Joint Action Plan for Future German-Danish Cooperation

       I.            Introduction

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany adopted this Action Plan with the aim of further strengthening the ties between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Denmark.

Even closer bilateral relations between Denmark and Germany are a shared priority. We are neighbours, allies and partners in the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the United Nations (UN) and many other international settings. Our citizens share a deep cultural and historical bond fuelled by extensive everyday interaction, not least in our common border region. Our enterprises enjoy a high degree of bilateral trade benefiting both countries.

Denmark and Germany are like-minded on a range of key European issues and committed to a European Union that works for its citizens. We are committed to a rules-based international order and believe in the value of a multilateral approach to the great challenges of our time. We want to support the exchange of ideas and best practices across our borders, societies, economies and people. 

In a time of multiple crises – war on European soil, historic inflation rates, dependency on Russian energy as well as climate change and an ongoing pandemic – the need for closer cooperation on a bilateral level as well as in the European Union and international organisations is evident.

This first Action Plan for Future German-Danish Cooperation creates a new framework for further deepening the cooperation between our two countries. It builds on close neighbourly relations and recent joint initiatives. In 2020, we celebrated a Danish-German year of cultural friendship, marking 100 years since the peaceful drawing of our common border. In 2021, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Germany and Denmark launched a joint Danish-German friendship declaration, celebrating our strong partnership. Here we agreed to strengthen our relations in the future politically, economically and culturally and identified a number of overarching areas where we could expand our cooperation further.

This Action Plan identifies a number of strategic areas of importance to German-Danish cooperation as well as a number of joint initiatives within each area. The plan does not seek to cover all aspects of Danish-German cooperation, but to expand and develop cooperation in select areas. Given the high ambitions of both governments on the climate agenda, the Action Plan sets out the promotion of a real green transition as one of its main objectives. In strengthening the foundation for cooperation between our countries, it is our expectation that the Action Plan will also create increased trade opportunities and serve to promote welfare and trust between our citizens.  To realise the full potential of the Action Plan we will engage with all relevant stakeholders and actively support public-private partnerships that can help secure our shared goals.  

       I.            Areas of Cooperation

1. Cooperation on regional development, education and minorities

The German-Danish border region holds a special place in our relations. It represents a strong bond between our nations, not least due to the national minorities on either side of the border – the German minority in Denmark and the Danish minority in Germany. Building on initiatives relating to the 2020 Danish-German year of cultural friendship we want to further strengthen national minority rights and enhance the cultural exchange between people in the region.

·         Schleswig-Holstein has recently taken on further obligations in relation to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and stands ready to support Denmark in its ambition of doing so as well. This could send a strong signal that the protection and care of minorities has a high priority on both sides of the border.

·         Denmark, Germany and Schleswig-Holstein believe that the joint Danish-German approach to minority/majority relations can be an inspiration to other border regions around the world. We are committed to supporting that our common experiences are shared widely, not least through the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI) in Flensburg. In accordance with the commitment laid out in the German-Danish Friendship Declaration of 2021, Denmark, Germany and Schleswig-Holstein agree to discuss strengthening the role of ECMI in the coming years. Furthermore, the Danish Parliament Committee of Southern Schleswig is looking to arrange a conference in Berlin with the purpose of illustrating the Danish-German cooperation regarding border and minority politics.

·         Denmark and Germany will continue their intensive cross-border cooperation of law enforcement and security authorities in combating threats from terrorism and serious crime and better enable cross-border support in cases of natural disasters and misfortunes. This is based on the existing legal frame of the EU security Union, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism and existing state treaties regulating cross-border cooperation of police, fire brigade and rescue services which will also be evaluated in view of possible conditions caused by building the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link.

·         Denmark, Germany and Schleswig-Holstein are committed to support and further develop activities across the border. Together, we will enhance our efforts through a joint working group with the aim of identifying concrete obstacles to cross-border mobility and, if possible, remove them. At the same time, the working group will look into ways to strengthen cultural ties across the border through education. Furthermore, the German Embassy in Copenhagen, together with a Danish partner, is planning to hold a high-level conference that will bring together all relevant actors in German-Danish cross-border cooperation, exploring best practice examples (also from German-French and Nordic cooperation) and taking into account experiences during the recent COVID19 Pandemic. Cross-border cooperation is a hallmark of our relations, not least due to the efforts of local municipalities, businesses and civil society actors as well as regional cooperation like that between Schleswig-Holstein and Region Syddanmark. With the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link we are creating the conditions for even closer cross-border cooperation between our countries. Our enhanced efforts will ensure that we benefit from the potentials arising from the project.

