The Danish Minority

The border between Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) and Denmark can hardly be noticed: many people speak both German and Danish. In the northernmost German region there are approximately 50,000 persons who belong to the Danish minority, and who are German citizens. They are well organised and help to create bridges to neighbouring Denmark.

They live e.g. in the border city of Flensburg, the districts of Schleswig-Flensburg and Nordfriesland and also in the northern part of the district of Rendsburg-Eckernförde. The Danish minority calls its area of settlement South Schleswig. On the other side of the border there is also a German minority in the Kingdom of Denmark.

Due to many strong and independent organisations the Danish minority is able to live its values and traditions. Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF) – the South Schleswig Association – is their main cultural organisation. With their own party, the Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (SSW), the Danish minority is currently represented by four MPs in the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament and, since the 2021 federal election, also by a non-attached MP in the German Bundestag.

“European policy is minority policy”

The Danish minority considers it important that every person has a free choice of nationality and culture. This choice should be respected as a democratic principle and in accordance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. That is why the Danish minority posits that “European policy is minority policy and minority policy is European policy”.

> Minority-specific regulations