Prelude – Folkemødet 2013


The Danish political festival, Folkemødet, starts tomorrow at Bornholm, where Stagis is represented. It is only the third year, where Folkemødet is held in Denmark, and it has already surpassed its own expectations. This year, Folkemødet beats all records and it is likely that there will be a total of 60.000 people in Allinge during the four days of the political festival. Last year it was estimated that 32.000 people attended. The picture that emerges is a Folkemøde in high growth. This year, the organizers of Folkemødet have arranged nothing less than 1.300 events, where last year’s meeting featured 748 events. The media are also huge represented, and sets a record with 500 accredited media representatives to Bornholm.

The core of Folkemødet is the events that the political parties, organizations, businesses and private citizens organize. Nikolaj Stagis will host a debate about municipality branding in the newspaper Kommunen’s tent Thursday at 6 PM, where he will challenge the mayor of Ikast-Brande, Odsherred and the City Manager of Billund municipality in relation to the municipalities authentic strengths. Furthermore, Nikolaj Stagis will speak at the Danish Chamber of Commerce’s tent around 8 PM, where the Danish Minister of Culture speaks.

Folkemødet is an annual reminder that the Danish democracy is something to cherish and appreciate. The primary purpose of Folkemødet is to strengthen democracy and dialogue in Denmark. This is done by creating another form of meetings between decision makers in business, interest groups and politicians from the Parliament, the EU, municipalities and regions. And by giving citizens the opportunity to meet decision makers face to face.

But, what impact will the mentioned growth have for Folkemødet in the future? Part of the debate surrounding this year’s political festival is about the quality of its content and concerns whether the festival is becoming a lobbyist party, where the people (in Danish: ‘Folket’) are forgotten. Others fear that there is no longer a complete agenda and that it instead is about everything and anything. But is it a bad thing, that the society shows itself in all its diversity at Folkemødet? Or is it necessary to rethink next year’s meeting? What do you think?