Indholdet på denne side vedrører regeringen Anders Fogh Rasmussen III (2007-09)

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s Opening Address to the Folketing on Tuesday 7 October 2008

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For several years, Denmark has experienced continued prosperity. An increasing number of people have found employment. And unemployment is very low.

Denmark is a good and safe place to live. We have one of the world’s best welfare systems. We are not threatened by war and natural disasters.

Many in the world around us think of Denmark as an attractive, prosperous and peaceful place.

But dark clouds are beginning to loom on the horizon.

Bank collapses, house prices dropping, high oil prices, expensive food products – this causes people to feel concerned about their personal finances.

Terrorism and threats of terrorism, gang warfare and shootings in the streets – this causes people to feel concerned about their personal safety.

The Government will fight to ensure that Denmark continues to be a safe and secure society.

A society where families are financially secure.
A society where employment is high.
A society with social security.
A society where it is safe to walk the streets in the evening.
A society where we stand together in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
A society with strong cohesion.

A safe and secure society.
We do not achieve this by looking at the past.
We do not achieve this by placing restrictions on freedom and enterprise.
We do not achieve this by withdrawing and shutting ourselves off from the outside world.

On the contrary. We create a safe and secure society by promoting reforms that prepare us for the future.
By encouraging innovation, initiative and enterprise.
And by taking our part of the responsibility in the world around us.

The Government has pursued this line since 2001. We will continue to do so. So that Denmark continues to be a safe and secure society to live in.


The international capital markets are being shaken by financial unrest. Not just in the USA. But now also in Europe.

Denmark is also affected. Basically, the Danish banking sector is healthy and solid. There have been a few exceptions to this. But overall, the Danish banks have been run in a sensible and prudent fashion.

But the problem is that the international capital market has been almost on the verge of freezing up. This has had the effect that even healthy and well-run banks have encountered difficulties in securing the necessary capital.

Not just the ailing banks were threatened – the entire banking sector was. And ultimately the whole of society.

The Government has acted resolutely.

We are establishing a guarantee arrangement for financial institutions to ensure calm and stability and routine operation of the financially healthy banks. The arrangement guarantees all bank deposits for the next two years. The guarantee has been drawn up in such a manner that the banks themselves assume quite a considerable share of the financial responsibility. And it is organised in such a way that the risk to the taxpayers has been minimised.

At the same time, the Danish Central Bank (Danmarks Nationalbank) has secured the country’s banks better credit arrangements.

In general, the Government is ready to take the steps that are necessary to ensure calm and stability in the Danish banking system.

Besides guaranteeing bank deposits, we will take action in five areas.

We strengthen the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority’s oversight of banks and other financial institutions. We strengthen the rules regarding banks’ sales of their own shares. We limit the use of share options. We ensure greater transparency regarding loans and the general behavior of banks. Customers and shareholders must be able to see what kind of bank they entrust their money to.

And together with our partners in the EU, we will discuss how to strengthen the international regulation of the capital markets. Capital moves freely across national borders. Therefore, there is a need for a common set of rules and regulations to ensure greater transparency in the international markets.

There is need for firm action in order to restore faith and stability in the capital market.

But at the same time, there is also a need to protect the sound principles of the market economy.

It is valuable to have a private banking sector. A free capital market. A strong competition.

This generates development, growth and prosperity.

But it is unforgivable when greed and smart manoeuvres get the better of solidity and common sense.
It is unreasonable if financial profiteers can make a fortune in the event of a windfall, whilst the taxpayers are left bleeding, when losses occur.
And it is indefensible if speculators can play around with huge sums of money without transparency as to the actual events.

This can inflict a considerable loss on ordinary people and the whole of society.

Fortunately, we have many good and solid banking institutions in Denmark. Banks that conduct themselves decently, administer their account holders’ deposits with due care and do not engage recklessly in irresponsible and speculative business.

It is this kind of banking practice we must ensure. It is reliable and conscientious, honest and respectable, healthy and solid.


Overall, there is a need for a solid and stable economic policy in order to ride out the storm.

The Danish economy is sound and strong. But we have an open economy, which is affected by what happens in the world around us.

What needs to be done now is to preserve calm, confidence and security regarding the finances in each household and each enterprise.

Therefore, the Government will continue to pursue a stable financial policy in order to keep the country’s economy on the right track.

