Denmark profile - Timeline

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Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, DenmarkImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Kronborg Castle in Helsingor, immortalized as "Elsinore" in Shakespeare's play Hamlet

A chronology of key events:

10th Century - Kingdom of Denmark unified and Christianity introduced.

1397 - Union of Kalmar unites Denmark, Sweden and Norway under a single monarch. Denmark is the dominant power.

1729 - Greenland becomes Danish province.

1814 - Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.

1849 - Denmark becomes constitutional monarchy; two-chamber parliament established.

The modern period

1914-18 - Denmark is neutral during World War One.

1918 - Universal suffrage comes into effect.

1930s - Welfare state established by governments dominated by social democrats.

1939 - Denmark signs 10-year non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany.

1940 - Nazi invasion meets virtually no initial resistance. Government accepts occupation in exchange for measure of control over domestic affairs.

1943 - A determined campaign by the Danish resistance prompts Germany to take over full control of Danish affairs. Thousands of Danish Jews manage to escape to Sweden.

1945 - Germany surrenders and occupation ends. Denmark recognises Iceland's independence, which had been declared in 1944.

Postwar recovery

1948 - Faroe Islands granted self-government within the Danish state.

1949 - Denmark joins Nato.

1952 - Denmark becomes founder member of Nordic Council.

1953 - Constitutional change leads to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation; female accession to the Danish throne is permitted; Greenland becomes integral part of Denmark.

1959 - Denmark joins European Free Trade Association.

1972 - King Frederick IX dies and is succeeded by his daughter Margrethe II.

European integration

1973 - Denmark joins the European Economic Community.

1979 - Greenland is granted home rule. Denmark retains control over Greenland's foreign affairs and defence.

1982 - Poul Schlueter becomes first Conservative prime minister for almost a century.

1985 - Legislation passed banning construction of nuclear power plants in Denmark.

1992 - Danish voters reject the Maastricht Treaty on further European integration in a referendum.

1993 - Schlueter resigns after being accused of lying over a scandal involving Tamil refugees; social democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen becomes prime minister.

Danes approve the Maastricht Treaty after Denmark is granted certain opt-outs.

1994 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen returned to power in general election.

1998 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen again returned to power.

2000 - Danes reject adoption of the euro as their national currency by 53% to 47%.

New bridge and tunnel link Copenhagen with Malmo in southern Sweden. The new road and rail link makes it possible to travel between the two countries in just 15 minutes.

Rasmussen elected

2001 November - Elections put right-wing coalition led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen into government. Rasmussen campaigned on a pledge to tighten immigration rules and put lid on taxes. The election saw the far-right Danish People's Party win 22 seats and become the third largest party in parliament.

2002 February - New government measures aimed at reducing immigration spark controversy.

2004 August - US and Denmark sign deal to modernise Thule air base on Greenland.

2005 February - Liberal Party leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen wins second term as prime minister in coalition with Conservative Party. Far-right People's Party strengthens presence in parliament by two seats.

2005 July - Diplomatic dispute flares up with Canada over the disputed tiny island of Hans in the Arctic.

2006 January - February - Cartoon depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, spark belated mass protests among Muslims in a number of countries as well as unofficial boycotts of Danish goods.

2007 February - Government says Denmark's 470 ground troops will leave Iraq by the end of August. Denmark was one of the original coalition countries to take part in the 2003 invasion.

2007 November - Government of Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen wins third term after early elections.

2008 February - Police uncover a plot to kill one of the cartoonists whose depictions of Muhammad sparked outrage across the Muslim world in 2005. Major papers reprint one of the cartoons, prompting some protests.


2008 November - Greenland referendum approves plans to seek more autonomy from Denmark and a greater share of oil revenues off the island's coast.

2009 April - Finance Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen takes over as prime minister and acting Liberal Party leader on the resignation of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who had been elected Nato secretary-general.

2009 July - Denmark plans to set up an Arctic military command and task force because the melting ice cap is opening access to Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

2009 December - Denmark hosts UN climate change summit. Great hopes are invested in the Copenhagen summit but it ends without a legally binding global treaty being agreed.

2010 January - A Somali man is charged with trying to kill the Danish artist whose drawing of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 sparked riots around the world.

2010 December - Three men are charged with planning to attack the offices of a newspaper which printed cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. A fourth is released and a fifth is held in Sweden.

2011 February - Denmark approves underwater tunnel from Lolland island to the German island of Fehmarn, at a cost of $5.9bn. It will be built in 2014-2020 and speed up transport links between Scandinavia and continental Europe.

Somali man Mohamed Geele is found guilty of attempted murder and terrorism over trying to kill Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

Immigration issues

2011 July - Denmark reimposes border controls in bid to curb illegal immigration. Many question the legality of the move under the 1995 Schengen agreement, which abolished internal borders within much of western Europe.

2011 September - Social Democrat Helle Thorning-Schmidt became Denmark's first female prime minister after her left-leaning alliance secured a narrow majority at parliamentary elections.

2012 June - Same-sex marriage legalised.

2013 April - Schools shut for a month because of an industrial dispute involving teachers' unions.

2014 January - The small Socialist People's Party quits the ruling coalition following splits over plans to sell off a stake in state-controlled Dong Energy to investment bank Goldman Sachs and others.

2014 May - The anti-immigration Danish People's Party wins European election with four seats and nearly 27% of the vote.

2014 December - Denmark submits a claim to territory around the North Pole to a United Nations panel gathering evidence to determine control of the region.

2015 February - Islamist Omar El-Hussein shoots dead a film-maker at a free-speech debate and then a synagogue guard, before being killed by police. Security service faces criticism over its anti-extremist strategy.

Minority government

2015 June - Lars Lokke Rasmussen returns as prime minister at the head of a Venstre (Liberal) minority government after right-wing parties defeat the centre-left coalition of Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

2016 January - Asylum seekers must surrender cash or valuables worth more than 1,340 euros (£1,000; $1,450) to cover housing and food costs.

2016 November - Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen expands his minority government by forming a coalition with the Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives.

2017 January - Parliament approves controversial plans aimed at deterring asylum seekers and which allow border police to confiscate their valuables.

2017 May - Denmark bans one Christian and five Muslim foreign preachers it accuses of spreading hatred.

2017 June - Parliament votes to repeal an ancient blasphemy law which forbids public insults of religious beliefs or worship.

2018 May - Denmark bans the wearing of face veils in public.

2019 June - Social Democrats return to power under Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

2022 November - general election due to take place