Short address by His Majesty the King at a lunch during the State visit to Denmark

Prime Minister,

Thank you for your warm words and for your hospitality. It is a great pleasure for my wife and I to be able to spend a few days in dynamic Denmark and to meet so many representatives of Danish society.

We are looking forward to what this State visit has in store, both in Copenhagen and elsewhere. All the key themes are on the agenda: diplomatic relations, trade, sustainable energy, culture, health, the quality of society, and even ‘happiness’.

Our visit offers Danish and Dutch businesses and knowledge institutions the chance to meet and get to know one another even better.

It’s only a small step from Dutch milk to Danish beer. Just ask the future CEO of Carlsberg!

The parallel economic mission, led by Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders, is focussed on sustainable energy and life sciences & health. Areas in which both our countries are very involved.

We’re greatly looking forward to tomorrow’s visit to Bispebjerg Hospital for instance. The key question is: how we can continue to ensure high-quality – but affordable – healthcare. It is fascinating to see how this challenge is encouraging innovation, for example through the use of IT. But technology can’t do everything. And that’s why it’s so valuable for Danish and Dutch experts to share their experience.

Prime Minister, in your speech you stressed that our countries have much in common. We often have the same view of the world and of life in general. I agree with you. There is only one small point on which we differ radically: the way we eat herring. While you cut it into pieces and marinate it, we Dutch grab it by the tail, throw our heads back, and just…bite.

But, when it comes to the important things, Denmark and the Netherlands are natural allies and partners. Whether we’re dealing with global issues, or domestic ones.

We are guided by the same values: justice, freedom and equality.

And we have the same goals: sustainable development and an open society where everyone feels safe. The Danish people deserve praise for their composed and dignified response to the terrorist shootings in Copenhagen last month. You led the way in this, Prime Minister!

Rest assured that we stand with you. And that we want to deepen and intensify our cooperation with your courageous and dynamic country.

May I now invite all those present to raise their glasses with me and to drink to your health, Prime Minister, and to the friendship between Denmark and the Netherlands.