Therefore, the Government will maintain the tax freeze, so that families and enterprises confidently can make decisions without fear of sudden tax increases.

And therefore, the Government will enhance its efforts to secure more manpower in order to maintain a high level of employment in this country.

Our greatest challenge is the shortage of labour. This challenge will remain even if unemployment were to rise slightly. There is a shortage of manpower – both in private enterprises and public institutions. The shortage of staff causes loss of production, loss of prosperity and lost welfare.

Quite simply, we have to make a concerted effort to secure more labour very quickly.

  • We need to reduce sickness absence. Each day, 150,000 people stay at home because they are ill. This is too many. We have now entered into an agreement with the social partners to prevent and reduce absence due to illness.
  • We must modernise the unemployment benefit system. The system was designed for a time of high unemployment. Now we have to organise it in such a way that unemployed people are offered jobs more quickly. In return, the period of entitlement to unemployment benefit could be shortened. This ensures that unemployed people do not become permanently locked into passive transfer income, but re-enter the labour market more quickly.
  • We will make it more attractive to work longer hours in the public sector. We will exploit the new opportunities for longer working hours in the collective agreements for the public sector. We will encourage part-time employees to convert to full-time employment. Or increase their number of working hours. And we will introduce a senior age bonus for staff who are willing to remain longer in the labour market. It has to be more attractive to put in an extra effort.
  • We must ensure an attractive framework for pay and management in the public sector in order to recruit and retain talented and competent staff. In agreement with the social partners, the Government has established a pay commission which is to support a positive development.
  • We wish to establish a broad consensus on increasing the total number of working hours in Denmark. Longer working hours must be compatible with the domestic situation of staff and families – and meet the needs of society.
  • And we will implement a tax reform that lowers tax on earned income, including the tax paid on the last earned krone. It must pay off to work. It must pay off to have overtime compensation in cash as opposed to time off in lieu. It must pay off to remain longer in the labour market.

To provide more labour is an unavoidable task. The problem will not disappear. It is a matter of more people retiring - and fewer people entering the labour market.

In 1943, a total of 84,000 births were registered. This large cohort is now retiring. In 1983, only 50,000 births were registered. This small cohort is now entering the labour market.

Consequently, we have a shortage of workers in both private enterprises and public institutions. And this will continue to be the case for many years. Therefore, we must act now.

It is a tough choice that we face. Either we must accept a decline in prosperity and welfare as a result of a shortage of labour. Or we must find more labour. Either by persuading those who are already in the labour market to work more. Or by ensuring that more people enter the labour market i.e. by leaving passive public welfare support.

Therefore, I call on the Folketing and the social partners to unite and find a common solution to this challenge. A challenge that is of vital importance to prosperity and welfare in Denmark.


One of the areas which have been affected severely by the shortage of labour is our hospitals. Since 2001, an additional 2,000 doctors and nurses have been employed in the health care sector. But more are needed.

The Government has prioritised the health sector since 2001. We have allocated an extra DKK 45 billion annually to welfare in Danish society. Nearly half this amount has gone to the health sector. To hospitals, general practitioners and medicine.

Hospitals carry out 130,000 more operations annually than they did seven years ago. And the quality of treatment for life-threatening diseases has improved.

But we can and must do even better. Because we pay the highest tax rate in the world. We can demand world-class hospitals.

The Government will implement a range of initiatives to ensure a continued positive development in the hospitals:

  • We will reduce waiting lists. The strike in the spring had an impact on patients. A total of 375,000 treatments were cancelled. Waiting lists exploded. This backlog has to be reduced again. We will monitor the developments in waiting time, month by month, region by region.
  • We will ensure the free choice of hospital. The free choice of hospital is temporarily on standby as a result of the dispute. We will automatically re-introduce it with effect from 1 July 2009. The free choice has been a decisive driving force for increasing the level of activity in hospitals. And the free choice, where the funds follow the patient, is a free choice which is socially fair. A free choice for all – regardless of the size of one’s wallet.
  • We will attract more labour. We will attract qualified health care personnel from abroad. We will exploit the new possibilities for extended working hours in public sector collective agreements. And we will speed up initiatives which promote flexible study programmes and flexible division of labour within the health service.
  • We will, furthermore, improve the treatment of life-threatening diseases. More effective treatment for life-threatening forms of cancer and heart diseases has already been agreed. And we have added an extra DKK 1.8 billion to the health budgets of the regions in 2009. In order to ensure better quality and maintain the increase in the level of activity in the hospitals.
  • We will give priority to the chronically ill. The Government has earmarked over half a billion kroner up to 2011 for improved treatment of the chronically ill and elderly medical patients.
  • We will strengthen disease prevention and launch an action plan for prevention with clear goals for this initiative.
  • And we will build new and modern hospitals. Over the next ten years, it is the Government’s goal that more highly modern hospitals should be built with single rooms, matching the demands of today.