2. Cooperation on climate, energy and green solutions

2a. Energy

With the common objective of curbing global warming, Germany and Denmark have set out ambitious plans of becoming carbon neutral by 2045 and 2050 respectively. This requires a green transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. The urgency of this transition has only become more relevant after 24 February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. In order to combat climate change and reduce dependency on fossil fuels from Russia, we declare our willingness to increase our bilateral cooperation on accelerating a green energy transition as soon as possible – both in Northern Europe, in the EU and globally.

·         Hydrogen partnership: Denmark and Germany aim to connect both countries to the innovative offshore hybrid projects combining generation and transmission of electricity – the energy island projects. Furthermore, we will look at ways to ensure transport of hydrogen between our two countries and explore possibilities for closer bilateral collaboration on offshore wind.

Denmark has an abundance of renewable energy sources, and has a significant potential for the production of renewable hydrogen from solar and wind. Demand for hydrogen in Denmark, however, is relatively limited, and the supply of hydrogen is expected to surpass demand in the short and longer term. Germany on the other hand foresees a significant demand for hydrogen, e.g. to decarbonise the German heavy steel and chemical industries. As neighbouring countries, Denmark and Germany will focus on initiating a dialogue on building a hydrogen infrastructure to transport hydrogen through pipes between Denmark and Germany.

Denmark and Germany have recently signed a Letter of Intent on Cooperation on Green Hydrogen, seeking to provide a framework to support the establishment of a green hydrogen economy and enabling cross-border trade of green hydrogen in the future.

Decarbonising the maritime industry is a priority for both nations. Green hydrogen based fuels plays a key role in the green transition to zero emission vessels. Developing a green maritime corridor in the Baltic and North Seas including standards, framework conditions and availability of hydrogen fuels will make the region a frontrunner in the green maritime transition.

·         CO2 storage facility and Power-to-X: Denmark and Germany will cooperate in promoting and developing environmentally sound import of CO2 from Germany to Denmark with the purpose of storage below ground or utilisation independent of fossil fuel exploration. Carbon capture, utilisation as well as storage (CCUS) technologies are gaining momentum. In order to achieve our energy and climate goals, this trend will need to accelerate significantly, especially for residual emissions from industrial processes and for carbon from non-fossil sources for net removals (CDR).

Utilisation of carbon for the production of Power-to-X (PtX) products seems necessary in order to decarbonise hard to abate sectors like aviation, shipping and certain energy intensive industrial processes. Early uptake on PtX products is likely to increase the speed of the transformation by use of the PtX fuels, which is subject for further cooperation. Germany and Denmark will continue the common work.

·         Energy efficiency and climate neutral heating: Denmark and Germany commit to cooperate on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs through climate neutral heating and energy efficiency in buildings and industry. A major element in the EU’s plan on becoming less dependent on Russian fossil fuels is energy efficiency.

One concrete ambition is to accelerate the deployment of individual and district-level energy savings solutions. Besides short-term energy savings, making more efficient energy systems has the potential to reduce European energy consumption significantly, thus reducing demand for fossil fuel imports such as Russian gas, oil and coal while delivering greenhouse gas reductions. Denmark and Germany will continue to enhance cooperation in the field of energy efficiency, focusing on the acceleration of deployment of individual and district-level energy savings solutions, enhancing the cooperation on combined heat and power production, district heating and energy production facilities.

