Pension Pimpin’ in Flensburg 1/2

Numbers of Danes in Northern Germany doubles in ten years

Since 2000, the number of Danes moving to Germany has doubled up. One of the reasons? Germany is a financial heaven for the Danes. Not that the German taxes are much more attractive than the Danish but the German life expenses definitely is irresistible for some of them.

By Steffen, Andrew & Camille

Cheap Housing, Germany is the place to be for the Danes

In 2009, the European Commission DG Employment and Social Affairs Scientific commissioned the “Report on the Mobility ofCross-Border Workers within the EU-27/EEA/EFTA Countries”. It highlights the attractiveness of the German low accommodation pricings. The German prices in renting and housing have gone down over the last few years. A loss for the German economy, that might reveals itself to be a lose-win situation.

The report insists on the housing situation that has had a strong influence on the regional workers’ mobility, which leads to a cross-border commuting wave. In fact, real estates prices in Denmark have a tendency to go up to a 5% annual price change, and even reached almost 25% in 2006, despite a downturn during the economic crisis. On the other side of the border, those prices are very unstable: stretched down to -6% mid 2008, peaked to 3% in 2009 and are now falling down towards 0% again.

These changes in prices motivate the Danes to move to Germany, as they are able to afford nicer houses than the ones they could get back home for the same amount of money.

The region gains advantages from those movements because the Danes bring money to the country thanks to the Danish high wages and retirement pensions.

Thanks to those trends, the Schleswig-Holstein region, German-Danish border region has become the new home of thousands of Danes. Over 2400 are currently living there.

Schleswig-Holstein, more pleasant than the Danish countryside

Driving everyday to work from one country to another to get a better way of life, why? Because between moving to the south of Denmark and the border, the decision is easily made, explains Simon Faber, the Mayor of Flensburg, member of the Danish minority:  “Some Danes find it attractive to move here, also for financial reasons. If they move here [in Germany], they have a nice car, a nice life, and perhaps a better life than they may get in Denmark. [by attracting higher-qualified people to the region,  Danish big businesses] may get that engineer that they need and they will never get otherwise. “

Big businesses are in fact craving for the highly qualified Danes to move and work there: their knowledge and skills are valuable for any Danish company in the region.

Nevertheless, the Danes, who moved to Germany for financial reasons, don’t usually work in Germany and don’t become a part of the Danish minority, as the Danish Consulate General points out.

The Danes who have decided to move to Germany, or any other country do not enjoy any cuts in taxes. If a Dane receives any incomes from Denmark (working wages, retirement pensions etc.), she/he is under the limited tax liability rule. In other words, she/he remains fully tax-liable, and Danish tax must be paid on this income.

Mickel Denker, member of the Danish Parliament, explains that ” there is a very small number of people moving to Germany, so it doesn’t affect the Danish society’s development”. His party encourages the perenniality of the Danish influence in the South Schleswig region by funding Danish schools and other organizations.

Movers can afford a car!

What they are entitled to is to have is a foreign car, as long as they at least go to their home country once a week. This right falls under the “announcement of the Law on Registration of motor vehicles”, which forbids any person who stays regularly in Denmark to have a foreign registration plates. Those who live by the border can obtain a status thanks to their residential address. By fulfilling those conditions they are eligible to drive a foreign car in Denmark.

This detail is actually very relevant in the decision making process of moving to Denmark. Taxes on cars in Denmark can go up to 200%, which makes some cars almost unaffordable to Danish residents, despite a fairly high income.

Border and Info Center

Considering the growing number of Danish people moving to the boarder, partners municipalities that were originally parts of the county of Sønderjyllands Amt (Danish side) and Stadt Flensburg Kreis Nordfriesland and Kreis Schleswig-Flensburg (German side) created Info Center in September 1997. This organization has become an integral part of the Regional office in the South Jutland-Schleswig region. It aims at targeting the downsides of the border region and makes them become assets. It encourages organizations and people to get in touch with each other in order to achieve a long term and sustainable cooperation. Info Center offers help inall cross-boarder issues to commuters, businesses, organization, citizens and whoever is looking for advice.

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