Category Archives: News from the Embassy

EU Open House at the Embassy

The 13th of May the EU delegation to the United States and the European Embassies in the United States opened the doors to the Washington public. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the embassies offered a rare look inside the buildings providing a unique opportunity to experience the country’s cultural heritage.

EU Open House is an annual event and is celebrated during Europe Week drawing +50.000 visitors in total to the embassies. The Danish Embassy opened the doors to share with the local community what Denmark is about; Danish culture, our commercial strengths and solutions and our contributions to a global society.

Promotion of Danish solutions

As Denmark is a global leader in renewable energy, sustainable production and healthy living, we chose ‘Smart Cities’ as our focus area at EU Open House this year. Smart solutions and sustainability was a continuous subject at our EU Open House in our promotion of Danish entrepreneurship and the Danish ‘way of living’. This year of EU Open House the Danish companies Terma and Novo Nordisk were invited to the event showcasing their products and services to the public, both of which are ADBC members.

As something new this year the exhibit – Denmark in the U.S. – was on display showcasing Denmark’s deep and longstanding cultural, political and commercial ties with the U.S. The exhibit had focus on creating of trade, jobs and investments between the U.S. and Denmark underlining the Danish Embassy’s focus areas. This new exhibition is developed by sponsorship from the American-Danish Business Council.

Activities

During the day the guests had the opportunity to tour the Danish Ambassador’s home a mid-century architectural gem showcasing unique contemporary works from the Danish art scene. The tour ended with cheese tasting at the Ambassador’s balcony sponsored by Danish dairy giant Arla. Furthermore, the day offered tasting of Danish sweets such as butter cookies and ‘flødeboller’ which was a big hit thanks to our sponsors Kelsen and Flødebolle. Kelsen and Lego sponsored gifts that were given to winners of a ‘Denmark Quiz’.

Despite an alarming weather forecast the weather stayed clement. We received positive feedback from the guests and overall EU Open House 2017 was a great success!

Danish vets celebrated during Warrior Week in Virginia Beach

As the first foreigners, Danish veterans were invited to celebrate the annual Warrior Week in Virginia Beach with U.S. veterans.

Around 25 Danish veterans with family members and friends flew across the Atlantic to participate in this year’s Warrior Week from 1-4 of June in Virginia Beach, VA.

For four days the wounded veterans enjoyed the beach and did a long list of activities including surfing, wrestling, workout sessions, horseback riding, and bicycling. The week was arranged by United Service Organizations (USO), who support members of the U.S. military and military veterans.

“I think it’s fantastic. We collaborated at the same battlefield and now we found each other across the Atlantic Ocean and we collaborated as a wounded warrior,” says Jacob Panton, who is the founder of the Danish Wounded Warriors, to wawy.com “They made us feel the same patriotism that they share with their wounded warriors and that’s just fantastic.”

The week got kicked off with a reception at Sheraton Hotel on June 1st. The Danish Minister of Defense, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, and Mayor of Virginia Beach, Will Sessoms, all held speeches praising the relationship between Denmark and the United States.

In his speech, Claus Hjort Frederiksen awarded GN Hearing and their US President Kim Lody this year’s HRH Prince Henrik´s Export Award for making a significant difference for thousands of wounded veterans.

“The company has helped to ensure that Americans, including numerous wounded veterans, are enabled to hear more. And by hearing more, they can do more in their everyday lives. This ultimately allows them to be more as human beings – giving them the ability to live fuller lives,” said Claus Hjort Frederiksen.

The next day, the Danish Ambassador to the U.S., Lars Gert Lose, Member of the Danish Parliament and former Minister of Defense Søren Gade and Claus Hjort Frederiksen welcomed Danish veteran Jens Søndergaard in Virginia Beach. Jens Søndergaard had biked almost 500 kilometres with fellow riders from Vice President Mike Pence’s residence in Washington D.C., while only using his arms. The day ended with a big event at the beach, where Lars Gert Lose, Terry McAuliffe and Will Sessoms all skydived above Virginia Beach, with 30.000 people watching.

Though most the of the activities were in a loose atmosphere, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, Søren Gade and Lars Gert Lose held a series of meetings with organizations and companies to learn from their experience in how to take care of military veterans and their families.

Warrior Week was an excellent opportunity to strengthen the exchange of experience and knowledge between Denmark and United States, and the countries share the ambition of ensuring that our veterans gets the support they deserve.

The Danish Wounded Veterans Organization is planning to host its own Wounded Warrior Week in august in Denmark, Jacob Panton says, and will invite a group of American soldiers.

Please enjoy this video with highlights from Warrior Week:

Women and Innovation – the perfect match

On June 13th, the Embassy of Denmark and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University hosted a high-level panel debate on women and innovation with a focus on how entrepreneurship can provide important means for women to empower themselves in the future job market.

