Minority Secretariat

Minority Council of the four autochthonous national minorities of Germany

Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF)

Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF) – the South Schleswig Association – was founded in 1920 and is the main cultural organisation of the Danish minority in Germany, based in Flensburg/Flensborg.

The purpose of SSF is to promote the Danish language and the Danish and Nordic culture, to deepen the understanding for the South Schleswig homeland and its peculiarities and to foster a close relation with Denmark, the north and the Danish South Schleswigans outside of South Schleswig. On the one hand SSF as a cultural organisation is responsible for the cultural offerings, on the other it is representing the cultural and minority-policy interests of the minority. 

SSF has 15,000 members in approximately 80 local chapters.

SSF’s representatives in the Minority Council are Gitte Hougaard-Werner and Jens A. Christiansen.


Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (SSW)

Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (SSW) – the South Schleswig Voters’ Association – was founded in 1948 as the party of the Danish minority in the region of Schleswig and of the national Frisians in Nordfriesland. The SSW is inspired by scandinavian political culture, which is particularly noticeable in areas such as social policy, environmental questions and educational policy.

SSW’s representatives in the Minority Council are Flemming Meyer and Martin Lorenzen.

Gitte Hougaard-Werner (* 1971)

Chair of Sydslesvisk Forening (SSF)

  • geb. in Lemvig, Dänemark
  • seit 2015 Schulleiterin an der dänischen Schule in Elsdorf-Westermühle

Berufliche Laufbahn:

  • Jurastudium in Kiel
  • Ausbildung als Krankenpflegehelferin und Lehrerin an der UCSyd, Haderlev

Gesellschaftliches Engagement:

  • 1999-2019 Dozentin an der Abendschule in Eckernförde, stellv. Vorsitzende im SSF Eckernförde
  • 2005-2019 Mitglied des Ausschusses für das dänische Jahrestreffen (Årsmødeudvalg)
  • seit 2012 Mitglied des geschäftsführenden Ausschusses (Forretningsudvalg) des SSF
  • 2013-2019 1. stellv. Vorsitzende des SSF
  • seit 2015 Mitglied des Aufsichtsrates der Flensborg Avis
  • seit 2016 Vertreterin des SSF im Gemeinsamen Rat (Det Sydslesvigske Samråd)
  • seit 2019 Vorsitzende des SSF

Jens A. Christiansen (* 1956)

Secretary General of Sydslesvigsk Forening (SSF)

  • born in Flensburg
  • M.A. in Nordic philology, parallel studies in theology and Nordic ethnology

Professional career:

  • former embassy counsellor for labour market issues for the foreign ministerial service at the Danish embassy in Bonn
  • 1988-2001 academic staff member of the Danish employers’ association (DA); head of unit for training policies
  • 1996 received the order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • from 2001 Secretary General of Sydslesvigsk Forening

Flemming Meyer (* 1951)

Chair of Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (SSW)

Flemming Meyer is the SSW-spokesperson for social and environmental policy in the regional parliament (Landtag) of Schleswig-Holstein. He is also the party chair of SSW.

  • born in Sønderborg (DK), grown up in Schafflund (D)
  • teacher in mathematics, Danish and civic education

Professional career and political offices:

Activities for SSW

  • 1981-1993 local chair of SSW in Wallsbüll
  • 1985-1991 and 1999-2003 chair of the SSW-district chapter Flensburg-Land
  • 2003-2005 second deputy chair of SSW
  • from 2005 chair of SSW

Political offices

  • 1982-1993 member of the local council in Wallsbüll
  • 1986-1989 citizen-member of the building committee in the district of Schleswig-Flensburg
  • 1989-2009 member of the district parliament of Schleswig-Flensburg
  • 2003-2009 chair of the SSW-group in the district parliament of Schleswig-Flensburg
  • from 2009 member of the Schleswig-Holstein regional parliament 

Social involvement:

  • Member of the Sydslesvigsk Samråd (joint council of Danish minority organisations)
  • Member of the Minority Council of the four autochthonous national minorities of Germany
  • Member of the advisory committee for issues related to the Danish minority at the Federal Ministry of the Interior (“contact committee”)
  • Member of the European Free Alliance (EFA)

Martin Lorenzen (* 1963)

Director of Südschleswigscher Wählerverband (SSW)

  • training as industrial manager
  • studies in business management in Denmark

Professional career:

  • business manager in Danish enterprises
  • academic staff member for the SSW-group in the regional parliament
  • director of the SSW-group in the regional parliament
  • director of SSW

Social involvement:

  • board member of the Danish student association
  • former deputy chair of SSW-Flensburg
  • former SSW-councillor in Flensburg
  • citizen-member in the Flensburg culture committee
  • citizen-member in the Flensburg finance committee
  • member of the German-Danish committee of the region


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