·         Green Power Plant of Europe: Denmark and Germany commit to dramatically upscale offshore wind energy capacity in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea together with neighbouring countries and in cooperation with the EU. The EU estimates that it must increase its total offshore wind capacity to 300 GW by 2050 to reach climate neutrality. To maintain a high security of supply in Europe, we must harvest the full offshore wind potential of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. By initiating steps towards an interconnected offshore power grid in Europe, we must optimise how we use our wind resources most efficiently. Setting up joint and hybrid projects with wind parks connected to more than one country will contribute to this. To best realise massive offshore wind potentials in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, a close collaboration between the two countries will be important in securing the supply of green electricity to European households and businesses. The Danish-German cooperation on joint and hybrid offshore projects will focus on evaluating options for innovative offshore hybrid projects, enabling energy production and transmission of electricity. The partners will also tap into the potential for connecting potential future offshore energy hubs of Denmark and Germany to other partner countries.

·         Denmark and Germany, recalling the Versailles Declaration of March 2022, will work together to analyse the circular economy as an important solution besides others within certain supply chains in order to introduce measures to counter shortages of raw materials, thereby supporting the future competitiveness of European industry. For instance, Denmark is currently mapping the potential of strengthening circular economy measures within the wind turbine sector, industrial robot technology and other sectors. We will work closely together to use the results from this pilot project as the starting point for common promotion of interests at EU-level as well as concrete collaboration projects within certain industries, not least with a view of reducing European critical dependencies in industrial sectors.

·         Denmark and Germany have a joint ambition of upscaling production of green hydrogen for the benefit of both countries as well as the rest of Europe – also recalling the ambitions of the Esbjerg Declaration to support the European Commission’s plan to develop a well-functioning market for green hydrogen. Southern Jutland is to become a centre for a green energy industry, and investors are already showing significant interest in establishing large scale PtX-production in part because of the proximity to the German hydrogen market.

Denmark and Germany will work together to promote more innovation friendly regulation of biosolutions at the EU-level. Biosolutions can help accelerate the green transition of the food and agriculture sector by providing sustainable alternatives to traditional proteins for food and feed stock. Furthermore, the sustainable production sector and biosolutions can accelerate the green transition of Europe by making way for increased and circular use of sustainable biobased resources for production of materials such as plastics and textiles as well as bio-based materials for the building industry. However, to reach its full potential, barriers must be addressed at European level. 

3. Cooperation on digitalisation

The digital transformation is one of the defining features of our age. Digitalisation of public services is key to providing a coherent and efficient public sector focused on the needs of people and businesses. There is great potential for deepened cooperation between Denmark and Germany, both bilaterally and at a European level. Going forward we especially want to focus on the following topics:

·         Digital ready legislation: Denmark and Germany will initiate a working level dialogue on digital ready legislation. We want to share experiences and explore mutually beneficial overlaps between our respective approaches to the area. Denmark has been screening legislation since 2018 in order to ensure a consistent level of digital-readiness of new legislation. For Germany, digital ready legislation has become one of the top priorities when it comes to digitalisation of the public administration.

·         Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) revision proposal: Denmark and Germany will initiate a working level dialogue on key issues related to the eIDAS revision proposal and the work on European Digital Identity Wallets (EU COM 281/2021).

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate and share best practices with regard to dealing with the largest tech companies. This relates to formal legislation as well as soft power initiatives.

·         Digital Services Act: Denmark and Germany have closely cooperated in the course of the negotiations of the Digital Services Act at European level. This cooperation will continue at working level to cooperate and share considerations with, amongst other things, respect to the drafting of national legislation in order to comply with the requirements of the Digital Services Act.

·         Denmark and Germany will, where appropriate and feasible, coordinate views ahead of summits and ministerial meetings in relevant international fora.

·         Denmark and Germany will work together to increase international political awareness on the issues posed by the largest tech companies – and how to address them.

4. Cooperation on health

There is great potential in Denmark and Germany combining forces and sharing experience in the field of health. Together we want to tackle mutual challenges and accelerate development on in key areas. Both Denmark and Germany have common objectives and ambitions, where learning from each other could result in notable added value. We believe that enhanced cooperation through exchanges between ministries and external experts and joint projects is particularly promising in the following areas:

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate to promote the One Health-approach and reduce antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This will be achieved by e.g.:

o   Sharing best practices to reduce the use of antimicrobials and improve Europe’s role in One Health research

o   Sharing experiences on how to unite national experts and stakeholder across sectors within the working field of AMR.

o   Learning from each other regarding the process of how to combat reservoirs for antibiotic-resistant pathogens within communities.

o   Sharing knowledge and experiences on monitoring the use of antibiotics and anti-microbials e.g. through benchmarking systems and national monitoring systems.

