(Det talte ord gælder)
Your Majesty, Foreign Minister, Excellences, ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honor and a privilege for me to welcome you to the Danish Parliament for your first state visit to Denmark.
As far as I understand, your visit has been in the making since 2014, when you were sworn in as the King of Spain. I am delighted that we have managed to get the visit of Your Majesty in place.
I warmly welcome you to Christiansborg Palace.
For a Nordic like me, Spain is the epitome of sun, warmth, and beautiful nature. Mallorca has a special place in my heart. I have been there several times. I have hiked in the beautiful mountains on the island, and I have dined at restaurants with Michelin stars.
Like Your Majesty, I have a fervent interest in football. I know you support Atletico Madrid.
You may remember that two Danish football players have been under contract with Atletico Madrid. Jesper Grønkjær played for Atletico Madrid in 2005, and most recently Daniel Wass in 2022. I will not blame Your Majesty, if you cannot remember Daniel Wass. He only played one game for Atletico Madrid.
Today our two nations are united in the EU and NATO.
We share the same values when it comes to the respect for human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
Our firm commitment in NATO and the EU has helped creating one of the longest peaceful and prosperous periods in European history.
Unfortunately, war has returned to our continent with Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. We share serious concerns about the security situation in Europe. It is important that we continue to support Ukraine.
Likewise, we must also condemn the recent brutal terrorist attacks across Israel by Hamas. We strongly emphasize Israel’s right to self-defense in line with international law and international humanitarian law.
However, the current deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is also of grave concern.
Therefore, we must work closely with regional partners to ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access and aid to reach those in need. Spain and Denmark have both benefited politically and economically from the membership of the EU. Our countries share common goals in important policy areas in the EU.
For instance, green transition, the fight against global warming and renewal of our energy infrastructure.
The current Spanish EU-Presidency has been very successful when it comes to promoting some of these vital issues. Let me also congratulate you and the Spanish Presidency with the important declaration that was adopted at the Conference in June in Leon to commemorate the International Day of Parliamentarism.
The bilateral economic relations between Denmark and Spain have never been better.
Spain is the eleventh largest supplier and tenth largest customer for Denmark. Both trade and investments between companies are growing on both sides.
This includes pharmaceuticals and health technology, but also sectors such as energy efficiency and green transition.
Spain is by far the most popular travel destination of the Danes. Many Danes have taken up permanent residence in Spain.
On the other hand, many young Spaniards have in recent years turned their eyes towards Denmark for education and jobs.
Your Majesty -
We truly value the contribution of the Spaniards in Denmark, and the hospitality of Spain towards the many Danes who have taken up permanent residence in Spain.
As stated in the Leon declaration on Parliamentarism: “We are at a crucial moment for the development and consolidation of democracy worldwide in the face of new challenges and threats”.
In times like this we need allies and strong advocates for democracy. I am happy that Spain and Denmark share a strong friendship and a strong belief in democracy.