – the last one was in 2019 –Frederiksen is therefore under pressure to hold the vote this autumn. The government is yet to give any indication of when it might do so, with Frederiksen skirting the issue when asked.

READ ALSO: Could Baltic Sea gas pipe leaks affect Denmark’s election timeline?

Deadline for switching to MitID arrives

A key deadline to switch from Denmark’s NemID secure online ID system to its replacement, MitID, comes at the end of this month.

NemID will be turned off for secure platforms like banking and public services on October 31st. After this date, only 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: MitID: New digital ID could keep some Danish shoppers out of online stores

Some foreign residents need to visit the Borgerservice citizens’ service desk in their 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

Many SAS flights remain cancelled 

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

The cancellations were first reported in August, affecting 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

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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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