President Trump’s “offer” to buy Greenland and his cancellation of his visit to Denmark has caused a rather sudden renewal of interest in societies and countries in the North Atlantic and their role in the world economy. While Greenland has been making headlines, however, another territory tied to Denmark – the Faroe Islands – recently held a general election. But why should we be interested in this collection of islands? And why now?
Denmark has a population of 5.5 million inhabitants and, following a recent increase in population, a little more than 51,000 people now live in the Faroe Islands – in Greenland, there are a little more than 56,000. Yet while these are small states when measured by the size of their population, they are rather large in terms of their territory.
This raises interesting questions: How can so few people manage such large territories with implications for trade? Furthermore, how can the climate challenge be addressed when superpowers have shown strong strategic interests in the North Atlantic? Can the various international agreements, treaties and promises which have been made over a period of years secure non-intervention in the Arctic and respect for human rights?
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Image credits: David Häggmark