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Social Democratic Principles

The Social Democratic Party’s first program of principles was adopted in 1876.

Since then, several programs of principles have laid out the direction of the party, and have been used as compasses of guidance within the organization. Our fundamental values has ever since our first program of principles have been freedom, equality and solidarity.

These values also reflect the latest program of principles, “Fælles om Danmark”, which was adopted by the Social Democratic congress in 2017.

Our ideological position is democratic socialism, and the belief in democracy and the struggle for social equity has always driven us forward.

Values are important. Without them, there would be no party. Values are fundamental in everything that we do, and they set the direction for our political work.

It is also important to acknowledge that these values are not limited to Denmark. On the contrary, it is a part of an international movement.

There are too many places in the world, where few sit on the goods to the detriment of the many, while our values are in cramped conditions.

We therefore need a strong Social Democracy with strong values internationally.

Solidarity and community

We believe in community. It is through strong and committed communities, that we best ensure the individual’s opportunity to live a good life and fulfil their personal potential.

In a solidary community, everyone does his or her best, and we help each other. The broadest shoulders carry the greatest weight.

In Denmark, we stick together. We reject the myth about everyone being the architect of his or her own fortune. Instead, we believe that all people have a responsibility for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable.

We know that everyone can be in need of help. When this happens, a person shall never feel like a burden or left out. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

The social democratic society builds on the principle that public services are universal. This means, that although we have a particular responsibility towards the most vulnerable amongst us, society will not only help those. Public welfare is for all of us.

In strong communal institutions, such as public grade schools, day care programs, and the health care system, Danes meet across economic, social, and cultural differences. The broad support and participation lifts everyone’s welfare and creates social reflection. Furthermore, it makes social mobility possible for the most vulnerable in society. Collective financing of strong public institutions is fundamental to this equality, which ensures freedom for everyone regardless of their background.

We believe in communities in all parts of life: family life, work life, leisure time, and politically.

We seek strong communities locally, nationally and across borders.

Freedom and equality

All people are equal, but this does not mean identical. We have individual dreams and preconditions in life.

All children, who grow up in Denmark, shall have the same opportunities of becoming part of society and making the most of their own potential.

Everyone shall have equal access to shape his or her own life, no matter one’s gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, social background or economic ability.

Therefore, as a society, we have the responsibility to fight barriers and inequalities that deprive some people of the freedom to pursue their dreams.

We shall always support those who try to go against their social heritage. However, the true goal of our politics is to ensure social mobility for everyone.

We are against all forms of discrimination. No one shall be treated with injustice or derogatory.

Gender equality is of particular priority for the Social Democratic Party and shall be accomplished in all parts of society.

Rights and duties

With rights come duties. We all have the right to get help when needed. And we all have the responsibility to contribute where we can.

All Danes have a responsibility for their own life and contribute to society. We help each other and we make demands of one another.

Without diligence, willpower, and civic responsibility the Danish welfare society cannot persist and develop. We wish to be a wealthy and productive country, where as many people as possible participate and contribute.

The Danish people are industrious. This is good and necessary. It is important that as many people as possible have a job. This creates identities and provides joy of life to the individual and ensures prosperity for all of us.

Working is both a duty and a right.

It is necessary that as many people as possible have a job, so that we can ensure our common welfare, and help those with no employment.

Simultaneously, it is the community’s task to ensure that employment is as high as possible. It requires a spacious labor market, where there is also room for people such as the elderly and people with disabilities.


Trust and cohesion

A trustworthy society with cohesion is a good and safe place to live. Denmark must always be such a country.

We must always feel that we belong to the same community and share the same values and respect for each other.

A society with so significant rights and duties, as we have in Denmark, can only function, if we trust each other and feel coherent.

The individual shall always feel assured, that contributions to society are administrated in a good and fair way. This requires openness and transparency.

Without security, there is no cohesion. We shall be a country, where people feel safe in regards to their welfare, economic and physical safety. A state of law, where you can live in peace, without fear for violence, criminality, or terror.

We will fight crime by means we know work. We will fight its root causes and act aggressively on prevention and resocialization. The judicial system must also be consistent and fair.

Democracy and civic education

We believe in democracy. It is the only just and most effective form of government in the world.

A democracy should not have boundaries or contradictions between those who rule, and those who are ruled.

Any legally responsible person has the right to participate in democracy. It can be done by voting at elections, expressing themselves freely and by the right to assemble. In this way, every individual has the opportunity to influence the setting of his or her own life.

Democracy requires access to information and opportunity for involvement. Denmark must be an enlightening and participative society, based on the active engagement of citizens.

General education is necessary in a democracy. This requires education in democracy from kindergarden and through the entire education system. In addition, it requires good opportunities for education as well as a rich cultural and social life.

Sustainability and responsibility

In a modern world, it is important to remember, that even today humankind lives in symbiosis with nature and its forces.

We believe that humans have a responsibility for taking care of nature and animals with whom we share the planet. Plants and animals are valuable to us, but they also have their own value.

Therefore, we must take care of the environment around ourselves and always seek to set up sustainable types of production that are considerate of animal welfare.

Furthermore, our generation has an obligation to show responsibility towards future generations. We must beware of nature’s resources, so that our children and grandchildren do not inherit a planet in a worse state, than it is now. 

Internationalism and human rights

Our values have no boundaries. We seek to fight in Denmark and the world to advance our principles.

We are an international party, and we believe that cross-border cooperation is beneficial. We wish for a world order built on rules and norms. A world that builds on rule of law, and not rules of power.

Therefore, we are in favor of active and committed cooperation between counties and people of the world. We insist that Denmark should have a notable voice and a seat at the table in those arenas where international decisions are made.

We commit to complying with the UN’s human rights and believe that they should apply to all people on earth.

We believe in the power of the good example and know that Denmark can make a difference in the world by taking the lead with clear and strong values.