Culture and Society

Living in Europe | Access to the culture of the host country/language courses | Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands are a modern society with a high standard of living and the Faroese have a strong sense of local identity and social cohesion.

The culture of the Faroe Islands has its roots in the Nordic culture. The islands were long isolated from the main cultural movements in Europe and have maintained a large part of their traditional culture. At the same time the Faroese live a modern European life with cultural events, new technology and a well developed infrastructure.

The Faroese are well-educated. Many Faroese study and work abroad in a wide range of fields. The mobility and flexibility of the Faroese people maintains a broad international perspective.

 

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing nation within the Kingdom of Denmark with extensive autonomous powers and responsibilites.

The Faroe Islands have exclusive competence to legislate and govern independently in a wide range of areas, including taxation and customs, management of fisheries and other utilisation of natural resources, social security, education and research. 

The Faroe Islands are not part of the European Union, despite Denmark’s membership of the EU.

The Faroese political system is a parliamentary democracy, with a democratically elected legislative assembly, Løgtingið, and an executive government, Landsstýrið, headed by the Prime Minister, løgmaður.

The Løgting is the legislative assembly for Faroese affairs.

The Løgting is believed to be one of the oldest parliaments in Europe. Its origin can be traced as far back as shortly after the first Norse settlement of the Faroe Islands in the early 9th century. The settlers established their own parliament in Tórshavn where all major decisions affecting the whole country were taken.

In 1816 the Faroe Islands became a Danish administrative district and the Løgting was abolished. In 1852 the Løgting was reestablished as a consultative body for Danish authorities concerning the governing of the Faroe Islands.

In 1948 the Home Rule Act vested all legislative power within branches taken over from the Danish Parliament in the Løgting.

The Løgting has 33 members who are elected for a period of four years. Election of the Løgting can take place before the end of an election period if the Løgting agrees on dissolving itself or the Prime Minister decides to call an election. All Faroese and Danish nationals over 18 years residing in the Faroe Islands have the right to vote and to stand for election for the Løgting.

At present seven political parties are represented in the Løgting.

The session of the Løgting begins on 29 July (Saint Olaf´s day) with a procession from the parliament building to the Cathedral where a service is held. After the service the procession returns to the parliament, and the Prime Minister delivers his Saint Olaf’s address, in which he gives a general description of the state of the nation.

The sittings of the Løgting are public.The Løgting debates between 150 and 200 various items in one session.

 

Political parties

The Social Democratic Party - Javnaðarflokkurin 

The Republican Party - Tjóðveldi (in Faroese)

The People´s Party - Fólkaflokkurin (in Faroese)

The Unionist Party - Sambandsflokkurin (in Faroese)

The Independece Party - Sjálvstýri

The Centre Party - Miðflokkurin (in Faroese)

The Liberal Nationalistic Party - Framsókn (in Faroese)

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The Faroese Parliament