Innovation is where foundations for new businesses are laid out. Innovation and female entrepreneurship empowers women and gives women a strong platform in market economy. Evidence shows that gender balanced organizations contribute to diversified discussions and debates, as well as a healthy, productive work climate, which is good for business. In other words, women and innovation comprise an attractive match.

A panel comprised by scholars, practitioners, policymakers and entrepreneurs sat down to discuss solutions as to how we can develop an innovation sector, which reflect diversity, as well as empower women to design policies and products. Throughout the discussion, the panel touched upon topics such as government structures, the Nordic approach, local initiatives, the future of jobs and the impact on the global economy.

Panellists included Ms. Betty Bernstein-Zabza, Senior Advisor and Director of Operations at Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, Mr. Ryan Ross, Halcyon Incubators, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, Director at IMF’s Human Resources Department and co-author of “Women, Work, and Economic Growth: Leveling the Playing Field”, Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon, Founder and CEO at Equita Accelerator at George Washington University and Ms. Ulla Rønberg.

Invitation to attend a panel debate on “Female Entrepreneurship – Empowerment Through Business”

Start: June 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM
Venue: School of Advanced International Studies (1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW), BOB 500

On June 13th, the Embassy of Denmark and the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University will host a high-level panel debate on female entrepreneurship with a focus on how entrepreneurship can provide important means for women to empower themselves and create jobs for both women and men. Confirmed panellists include CEO at Halcyon Incubators, Ms. Kate Goodall, Director at IMF’s Human Resources Department and co-author of “Women, Work, and Economic Growth: Leveling the Playing Field”, Ms. Kalpana Kochhar, and Founder and CEO at Equita Accelerator at George Washington University, Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon.

For further information, please contact Anna Cecilie Friis Back at annbac@um.dk.

High-level brainstorm: “She decides”-meeting in the residence

Women’s rights to decide if they want children, when they want them and with whom they want them. That was on the agenda at a high-level roundtable meeting in the Danish Ambassador Lars Lose’s Residence on Friday April 21st. Together with the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, Ambassador Lose hosted a roundtable discussion on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

An important agenda

The high-level meeting referenced the new initiative She Decides. She Decides is a movement initiated with the decreasing U.S. support for organizations working with family planning in developing countries. Accordingly, She decides works to strengthen women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR agenda). Put simply: Women’s right to decide if they want children, when they want children and with whom they want children.
The meeting was in continuation of the She Decides Conference co-hosted by Denmark and held in Brussels on March 2. The main purpose of the discussion this Friday evening was to keep the momentum of the movement and take She Decides forward. The attendants were asked to provide ideas for action points and concrete deliverables. Around the table were ministers and senior officials, UN executive directors, as well as CEO’s from civil society and private fund managers.

Brainstorm-session and a positive spirit

The atmosphere was good among the participants during the meeting. Everyone agreed on the objective and was ready to brainstorm ideas and tools to promote the agenda. She decides is working to increase both financial and political support for sexual health and family planning worldwide. Financial contributions go to the organizations affected by cuts. Contributions are therefore given to ongoing initiatives that improve access to lifesaving contraceptives, family planning, sexuality education and/or safe abortion.

Both Ambassador Lose and Minister Tørnæs hosting, were happy with the outcome of the meeting, and the movement’s forward strategy. She decides is a strong statement in support of women’s human rights – focusing on women in developing countries and the SRHR-agenda. An agenda with very important implications for every woman’s and girl’s own health, socio-economic situation and personal development.

You can read more about the initiative “She Decides” on www.shedecides.com

Danish Prime Minister became fourth European leader to visit President Trump

Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, confirmed strong relations with the U.S. on trade and the fight against terrorism

Thursday March 3rd the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visited The White House as only the fourth European leader during President Trump’s leadership following British Prime Minister Theresa May, German chancellor Angela Merkel and Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

President Trump and Prime Minister Løkke Rasmussen discussed various topics including free trade, green transition and the fight against terrorism, Løkke Rasmussen told the press.

Løkke Rasmussen called the meeting with Trump, which lasted for more than an hour, »a good discussion«.
»Donald Trump has a very clear vision for the United States and that the country must be ‘great again’. But I also experience a President, who is open to some contributions on how the United States can do it in a way so they at the same time fulfil the role as the leader of the free world, « Lars Løkke Rasmussen said.

»I articulated the value of free trade, green conversion and the new sustainable goals in the UN, and it is also important to deliver on them, « Lars Løkke Rasmussen said.

The two world leaders sat down in The Oval Office before the meeting. Trump called Denmark a »very good ally« and that Denmark and the U.S. has »a truly great relationship and we’re working together on many fronts, « Trump said.

While in Washington D.C., the Prime Minister also had a meeting with some of the ADBC member companies and biggest Danish companies operating in the United States. Together with Vestas, Terma, DONG Energy, Arla Foods, Maersk, LEGO, Novo Nordisk and government officials, Lars Løkke Rasmussen had a business luncheon at the Danish Embassy to discuss business in in the United States.

