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Greenland, The Faroes & The German Minority

When we talk about Denmark, we normally refer to Jutland, Zealand, Funen and the islands scattered around the Danish waters. Yet Greenland and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, which is part of the North American continent, also belong to the Kingdom of Denmark but have autonomous self-rule.


Greenland is part of the North American continent. It is the world’s largest island, with a total area of around 2.2 million square kilometers, yet only approx. 410,000 square kilometers are not covered by ice. The northernmost point of the Island, Cape Morris Jesup, is just 740 kilometers from the North Pole. Greenland’s Home Rule was established in 1979 and was in 2009 replaced by a self-government arrangement. Read more here.

The Faroes

The Faroes comprise of 18 islands, separated by narrow sounds and fiords, located in the northern Atlantic, almost midway between Norway, Iceland and Scotland. The capital is called Tórshavn and the total land mass is 1,399 square kilometers. Since the 18th century, both the Faroe Islands and Greenland have been part of the Danish Realm. Due to their special status nationally, historically and geographically, these parts of the realm have an extensive type of self-government and have assumed legislative and administrative responsibility in a substantial number of fields. In 1948, the Faroe Islands’ Home Rule was established and in 2005, a new self-government arrangement came into force. Read more here.

The German Minority

North of the Danish-German Border in North Schleswig live 15.000 people who belong to the German minority. The German minority in North Schleswig maintains its own schools and a wide spectrum of social and cultural institutions and serves as a vital bridge between the German and Danish cultures. To ensure further protection of the rights of the German minority in Southern Denmark, Denmark became party to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in 1998 and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 2001. Read more here.