Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark and its autonomous territories
The Danish Realm (Danish: Danmarks Rige; Faroese: Danmarkar Ríki; Greenlandic: Danmarkip Naalagaaffik), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark; Faroese: Kongsríki Danmarkar; Greenlandic: Kunngeqarfik Danmarki), is a sovereign state located in Northern Europe and Northern North America. It consists of metropolitan Denmark—the kingdom's territory in continental Europe and sometimes called "Denmark proper" (Danish: egentlige Danmark)—and the realm's two autonomous regions: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The relationship between the three parts of the Kingdom is also known as The unity of the Realm (Danish: Rigsfællesskabet; Faroese: ríkisfelagsskapurin; Greenlandic: naalagaaffeqatigiinneq).The Kingdom of Denmark is not a federation; similar to the Realm of New Zealand, it is a concept encompassing the three autonomous legal systems of Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, united under its monarch. The Kingdom of Denmark is a unitary sovereign state. It has Arctic territorial claims in the Arctic Ocean: various sites near the North Pole (Lomonosov Ridge, Gakkel Ridge, Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge complex, and the Chukchi Borderland). Constitutionally, the Kingdom of Denmark encompasses the realm, but the Faroe Islands and Greenland have an extended degree of autonomy to govern their relations.
The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been under the Crown of Denmark since 1397 (de facto) when the Kalmar Union was ratified, and part of the Danish Realm since 1814 (de jure). However, due to their separate historical and cultural identities, these parts of the Realm now have an extensive degree of self-government and have assumed legislative and administrative responsibility in a substantial number of fields.Legal matters in the Realm are subject to the Constitution of the Realm of Denmark. It stipulates that it applies for all parts of the Kingdom of Denmark and that legislative, executive and judicial powers are the responsibility of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Folketing), the Government of Denmark and the Supreme Court of Denmark. The Faroe Islands were granted home rule via an independence referendum in 1946, and Greenland did so in a 1979 referendum. In 2005, the Faroes received a self-government arrangement, and in 2009 Greenland received "self rule", thus leaving the government of Denmark with little influence over the matters of internal affairs that are devolved to the local governments of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
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