The Government wants a health care sector that offers open, equal and cost-free access for all to treatment of the highest quality. This is a key issue for the Government. And also for the people. We must all be secure in the knowledge that we will get the right high quality treatment when we need it.


The Government pursues a firm and fair immigration policy. Previously unchecked immigration has been replaced by controlled immigration. Immigration by people who have the qualifications to make their own way in Denmark.

The firm and fair immigration policy has created a sense of security in the population. We are now on top of the chaos that prevailed before 2001. There is now accord between the policy pursued and the wishes of the people.

And the results are convincing.

In 2001, a total of 6,300 people were granted asylum in Denmark. In 2007, the figure was 1,300.

In 2001, nearly 11,000 family reunification permits were issued. In 2007, the number was only around 4,500 permits. The figure for 2008 looks as though it will be even lower.

In other words, we have reduced the number of people who come here for asylum and family reunification purposes to about one third of the level in 2001.

This does not mean that Denmark has become a closed society. On the contrary. Because we have made it easier for qualified foreigners to come to Denmark to work and educate themselves. In 2007 alone, 52,000 residence permits were issued for work and study purposes. In 2001, the figure was 16,000.

We have turned immigration to Denmark 180 degrees.

Before, our welfare system was under pressure from immigrants who had difficulties coping in Denmark.
Now, foreigners primarily come to Denmark to work, study and contribute to Danish society.

Before, the municipalities were stretched beyond their capacity.
Now, they can manage the task.

Before, immigration was out of control.
Now, it is controlled.

This has meant substantial progress for integration.
More Danes with immigrant background are in work than ever before. More are being trained and educated. And fewer feel discriminated against.

Substantially fewer young Danes with an immigrant background marry people from their parents’ country of origin. This is good for integration. And especially a benefit for the young people who to a greater extent can choose for themselves.

Recently, the European Court of Justice passed judgement in the so-called Metock Case. The Government does not agree with this judgement. The Government supports, self-evidently, the right to freedom of movement within the EU. This is a right which Denmark and many Danes benefit from. But this judgement opens up for the possibility that the right to freedom of movement within the EU can be used to legalise illegal immigration.

We will not accept this under any circumstances.

Therefore, the Government has reached an agreement with the Danish People’s Party which ensures that the firm and fair immigration policy is upheld.

We respect EU rules, but we are building a solid national defence against abuse of the EU judgement.

In the EU, we will continue our efforts to ensure that the freedom of movement is not abused for the purpose of illegal immigration.

Despite progress being made with regard to integration in Denmark, more remains to be done.

Unemployment among Danes with an immigrant background is still too high. Their level of education is too low. Among immigrant women in general, employment and education are a particular challenge. And criminality among young people with an immigrant background is higher than among other Danish young people.

Therefore, the Government will strengthen the efforts towards better integration.

  • We will reduce the drop-out rate in general and upper secondary education programmes among young people with an immigrant background – and strengthen their Danish language skills. We will make specific demands on the vocational colleges. And we will ensure that practical access channels are provided to education and training programmes and eliminate unnecessary academic entry requirements.
  • We wish to have more women with an immigrant background in work. Therefore, we will change the rules regarding cash benefits, so as to ensure that this group, among others, does not become permanently locked into passive welfare support. We will commit the municipalities to offering activation opportunities to home-bound immigrant women who have been family reunified. And we will strengthen employment, entrepreneurship and networks among women with an immigrant background.
  • We will improve the value-related integration. We wish to see a society that is characterised by trust and cohesion across ethnic backgrounds. The Government will present an action plan and instigate initiatives that aim to prevent extremism and radicalisation and to counter anti-democratic forces. Children and young people with an immigrant background must know and respect the fundamental values of Danish society.
  • We will fight ghettoisation and isolation. The housing associations must be given new opportunities to monitor the composition of their residents. We must prevent the creation of parallel societies.
  • We want firm action taken to prevent crime. The Government will not accept that the level of crime is so high among young people with an immigrant background. We will intervene at an earlier stage in relation to immigrant families in situations where the lack of integration harms the well-being of the child. If necessary by forced removal.
  • We will strengthen efforts against forced marriages and honour killings. Neither of these is acceptable in Danish society. We stand guard over the 24-year rule. We will support those with an immigrant background who break way from the set pattern and who, as a result of threats and violence, are in need of protection. We will provide shelters for people in need. Victims must be protected from their families.

