National Day Message by H. E. Mr. Søren Jacobsen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Denmark to the Republic of Bulgaria

The framework for Danish democracy is laid down in the Constitutional Act of Denmark, with a set of fundamental principles and rules for society. The Constitutional Act establishes the rights and duties of individual citizens, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the inviolability of property rights. The Constitutional Act is the most important piece of legislation in Denmark, and all other laws must comply with it. It can only be amended if both the Danish Parliament and the Danish people agree to it.

As in many other democracies, the Danish Constitutional Act divides power into three independent branches in order to prevent the abuse of power. In Denmark, the Danish Parliament is the legislative power, enacting the laws of the country. The Government is the executive power, ensuring that laws are implemented. And the courts of law are the judicial power, pronouncing judgements in disputes between citizens and between the authorities and citizens.

The Constitutional Act of Denmark is one of the oldest constitutions in the world. It has only been amended a few times since it was enacted in 1849. Full democracy was introduced with the amendment from 1915 when women received the right to vote. The last amendment was made in 1953 when Greenland was officially decolonised.

The Constitutional Act of Denmark was signed by King Frederik VII on 5 June 1849. This put an end to absolute monarchy in Denmark. This date is therefore known in Denmark as Constitution Day and is celebrated every year as a national holiday with political meetings held throughout the country.

Today Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. The reigning monarch, Queen Margrethe II, has no political power. She does not interfere in political life or express political opinions. Yet, she performs official functions related to political life, such as attending the opening of the Danish Parliament, signing laws that have been passed and formally appointing the Prime Minister.

Democracy, free public dialogue and equality are honoured as guiding principles for society. With roots in its Constitutional Act, Denmark continues to work both on national and on international level for the advancement of democratic values and human rights.

The photo was provided by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in the Republic of Bulgaria.