Tuesday, 11. October 2016, Arctic Consensus hosted a dialogue meeting on “Cooperation and possibilities in the Unity of the Realm”. The meeting was held at the Arctic House at Vesterbro 79 in the centre of Aalborg. During the meeting, three different viewpoints were presented by Ulrik Pram Gad, PhD, associate professor at Aalborg University, Aaja Chemnitz Larsen, member of the Danish Parliament (IA) and Michael Keldsen, lawyer at Kromann Reumert.
Ulrik Pram Gad based his presentation on his newly published book “National Identity Politics and Postcolonial Sovereignty Games”. Gad presented some of the areas, that hinder the cooperation between Denmark and Greenland, which in particular is affected by the differing views on each other, even though these views are improving. He perceives the Unity of the Realm as a tool that can help Greenland towards independence rather than a hindrance.
Gad presented his view on how the members of the Unity of the Realm can avoid hindering each other, in addition to different perspectives on the purpose of the Unity of the Realm. He discussed how Greenland needs input on its way towards independence – but the problem being that Denmark fills too much in the horizon.
Aaja Chemnitz Larsen presented views on “The Unity of the Realm: conflicting or mutual interests?”, wherein she presented her experiences and ideas about the future construction of the Unity of the Realm. Aaja mentioned, amongst other, the opportunities that can be found in a collaboration, and how these opportunities can be used in a constructive way, instead of focussing on the conflicts in the collaboration.
The third speaker, Michael Keldsen, focused on the challenges that exist within the Unity of the Realm. Here, Keldsen talked about the consequences of persistent questioning of the Unity of the Realm, and included examples regarding the wish for independence, the language debate and the school system. Furthermore, Keldsen presented parallels between the US Virgin Islands (the former Danish West Indies) and their possibilities in a relation to the United States.
The following debate reflected the large interest many of the attendees had for the topic. The debate included topics such as the lack of knowledge and awareness of Greenland in Denmark, the equality, or the lack thereof, between Denmark and Greenland and how the colonial past affects the relationship to this day.
After the debate, the attendees were invited to a reception where Arctic Import had sponsored a light snack consisting of different tapas dishes.
Photo: Arctic Consensus