Denmark is an open society. But we expect those who come here to make an active contribution to Danish society.

Denmark is a hospitable society. But we expect those who come here to observe our laws.

Denmark is an open-minded society. But we expect those who come here to respect the principles upon which Danish society and democracy are based.


The Government wants a society in which everybody is free to move in safety – young people and elderly people; in broad daylight as well as at night. A society in which we are straightforward and consistent in the fight against crime. A society in which we pay more attention to the victims than to the perpetrators of crime.

Since 2001, we have pursued a clear and consistent administration of justice policy.

We have introduced tougher sentences for violence, rape and drug-related crime. We have intensified the fight against criminal gangs. We have strengthened efforts against the possession of weapons. And we have established order and consistency in prisons.

The Government’s policy has been successful. But challenges still remain.

Quite recently, we have witnessed monstrous gang warfare and shootings in the streets. Maladjusted young people have spread violence and engaged in vandalism in various towns. And we have seen an increasing sense of insecurity in urban nightlife.

This is altogether unacceptable. It does not belong in a society based on the rule of law.

The Government will take decisive steps to secure law and order:

  • We will achieve security and safety in urban nightlife and prevent youth vandalism. We will extend the use of video surveillance in order to catch those committing acts of violence. We will register troublemakers so that restaurants and bars can ban their entry. And we will increase parents’ liability for damages when their children are involved in vandalism and violence. We will introduce no-nonsense sanctions against criminal youngsters under the age of criminal responsibility. For example by demanding that the youngsters clear up after acts of vandalism. And we will improve the social rehabilitation of young offenders after they have served their time. For example by demanding that they start an education or get a job.
  • We will put a stop to the monstrous gang showdowns. The police have made a massive effort through active patrolling, checks and investigation activities directed at leading gang members. We have strengthened investigation into the finances and tax affairs of the masterminds behind. But we will do more. Gang crime is to become an aggravating circumstance in deportation cases. And we will simplify the possibility of tapping the telephones of suspects in connection with gang crime.
  • We want more patrol cars and more police officers in the street. That is the very aim and objective of the police reform. There have been some teething troubles. But the Government will take the necessary initiatives to meet the goal of the reform: more police officers in the street.

Our fight against criminal gangs must be hard and consistent. Gangs do not belong in Denmark. And they will not be allowed to take root anywhere.


A safe and secure society. This also involves better protection of the climate and better energy security.

Climate change can lead to conflicts for scarce resources. And to large-scale migration. Therefore, we must prevent climate change by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

And we will strengthen energy security. The day will come when Denmark’s oil and gas reserves in the North Sea run out. And we do not wish once again to be dependent on imported oil and gas from dictatorial regimes.

It is the Government’s long-term goal to make Denmark completely free of fossil fuels such as oil and gas.

At the same time, we must protect our natural environment better. It is the Government’s goal that our generation must hand over the Danish natural environment in a better condition than when we took it over.

Consideration for security, climate, environment and nature requires that we take action across a broad front.

  • We will ensure a massive expansion of renewable energy. And we will double public research into new energy technology in the years up to 2010.
  • We will invest in better transport and infrastructure. The transport sector must show consideration for the climate and the natural environment. And Danes must not waste their time in queues on the motorway or futilely wait for the train. Therefore, the Government will shortly present a comprehensive, green transport proposal. We will invest massively in public transport. We will expand the road network. And we will enhance consideration for the natural environment when we build roads and railways.
  • We will turn Denmark into a hub of green growth. At the beginning of 2009, the Government will present a plan and vision for green growth. We will create a greater number of large and interconnected natural areas. And we will ensure better protection of the natural environment we have. This means clear demands on the agricultural sector in terms of environmentally friendly farming. But it will also give the agricultural sector green development opportunities. Because agriculture will have an important role to play in promoting green growth in the future.

It requires a green revolution. A new industrial revolution, where we develop a new economy based on environmentally friendly, green technology. Green growth that will generate both exports and create jobs.

We have to develop new energy sources. To increase energy efficiency. And to promote environmentally friendly technology. Not just in Denmark, but throughout the world. This is why we are fighting for the adoption of a global agreement at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next year.

And it is concerns other aspects than climate and environment. It is also a matter of security. The Western world’s dependence on imported oil and natural gas causes an enormous transfer of prosperity from the world’s democracies to authoritarian regimes.

We must promote our freedom by means of a green revolution that reduces the power of totalitarian regimes.
We must strengthen the free world by reducing dependence on oil and gas.
We must enhance our security by reducing the transfer of prosperity to those who threaten our freedom.


On 11 September 2001, the global threat picture changed. The attack against the USA heralded a fight against the world’s free democracies.

In 2008, we have experienced that Denmark has become a target for international terrorism. We experienced it with the attack on our embassy in Islamabad in June. And we have seen it in connection with a number of domestic cases.

Many people are concerned about the terrorist threat. That is understandable. And I wish to emphasise that the Government is doing everything in its power to ensure safety and security for all Danes.

We have implemented two anti-terrorism packages that aim at preventing terrorism, intensifying investigation and unravelling terrorist networks.

We have reinforced the intelligence services with new manpower and new technology, which means that our intelligence services are now strong and well-functioning.

And we have strengthened our efforts outside Denmark’s borders. We are fighting terrorism at its source. The defence of our security does not begin at Denmark’s borders. It begins in the Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

Danish soldiers are fighting to prevent the Taleban from gaining a foothold again. Taleban and al-Qaida cooperate and constitute a threat to the entire free world. Also a threat to Denmark. Danes are making an effort there to give the individual Afghan citizen a life in freedom, peace and progress.

But more than anything else, they are fighting to ensure that we in this country can continue to live in safety and security.

Therefore, we owe our soldiers sincere gratitude and strong support. I wish to give my regards to the soldiers of Unit 6 in Afghanistan, whom I myself visited recently. We are very proud of your professionalism. We are grateful to you for having signed up to this task in spite of danger and sacrifices. We take pride in your commitment.

And I wish to give my regards to all Danish soldiers and others posted abroad who are making a great effort for freedom, peace and security in the world’s hotspots. We are proud of your effort. Your effort is a credit to Denmark. And it brings hope to free and democratic forces throughout the world.

When we send soldiers on dangerous missions, we also need to do our utmost to ensure that their security is taken properly care of. It is important that soldiers have the training and the equipment that is necessary. This will be reflected in the forthcoming Defence Agreement.

We must combat terrorism across the board. There is a risk that extremism and fanaticism will take root in parts of Africa. As we have seen it in Sudan and Somalia. It must not be allowed to spread.

We must ensure better living conditions for the young generations in Africa. And for women. We must bring hope to Africa. Therefore, the Government has set up an Africa Commission. Its task is to present proposals for how we can create more jobs for young people in Africa. Growth and job creation are the best measures to combat poverty.

We can win the war against tyrants and terrorists with soldiers and arms. But the fight for freedom and democracy requires assistance to create jobs and provide education.


We need strong cooperation in the EU to intensify the fight against terrorism. To intensify the fight against organised crime and illegal immigration. To tackle the international financial crisis. And to ensure that Europe in general can play a stronger role on the international scene.

That is the very aim of the Treaty of Lisbon. The Government will work towards finding solutions so that all EU Member States can ratify the new Treaty as soon as possible.

And the Government wants Denmark to be fully integrated in the cooperation.

The Danish EU opt-outs are and will prove harmful to Denmark’s interests. Therefore, it is the Government’s intention that the population should have the opportunity to decide on the opt-outs through a referendum.

However, the Irish No to the Treaty of Lisbon has given rise to a situation characterised by uncertainty. At the present moment, there is not sufficient clarity regarding the framework for the future EU cooperation.

In such a situation, we cannot in all fairness ask the voters to decide on the Danish opt-outs. Therefore, we must wait to hold a referendum on the opt-outs until clarity has been established regarding the Treaty.

But it remains the Government’s clear aim and objective that Denmark must be a fully integrated member of the EU. We must be placed at the heart of Europe.