Group photo of the luncheon participants

Denmark stands alongside the U.S. fighting ISIS

The Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, met with ministers of the global coalition against ISIS.

Along with 67 other countries, the Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, took part in a ministerial meeting in Washington D.C. against the terror organisation ISIS. Denmark is one of the most committed countries to the ISIS-coalition and contributes both militarily including with Special Forces and with humanitarian and stabilisation assistance.

The meeting took place in State Department March 22nd with Secretary Rex Tillerson hosting the ministerial.
Tillerson concluded is his opening remarks that fighting ISIS is the US’ objective number one.
Mr. Samuelsen also underscored that the coalition should continue the fight, and that after the expected military victory against ISIS, the peace should also be won.

The Danish FM met briefly with his counterpart Tillerson as well as the Secretary of Defence, James Mattis at the meeting. Samuelsen said to the Danish media TV2, that Denmark is committed to the fight against ISIS.
»Denmark is not pulling out. We stand together in the coalition,« Samuelsen said.

Just hours before the start of the meeting, terror stroked in London when a man who sympathizes with ISIS killed three people including a police officer in front of the British parliament.

The terror was widely condemned along the Foreign Ministers including the British FM Boris Johnson. Samuelsen condoled to his British colleague and made it clear, that the terror act does “emphasize how awful an enemy we are dealing with”.

Samuelsen also met with Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to underline our strong transatlantic relations and discuss topics including Russia, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Danish Veterans will join Warrior Week

Supporting Wounded Veterans

Every year, the community around the city of Virginia Beach and the surrounding military bases celebrate Patriot Festival during the weekend after Memorial Day.
Three years ago, the United Services Organization (USO), an organization dedicated to support members of the US military and military veterans, decided to use that festival as the anchor point for an event to promote the well-being of wounded warriors and their families. Thus Warrior Week was born.
Last year, the Embassy hosted a group of Danish wounded veterans and arranged for a visit with the USO to inspire our veterans with new ideas about helping those, who have been wounded in battle. Our hosts mentioned Warrior Week as one of the initiatives they have come up with to support veterans, in this case by giving them an opportunity to take part in activities that challenge them physically and mentally in a very supportive environment.
Earlier this year, we were proud to learn that our veterans had received an official invitation to send 20 soldiers and 20 family members to Warrior Week 2017, where they will be able to go sky diving, deep sea fishing, surfing, water skiing, horseback riding, shooting, or just hang out on the beach and enjoy time off with a loved one and with old and new friends while watching concerts and getting a healthy dose of American hospitality.

Learning experience

The United States has decades of experience in how to take care of her military veterans, often in a partnership between federal and state agencies, and private charities, and the Embassy is working with a number of US partners to learn from their experiences and see what might work in a Danish setting, where the unique needs of wounded soldiers is a relatively new challenge. We have taken the Danish participation in Warrior Week as an opportunity to show Danish decision makers new ways of helping and to show Danish industry and charities some of the things that have been proven to work over here. The Danish Ministry of Defense is putting together a fact-finding mission, which will observe the activities and meet with the USO and other organizations to learn from their experiences. We hope that this initiative will be another step in getting our veterans the support they deserve for their sacrifices. The event page can be found HERE.

ADBC reception

In addition to all the events going on during Warrior Week, ADBC will host a reception in honor of the attending Danish veterans June 1st. Ambassador Lars Lose along with other dignitaries are expected to be attending, and we invite all ADBC members to attend and show their support. We will send out more information as the date gets closer.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact ADBC at adbc@usadk.org.

EU Open House coming up – great showcase opportunity for Danish companies

On May 13th 2017, the Delegation of the European Union to the United States and the Embassies of 28 EU Member States to the United States open their doors to the public during the EU Open House Day. As an exclusive opportunity for our ADBC member companies, the Embassy of Denmark invites you to showcase your company during our open house event.

Smart and liveable cities

The Danish Embassy will be focusing on Smart Cities and smart approaches for more liveable cities. By 2050, more than 6 billion people will live in urban areas, creating many challenges for the planning, development and operation of cities. These challenges call for ‘smart’ approaches to ensure that cities are optimized for economic activity, energy consumption, environmental impact and ‘the good life’. Dennmark is known for smart solutions allowing cities to become more intelligent and efficient in their use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint – all supporting innovation and a low-carbon economy.

If you would like to showcase a product or service, be represented with flyers, roll-ups or merchandise, or in any other way showcase the expertise and innovation of your company, please contact Christian Mørch Frederiksen at chrfre@um.dk as soon as possible as space is limited. There is no participation fee for members of ADBC.

About the EU open house event

This annual event is the highlight of the Washington May calendar and is celebrated during Europe Week. The event draws +50.000 visitors in total and +5000 to the embassy of Denmark alone. Each embassy will open to the public on Saturday May 13th 2017 from 10 am to 4 pm, offering a rare look inside the buildings as well as providing a unique opportunity to experience the country’s cultural heritage and national traditions. To read about last years event click here.