Denmark is one of the world's oldest monarchies with a history that stretches back to the Viking Age around the year 1000. Danish society rests on the foundation of the Danish Constitution of 1849, and the political system has since been characterised by broad solutions across the political divide. Denmark is often cited as one of the world's best countries to live in. The strong welfare state ensures economic equality in society and the virtual non-existence of corruption, while polls repeatedly show that the Danes are among the happiest people in the world.
The political system of Denmark is that of a multi-party structure, where several parties can be represented in Parliament at any one time. Danish governments are often characterised by minority administrations, aided with the help of one or more supporting parties. This means that Danish politics is based on consensus politics. Since 1909, no single party has had the majority in Parliament.
Many think of furniture design and architecture when they think of Danish lifestyle and culture. Yet today, Denmark is perhaps equally famous for food, films and sports. The world's best restaurant "Noma" has introduced a whole new way of cooking with New Nordic Cuisine. Filmmakers such as Lars von Trier and Susanne Bier have won a multitude of international awards, and one of the world's best female tennis players, Caroline Wozniacki, is Danish.
What characterises the Danes as a people? Many non-Danes living in Denmark suggest that the Danes are open and welcoming. Others may call them reserved, especially during the long winter months. For many Danes, the word "hygge" is essential when describing something uniquely Danish. The word is best translated into English as ‘coziness’ or ‘conviviality’ and reflects the sense of community and sense of security which comes about when Danes spend quality time with people they care about.
Creating a green and sustainable society is one of the key goals for Denmark. More than 20 per cent of Denmark's energy already comes from renewable energy, and the goal is to reach 100 per cent by 2050. Much of the renewable energy comes from wind turbines, where Denmark is a world leader when it comes to developing new technology.
The Danish cycling culture is another example of a green and sustainable society and Copenhagen alone has around 400 km of cycle paths, and about 40 per cent of the capital's population commute to work by bicycle.