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate and share best practices on securing innovative and empowering health/smart-home digital solutions to patients and citizens while maintaining a high level of privacy and data security. We want to ensure responsible use of health data for the benefit of research and development of treatment for patients and share experiences and knowledge on giving scientists access to health data, genomic data infrastructure and the synthetic data setup for commercial use. Subjects of cooperation could also be e.g. strengthening interoperability with regards to the European Health Data Space (EHDS), digital health innovations and applications, digitalisation of hospitals and ambulatory sector, new methods and studies of patterns to generate evidence, ongoing evaluation of digital applications, post market evaluation, secondary use of health data and access to data for healthcare, research and innovation. Moreover, the rising importance of cybersecurity in healthcare demands sharing experiences and best practices between countries for stationary as well as ambulatory sector. Due to sensitivity of patient data, ways should be discussed how stakeholders, esp. providers of digital healthcare solutions, can be encouraged to prioritise this important topic.

·         Denmark and Germany will work together to link independent German and Danish scientific experts on health systems. We want to promote exchange of evidence, analysis, evaluative findings, ethical considerations and scientifically informed advice or respective recommendations, and identify best practices of e.g. developing hospital care or digitalisation. Sharing knowledge and thoughts on how to develop the national health systems in order to e.g. address new threats to health and pandemics, demographic challenges, innovation etc. Furthermore, we want to share experiences from national health care reforms as well as methods and measures to raise the resilience of accessible health systems, both in terms of health care and long-term care.

The cooperation in the area of health will initially be focused on, but not limited to the three themes AMR, digitalisation and health systems. If new thematic areas will occur, we will broaden the scope of our cooperation. Initial dialogues were and are being held in order to start cooperation and set up in-depth meetings on the issues set out above.

5. Cooperation on Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

Germany and Denmark will continue and strengthen cooperation in the field of food, agriculture and fisheries. We will focus in particular on sustainability in food production and consumption, reduction of AMR, animal health and welfare, the green transition of the agricultural sector in the EU and not least sustainable fisheries. Specifically, our enhanced cooperation will include the following aspects:

·         Denmark and Germany will work together to increase sustainability in food production and consumption across the entire food chain. We will continue our exchange in the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste and exchange best practices on how to improve the quality of communal catering and increase the share of organic products. We will strengthen our dialogue on European developments as i.e. labelling or taxonomy regulation, and cooperate in the context of future Codex Alimentarius work on new food sources and production systems. We will also organise expert level exchange on exports of agricultural products in the process of transformation of agricultural production and how veterinary negotiations on market openings can be designed to make international trade more sustainable. Finally, we will share best practices on changing food consumption towards healthy and sustainable diets. 

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate to promote the One Health-approach on the reduction of AMR. We will share best practices to reduce the use of antimicrobials in the livestock production in the light of the Farm to Fork strategy aiming at 50 percent reduction in the EU by 2030 and strengthen cooperation to improve Europe’s role in One Health Research. We will also conduct expert level consultations on relevant topics such as data collection and benchmarking of antibiotic use and resistance monitoring as well as explore new avenues of cooperation in several research programs.

·         Denmark and Germany will explore means of cooperation in the area of organic production and consumption in order to meet the goals set in the EU Organic Action Plan e.g. on how the public sector and other relevant stakeholders can play an important role for increasing organic demand.

·         Denmark and Germany will enhance their successful cooperation on welfare and protection of animals with the aim to further improve animal welfare in the EU. We will continue the close cooperation in the Vught Group (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden since 2014) and advance EU legislation concerning animal transports. We also want to advance our joint activities with regard to the problem of keel-bone fractures in laying hens, and for the improvement of the situation regarding dog trade in the EU.

·         Denmark and Germany will work together to prevent and mitigate infectious animal diseases such as African Swine Fever and the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

·         Denmark and Germany will work closely together to ensure the green transition of the agricultural sector in the EU with the focus on climate and environment.

