The Danish Government’s new foreign and security policy strategy sets ambitious goals for Denmark’s position in the world. Strong Danish diplomacy on the ground in countries around the world will be required to meet these aims.
Therefore, the Government has decided to open new embassies in Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Malaysia in 2024 – and a formerly approved plan to close the embassy in Tanzania has been shelved.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Lars Løkke Rasmussen says:
“With these new embassies, Denmark will have a stronger presence in the eastern frontline states, in the Balkans, and with key global partners. As the world becomes more insecure and unpredictable, we must build new alliances. And to do that, we must have Danish diplomats on the ground, around the world.”
By establishing an embassy in Moldova, Denmark will have a diplomatic presence in every frontline state to Ukraine. The embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina will significantly strengthen Denmark’s presence in the Balkans and bolster efforts to help stabilize the country and build resilience against external influence, while also supporting Bosnian steps towards EU membership.
When Denmark assumes the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2025, efforts towards an expansion of the EU will be among the Danish tasks. The new embassies in Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina should also be viewed in this light.
Embassies in Malaysia and Tanzania will be important for realising the Government’s ambition to build new partnerships with countries outside the West. The Danish Embassy in Tanzania will also provide access to central perspectives and contribute to realising the Government’s Africa strategy, which is expected to launch next year. The Danish business world also has a strong presence in Malaysia, with approximately 100 Danish subsidiaries.
From the year 2000 to 2022, the total number of Danish missions declined by 27. “Missions” is a broader category encompassing embassies, multilateral missions, consulates-general and trade commissions. In the year 2000, the Danish Foreign Service had 121 missions; in 2022, the total was 94. The majority of mission closures during this period were in Europe and Asia.
With the 2024 Finance Bill, the Government proposes a 12% increase in funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark between now and 2027. The significant additional funding means that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs averts major budget cuts and reverses a longstanding downward trend.
Figure 1: Net expenditure allocation for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark