The opening of the Christmas market in the Council of Europe

First and foremost, I would like to thank Amicale for organising this wonderful Christmas market and for gathering us here today.

I would furthermore like to thank Amicale for the good cooperation in organising this event and I hope that our joint work will bring you all a great Christmas experience.

On Wednesday 15 November, Denmark took over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

With the chairmanship comes great responsibility and Denmark is committed and dedicated to support and promote the work of the Council of Europe - its principles and values under the keywords human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

With great responsibility comes also the task to preserve and engage in the various work and traditions of our organisation. In doing so, we are pleased to support and cooperate with Amicale.

Your association offers an impressive scope of activities and continues to be of great value for the organisation.

Just like Christmas – Amicale indeed has the ability to bring people together. That is in my belief of highest importance in today’s Europe. Bringing people together to make Europe prosper and further develop.

As many of you may already be aware, hygge is an undisputable ingredient in the Danish way of life. Hygge can though be hard to describe in words.

I associate hygge with candlelights, good food and drinks and to spent time among new and old friends. And in my view Christmas is the very epitome of hygge because the holiday unites all the different aspects that hygge consists of. It is a time where we enjoy each other’s company and enjoy the special and cosy feeling that only Christmas brings.

In Denmark, we cannot boast about Christmas markets but we can indeed feel the hygge that the market creates here today.

This is why I also want to underline the valuable work of Amicale. Not only are you creating hygge but your events also have the ability to bring people together.

The diversity in the work of Amicale makes it possible for everybody to participate. Whether it is sports, concerts or Christmas Markets your continued work to ensure the cultural and social life in the Council of Europe is of high importance.

I will also say my gratitude towards you since Denmark has been given the opportunity to set up a stand at this Christmas market.

This gives us a great opportunity to promote the cultural program of our chairmanship.

Hygge is the underlying basis in our cultural programme called “En mode hygge” - and many different activities are planned throughout the next 6 months.

Among others, I just want to mention that a conference on Danish urban planning and design taking place on 6 December. Furthermore, our national girls’ choir will perform a concert in the Cathedral on 23 January. 

Now the only thing left is for me to say wonderful December and merry Christmas and holidays to you all!