·         Denmark and Germany will share experience on the implementation of climate and environment measures in the agricultural sector and work closely together on promoting a greener Common Agricultural Policy in the EU.

·         Denmark and Germany will continue to share experiences on efficient nutrient management at farm level in order to reduce losses to the environment, and explore opportunities for establishing a partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector to further the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.

·         Denmark and Germany will continuously commit to the exchange of ideas and experiences on agri-environmental policy development and its scientific basis. In particular, we will promote scientific exchange during workshops in the Policy Science Working Group, led by Dutch colleagues from Wageningen University, as part of the bilateral partnership.

Denmark and Germany are close partners in relation to sustainable fisheries and will continue our longstanding cooperation with the goal to make fisheries more sustainable. Going forward we will work together on the coming reform of EU fisheries Control Regulation. We want to reach an ambitious reform that will modernise and simplify fisheries monitoring and controls.

6. Cooperation on transport

Denmark and Germany have a shared ambition of enabling cross-border transport operations of European Modular System vehicles between Denmark and Germany. 

·         Denmark and Germany aim to negotiate a bilateral agreement on European Modular System vehicles in 2022. European Modular System vehicles have already been included successfully into the Danish and German logistics industry and become an integral part of freight transport. The purpose of these vehicles is to improve the productivity, reduce CO2-emissions from road transport and reduce congestion. Therefore, European Modular System vehicles could have a positive effect towards the goal of making road transport greener and more efficient.

With the construction of the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, Denmark and Germany are intent on improving conditions for even closer cross-border mobility and cooperation between our countries.

Furthermore, we jointly recognise rail transport as an important contributor to the green transition of the transport sector and as a vital part of the green mobility of the future. We will therefore strive towards facilitating cross border rail services for passengers.

7. Cooperation on foreign policy, security policy and international development issues

7.a. Strengthening climate diplomacy in the EU and beyond

Since climate change increasingly shapes geopolitics, ministers for foreign affairs in cooperation with other line ministries should  contribute to a more coherent and strategic approach to climate diplomacy in mitigating global emissions, adapting to the adverse effects of climate change, building resilience, ensuring climate financing, addressing loss and damage as well as tackling climate security risks. Recognising that both Denmark and Germany have ambitious goals with regard to climate diplomacy and the nexus between climate and security, we want to work closely together to enhance focus on these issues in the Baltic Sea region, in the EU, NATO and beyond. 

·         Denmark and Germany will strengthen the focus on the spillover effect of the war in Ukraine on energy security and how to address the challenges in the Baltic Sea region. Denmark will cooperate with the German Presidency of The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) on a joint initiative on offshore wind to help accelerate the green transition in the region and become independent of Russian fossil fuel deliveries.

·         Denmark and Germany will promote an ambitious European foreign policy roadmap towards COP28, focusing on three aspects:

Ø  Integrating the climate and security nexus into EU foreign policy

Ø  Enhancing climate diplomacy efforts of the EU

Ø  Strengthening EU climate diplomacy within EUs global foreign policy agenda through multilateral organisations.

To achieve these collective aims, Denmark and Germany will work together to establish a Group of Friends for Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy to enhance cooperation, coordination and implementation of ambitious climate action through the European Union’s foreign policy mechanisms.

·         Denmark and Germany will deepen cooperation within the framework of the United Nations and work together to promote green energy transition in third countries. We will join forces on tackling climate and security risks, not least in Northern Africa. Finally, we will work together on how to secure a greener foreign service.

7.b. Global crisis prevention, stabilisation, peacebuilding and humanitarian assistance

Global crisis prevention, stabilisation, and peacebuilding are key foreign policy issues for both Denmark and Germany. We are already like-minded partners on many issues and want to enhance cooperation further. 

·         Denmark and Germany will work closely towards a more focused and strategically aligned European approach to peacebuilding and stabilisation, including the work on an EU Consensus on Peace, as a missing linkage in the humanitarian-development-peace nexus to support fragile and conflict affected countries.

·         Denmark and Germany will strengthen cooperation with regard to the Sahel region, including through further joint analysis, common funding of stabilisation projects in the region, and enhanced cooperation as donors to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Liptako Gourma stabilisation facility and other multilateral stabilisation instruments in the region. In adopting a regional approach, we are joining forces in responding to the cross-border nature of destabilisation challenges and enhancing coordination amongst international actors.