Unfortunately, we have recently once again witnessed war waged on European soil. Russia’s invasion of Georgia gives rise to unpleasant memories of earlier times’ brutal power politics. The Government is deeply concerned about the Russian assault. We demand that Russia withdraws its troops as has been agreed. And that Russia respects the borders of Georgia.

Our response must be enhanced cooperation with Georgia. And enhanced cooperation with the neighbouring countries to the east.

We need continued cooperation with Russia. But Russia must realise that NATO is not the enemy. Times have changed. We share a common interest in combating terrorism and extremism.

The crisis in Georgia underlines the need for strengthening the EU foreign and security policy. The French Presidency has handled the matter brilliantly. But the crisis emphasises that there is a need for a strong, vigorous and dynamic EU.

A strong EU to foster the security which cooperation and concerted action can provide. And a strong EU to defend the fundamental freedoms.


Freedom of expression is the most important of all fundamental freedoms. Freedom to speak, write and draw what is on one’s mind is the very core of democracy.

But freedom of expression is under pressure.

We saw it in connection with the cartoon crisis, which continues to have serious repercussions. The cartoons were used as a grotesque reason for bombing the Danish Embassy in Islamabad in June.

We saw it last year when a number of Muslim countries had a UN resolution adopted which calls on the Member States to limit freedom of expression out of respect for religion.

And we are witnessing the same preposterous scenery unfold in the preparations for next year’s UN anti-racism conference – the so-called Durban II Conference.

The fact that even the UN Human Rights Council is misused to limit freedom of expression – that is an affront to human rights.

It is not acceptable. And it is a reflection of a global struggle over values where we cannot compromise.

Denmark is making an effort to ensure that the EU intensifies the struggle for the fundamental freedoms that are universal and inviolable.

Europe must stand together with all other free democracies throughout the world in order to defend the fundamental freedoms at global level.

The fundamental freedoms must protect the freedom of human beings to think, speak, believe - and draw – as they please. The freedoms are not meant to protect religion from debate and criticism.

The fundamental freedoms are meant to protect the freedom of human beings to practise their religion as they please. The freedoms are not meant to protect religion from human beings’ freedom to choose their own religious faith.

The fundamental freedoms must protect human beings – and not religions.


The Unity of the Realm comprising Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark links our three countries together in freedom and as a community. A community that provides security when the going is tough. But also a community that provides freedom to choose.

In this spirit, we are gradually modernising the Unity of the Realm. We have increased the opportunities of the Faroe Islands and Greenland to take charge of their own foreign policy interests.

Based on the transfer of competence legislation of 2005, the Faroe Islands can assume responsibility for all areas within the framework of the Unity of the Realm. I look forward to cooperating with the Home Rule Government regarding continued transfer of areas to the Faroe Islands.

We will implement a self-governing arrangement for Greenland. Greenland is, in the future, to develop its self-government and assume financial responsibility for new areas.

Our aim is for the new arrangement to enter into force on Greenland’s national day, 21 June 2009. It will be a very special day in our common history.

I look forward to the cooperation with the Faroe Islands and Greenland regarding continued modernisation of the Unity of the Realm. Modernisation that is based on equality between our three countries and on the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples.


The Government has presented a comprehensive programme for the new parliamentary session.

We will establish calm regarding the financial sector. And strengthen supervision of the sector.
We will maintain financial security. And enlarge the workforce.
We will insist on a good health care system. And reduce waiting lists.
We will continue to pursue a firm and fair immigration policy. And strengthen integration.
We will maintain a consistent administration of justice policy. And crack down hard on criminal gangs.
We will ensure energy security and tackle climate change. And pursue green growth.
We will wage a relentless war on terrorism. And shoulder our share of the responsibility.

And we will stand firm in the global value-based struggle over the fundamental freedoms.

The Government invites all the parties of the Folketing to participate in broad cooperation on all aspects of this important agenda.

And lastly, I wish to state that today the Government reintroduces the proposal to amend the Act of Succession. The intention is to hold a referendum on the Act of Succession on the same date as the elections for the European Parliament on 7 June next year. The political parties have agreed to this.

We want to ensure complete equality between women and men – also when it is a matter of acceding to the throne.

An amendment to the Act of Succession must follow the same procedure as applies to amendments to the Danish Constitution. Therefore, it is necessary to hold a referendum.

I am convinced that a broad majority in the Folketing and in the population at large will support this amendment to the Act on Succession.

Let us commence the work of the Folketing with three cheers for Denmark.
Long live Denmark!