Background and membership
– The Association of Danish Small Islands (Sammenslutningen af Danske Småøer) was founded in 1974 by islanders, and the organization is run democratically by the islanders themselves.
– The Danish association organizes 27 small islands with all-year-populations from about 10 to 900 inhabitants. All together these islands represent a population of about 4,500 inhabitants (4,527 in year 2018).
– Criteria for being a member in the association are the following: that the island is not bridged or have other permanent connection to the mainland; that the island is not an independent local authority (such as a municipality) and lastly that the island has between 20 and 1200 all-year residents. Exemption can be made from the last criteria.
Aims and objectives of our organisation
– The main task is to preserve and develop the small islands as communities of all-year-residents.
– The main issues are infrastructural service, for example ferries, broadband, mobile connections, and acces to public services such as health care and education. Other topics are tourism, housing issues and possibilities for employment of islanders.
– The organisation strives to be the voice of the islanders in the political landscape.
Islands in our organisation
The 27 islands in the Association of Danish Small Islands are scattered all over Denmark, they are as follows (number of residents, year 2018, in paranthesis):
Agersø (173), Anholt (132), Askø (42), Avernakø (110), Baagø (26), Barsø (15), Birkholm (8), Bjørnø (34), Drejø (71), Egholm (53), Endelave (151), Fejø (456), Femø (121), Fur (799), Hjarnø (107), Hjortø (7), Lyø (88), Mandø (40), Nekselø (18), Omø (161), Orø (910), Sejerø (344), Skarø (32), Strynø (182), Tunø (112), Venø (185), Aarø (150).
See map showing the islands here:
Political structure in the organisation
– The Association of Danish Small Islands is run by a board with 8 members. Chairman and vice chairman are elected for a two-year period at our annual general meeting. The remaining six seats in the board rotate between the 27 islands.
– Each island selects one representative who participates in the annual general meeting in spring and in the annual meeting for representatives in the fall. The island representatives are important contact-persons between the islanders and the organisation.
-The 27 representatives at the annual general meeting are the highest authority in our organisation.
Structure of administration
– The association has a secretariat which is situated on the island of Strynø. The secretariat has two staff members, a head of the secretariat (full time) and a secretary(part time). Depending on ongoing projects consultents are also employed by the organisation.
Friends and partnerships
– The organisation works very closely together with the organisation of the LEADER+ for the small islands in Denmark (LAG Småøerne).
– ESIN, the european small island network is a close partner.
– National organisations connected to the ferry service of the small islands
– Several ministries of Denmark
– Rural organisations of Denmark
Funding of the organisation
– The Association of Danish Small Islands are supported by the Danish government with 1,5 mio. dkr. annually (about 200,000 EUR) which is our most important source of funding.
– We receive membership fees from the 27 island community organisations, a total of app. 120,000 dkr. (about 16,000 EUR).
– Finally we receive funding from the ministry of culture of app. 50,000 dkr. (about 6,600 EUR).
Funding for projects on the islands
– Islanders on the 27 islands can apply for project funding, that is administered by The Danish Business Authority. Every year app. 5 mio. dkr. (about 660,000 EUR) is distributed to the 27 islands for projects of cultural or job-creating character.
– Our 27 islands are also included in EU-programs. We have a LEADER+ group for the 27 small islands (LAG Småøerne).
– Other national sources of funding which can be used by rural areas in general and therefore also by small islands.
Funding for ferry services
Ferry services are financially supported by the national government and local municipality. Most of the ferries are owned and run by the municipality. Only very few are owned and run by private companies.
Travelling is free for resident islanders (for person and bicycle) since 2001.
Since 2015 special subsidies have been introduced to reduce the prize for goods and since 2016 also for passenger tickets (for cars and tourists for example).