·         Denmark and Germany will collaborate more closely on the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). This would include exploring ways to support the PBF’s work to improve impact measurement of peacebuilding projects and programs. Further, we want to coordinate more closely on a strategic level, namely in formats such as the Sustaining Peace Donor Group and the upcoming strategic dialogue on the PBF.

Humanitarian assistance is a joint priority. Denmark and Germany regularly exchange and coordinate on humanitarian priority issues, including through the Humanitarian Consultations scheduled for fall 2022 (together with other Nordic countries).

7.c. Cooperation on security policy

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has fundamentally changed the European security architecture.  As a consequence, it is ever more relevant to realise our common goals of a strengthened collective deterrence and defence posture in the framework of our Alliance. As Allies, Denmark and Germany will continue to contribute to the deterrence and defence of NATO territory, including in the Baltic Sea region, also in view of future Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO. The geographic closeness between Denmark and Germany also gives opportunities for synergies in a strengthened defence cooperation.

Denmark and Germany will intensify their broader security policy dialogue, including on the increased demand for industrial technology. It will also cover cooperation on arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation,

·         Denmark and Germany will intensify consultations to align our understanding of the challenges exacerbated by the new security situation in Europe and the options for handling them, in particular ways to further strengthen our deterrence and defence posture within the Alliance. As part of this, we already have a strong maritime cooperation in the Baltic Sea and will explore ways to further expand and intensify our cooperation in the region building on the increased German contributions to the security for the Baltic Sea region, in particular the proposed Baltic Maritime Component Command in Rostock. We will pursue our ambitions to improve interoperability within multinational exercises. Additionally, we aim for an increasingly shared operational picture, for example in the Baltic Sea region and the Northern Sea approaches to the Atlantic.

·         Denmark and Germany will work towards a common vision for a system of arms control and confidence- and security-building measures. Denmark and German will focus in particular on Danish cooperation with the Stockholm-initiative and further development on the ideas entailed in the Berlin declaration (“stepping stones for nuclear disarmament”), to which Denmark has aligned itself. Moreover, we will set up bilateral arms control consultations between Germany and Denmark on annual basis. A first meeting between Danish and German officials will take place in autumn 2022.

·         Denmark and Germany will share ideas on nuclear risk reduction measures and continue cooperation on supporting and safeguarding the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons with a view to strengthening accountability for the use of chemical weapons and countering impunity. And we want to exchange views on the role of NATO with regard to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation issues.

·         Denmark and Germany will strengthen their bilateral cooperation in relation to development, innovation and export/import within the defence industry sector. Based on the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008 as amended in 2019, we aim to enhance our cooperation in potential future programs and industrial collaborations. Germany and Denmark intend to support the harmonisation of Member States’ arms export control practices and to look into possibilities of further strengthening the regulatory framework in the EU.

Against the backdrop of Denmark’s decision to participate fully in EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), Germany and Denmark will jointly seek to exploit the many opportunities to cooperate on EU efforts and to deepen cooperation within the framework given by CSDP.

7.d. European policy

Denmark and Germany are close and long-standing partners in the European Union. As neighbours and joint members of the EU, we face common challenges and threats, and we are committed to finding common solutions. The close cooperation between Denmark and Germany has become even stronger over the past years, and we will work closely together to further strengthen and develop the Union.

Recent crises have shown how the challenges that we face are increasingly complex: Our security is no longer exclusively a question of military threats, but also of digital threats, threats to our democratic institutions, our critical infrastructure, our value chains, our energy security and more. This requires equally complex and holistic responses, also in our sectoral policies:

·         Denmark and Germany stand together in defending the rule of law, multilateralism and a rules-based international order. Denmark and Germany are both fully committed to the EU’s community of values. We will further strengthen our cooperation to defend the EU’s founding values, including the rule of law. We share the conviction that full respect – by all Member States – for the EU’s values is a prerequisite for the functioning of the EU, including the internal market. We will remain in close bilateral dialogue, and we will cooperate closely within the EU to maintain the rule of law at the top of our agenda and to ensure that all Member States live up to their commitments.

