Denmark Report



Denmark has successfully established its own distinct WGA. It is centred on the Peace and Stabilisation Fund (PSF), which is jointly funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (development budget) and the Ministry of Defence (defence budget). The funds are jointly managed by an inter-ministerial steering committee composed of senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, and the Prime Minister’s Office. The PSF combines a programmatic regional long-term perspective with a mechanism enabling it to provide funds quickly for sudden emergencies. Its work is guided by a set of detailed guidelines ensuring that the funds are spent on activities at the nexus of security and development. Projects involving personnel contributions are generally provided by Danish state agencies and NGOs in close coordination and cooperation with international partners, notably the Nordic states, the members of the Stabilization Leaders Forum, the EU, NATO and the UN. Denmark’s WGA framework ensures a high degree of national policy coherence and coordination, which minimises duplication at both the national and international levels. Although the PSF only constitutes a small fraction of the total funds that Denmark spends on prevention, stabilisation and development, it has become a point of reference for all Danish strategy documents and white papers, and it is constantly touted as a Danish priority and success story in official communications and documents. As a result, the WGA has begun to influence how Denmark uses non-PSF funds for defence, stabilisation and development purposes, and a WGA mindset, so to speak, has spread throughout the involved ministries and state agencies from the strategic to the tactical levels.
Since its creation in 2010, the PSF – with its associated institutions, procedures and guidelines – has changed how Denmark engages in diplomatic, defence and development efforts, and it has successfully mainstreamed a WGA in Denmark’s state institutions. Judged from the available evaluations of PSF-related activities, Denmark’s WGA also appears to have made its stabilisation activities more effective. The international evaluation of the PSF carried out in 2014 was generally positive (Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2014), and the assessments that have been carried out to date by Danish researchers have also been positive. Their primary criticisms have been that the definition of stabilisation is too vague, that the funds available to the PSF are too small, and that stabilisation remains a relatively low priority within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence (Jacobsen and Engen 2017; Larsen and Nissen 2018). To this, one can add that it is impossible to meet all the Peace and Stability Fund guidelines at the same time, and that they actually give officials a free hand to do whatever they feel like.
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