·         Denmark’s change of status regarding military aspects of the Common Security and Defence Policy will move Denmark closer to the core of the European Union and Germany.

·         The EU and the internal market are the foundation of our welfare and the driver for our growth. We strive to further strengthen this integration. Denmark and Germany recognise the need to draw on the EU’s entire toolbox in order to preserve European sovereignty and our open strategic autonomy, including regulation and standards, diversification of value chains, appropriate rules on investment screening, the negotiations on an EU regulation addressing economic coercion and the use of trade defence instruments. More than ever, the EU needs to enhance cooperation with international partners to strengthen global standards, including on sustainability. An active and ambitious trade policy to build more trade agreements in Latin America, the Indo-Pacific and elsewhere is a pivotal answer to increased geopolitical tensions and geo-economic challenges. We share the ambition that the EU should use the full strength of its economic weight to defend and promote our interests. We will continue our close cooperation to further develop the EU’s toolbox, where necessary, and limit our critical dependencies of third countries, including through close coordination and joint policy papers.

The digital and green transitions are key to our prosperity and competitiveness. We will work together to maintain a high level of ambition on green transition, including through the Fit for 55 and REPowerEU packages which are key to achieving carbon neutrality in Europe and independence from not least Russian fossil fuels as quickly as possible. We will build on our strong cooperation to expand renewable energy, including offshore wind in the North and Baltic Sea, which could accelerate Europe’s green transition. 

7.e. Cooperation on development policy

Denmark and Germany work closely together on development policy; both countries are committed to cooperate on various levels with our neighbouring continent Africa. We are like-minded in terms of promoting climate/the green agenda, stability, Humanitarian-Development Peace Nexus (HDP-nexus) and root causes of migration as well as other key issues including human rights, gender equality and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the EU’s development cooperation and more broadly. Denmark and Germany work together for alignment/synergies between the Paris agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in long-term strategies for climate neutrality and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Global challenges connected to the green energy transition and economy wide decarbonisation as well as to food security in developing and emerging economies are key aspects of our cooperation, which we will expand in the coming years. Furthermore, Denmark and Germany share the ambition of scaling up action to assist climate vulnerable countries and communities to build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change, including strengthening of support to avert, minimise and address climate induced loss and damage.

·         Germany and Denmark will work together on aligning the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) with the Paris agreement – including through a group of likeminded countries. A joint push will be made to strengthen the MDBs role and involvement at country level to support increased ambitions and implementation of national climate transition plans, including NDCs and National Adaptation Plans, and in line with the 1.5-degree target. This will not least take place through

the Bonn Group of likeminded countries and collaboration on concrete recommendations and a push to make the World Bank Group (WBG) fit for the purpose of delivering on the next generation of climate country partnerships.

·         Denmark and Germany will work together in the context of the Champions Group on Adaptation Finance to support that countries and financing institutions collectively deliver on the Glasgow target of doubling adaptation finance to developing countries from 2019 to 2025.

Denmark and Germany will discuss a possible Danish involvement in and financial contribution to the German led InsuResilience Global Partnership/initiative“ and the Global Shield Against Climate Risks

·         Denmark and Germany will work together on creating more sustainable global food systems, e.g. as Champions for the UN Secretary-General’s Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG). The Global Alliance for Food Security will play an important role in the coordination among existing institutions.

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate on multilateral Just Energy Transition Partnerships with third countries.

·         Denmark and Germany will collaborate closely, including in a group of like-minded EU member-states, concerning EU development policy, especially leading up to EU Council meetings (development minister-formation) and regarding the programming and implementation of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)with a focus on promoting the above-mentioned issues.

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate closely on global SRHR advocacy, including in SRHR likeminded donor group and in relation to the HDP-nexus.

·         Denmark and Germany will cooperate in Sahel to improve the resilience of vulnerable populations to the effects of climate change on conflict and migration.

This Action Plan shall be revisited and updated on a regular basis in order to deliver on shared priorities and initiatives and explore new fields of cooperation and thereby further strengthen ties between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Denmark. The contributing ministries and actors will be responsible for following up on initiatives within their areas of responsibility.   

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