Indholdet på denne side vedrører regeringen Lars Løkke Rasmussen III (2016-19)

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s Opening Address to the Folketing (Danish Parliament) on 3 October 2017

Check against delivery

Esbjerg Gymnasium. A windy day in September. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Justice and I were paying a visit.

We stood in a hall packed with young people. And when the Minister for Foreign Affairs asked how many of them dreamed of going abroad to study or work, hands shot up into the air. A myriad of hands. More than half of the pupils had that dream.

Young Danish people are confident about venturing out into the world. This is good.

And it is best if they come back home having acquired experience and a zest for life. We need them.

Throughout history, Danes have seized the opportunities. At home and abroad. We have not been stationary. We have had ambitions. We have driven development forward.

Our country has become richer. Our society has become safer. Denmark has become freer.

Richer. Safer. Freer.

This is the balance on which Denmark is built.

Where drive and vision are the prerequisites for prosperity.

Where prosperity is the foundation for welfare.

Denmark is doing well. There is reason for optimism. Now we must ensure that everyone shares in a brighter future.

From the outset, the Government has followed a plan with four specific goals.

Firstly, we will create more private sector jobs. So that we can increase our prosperity and thereby our welfare.

Since the general election in 2015, more than 100,000 jobs have been created in the private sector.

Secondly, we will invest in the welfare society that is vital for ensuring the safety and security of each and every one of us.

We have invested billions in improving health care and cancer treatment. Care of the elderly. And daycare for children.

Thirdly, we will move thousands away from passive public dependency and into an active life, where the individual can provide for him or herself.

I believe in the value of taking responsibility. Of rising to the task. Of deciding over one’s own life.

New figures were published this morning showing that thousands of people have moved in that direction. In just 12 months, the number of people on cash benefits has fallen by 13,500.

We have the lowest number of people on public dependency in ten years.

Fourthly, we will take control of who enters the country. Denmark must not be wide open. Numbers mean something.

We have to go back eight years to find a six-month period when so few people have applied for asylum in Denmark.

More private sector jobs.
Stronger core welfare.
More people in the working community.
Control of the inflow of people to Denmark.

On all four goals, progress is being made.

Economic growth has taken hold. Unemployment is low. Employment is high.

The world and Europe have torn themselves free from the financial crisis. This of course has had an impact.

But we ourselves have also boosted the progress we see. This Government’s policy makes a difference.

I would like to thank our parliamentary basis, the Danish People’s Party, for their cooperation.

I would like to thank the other parties in the Folketing. You have all supported parts of the Government’s policy. Several of you stand behind important joint agreements.

I also look forward to our cooperation in the new parliamentary year.

For even though Denmark is doing well. And Denmark is actually doing rather well. We have not crossed the finishing line.

* * *

We have got the recovery off the ground. Now we must keep it airborne.

The Danish economy is rock solid. In the years up to 2025, we will become richer. We have extra financial scope in the public finances of DKK 36 billion.

We must use this money wisely.

Firstly, the Government will spend DKK 5 billion on more public investments. Motorways. Digital infrastructure. Tying Denmark together.

A considerable amount of money – but far from all of it.

Secondly, we will spend DKK 7 billion of the financial scope on reducing direct and indirect taxes. On providing entrepreneurs with better access to capital. On stimulating research and development.

A considerable amount of money – but far from all of it.

And thirdly, with a considerable amount of money left – by far the most of it – for all the other things we also want to do.

Such as strengthening the police and the armed forces. Investing in safer and more welfare. Improving health care and elderly care.

And also have something in reserve. It is always wise to have money left for a rainy day.

More public investments are not the whole answer, but part of the answer.
More public spending is not the whole answer, but part of the answer.
More reductions in direct and indirect taxes are not the whole answer, but part of the answer.

So when some seek to give the impression that the Government will put every last penny into lowering taxes, that is not correct.

But admittedly, we will not put every last penny into public spending either.

We insist on striking a balance.

It is wrong to reduce Danish politics to a choice between tax and welfare. This is a false choice.

I wish to warn against using the entire financial scope on public spending. It is not responsible. It would mean bypassing the chance of laying a solid economic foundation under our future.

Only thinking of the present would be reckless, and I am afraid only politicians in opposition can allow themselves to think in this way. A responsible government must prepare the country for the future.

When I was Prime Minister last, we implemented a number of difficult but necessary reforms.

The Social Democratic-led Government which took office afterwards continued the same line of approach. With clear encouragement and support from both my party and other centre-right liberal parties.

Top-rate tax reductions were implemented. Corporate tax was lowered. Cuts were made to disability pensions and cash benefits.

Because we in this Folketing have jointly met our responsibility to act for the future. And because more Danes are now in work. That is why we today have more money to spend.

We have already entered into the first sub-agreement, in which we together with the Danish People’s Party make family-sized cars cheaper, lower the price rates across the Great Belt Strait and find money for necessary investment in infrastructure on the island of Funen.

The next step is to ensure that it pays to work for even more people.

The key objective of the JobReform Phase II programme is to reduce tax on earned income for those who earn least.

In specific terms, a total of 21,000 more people will experience a tangible benefit from switching from passive dependency to active employment.

This fosters a social balance, in which everyone who can contribute does so.

In which there is not stagnation, but progress.

* * *

When the rest of the world moves forward, stagnation equals setback. Therefore, we must have high ambitions.

We must be ready to adopt the latest technology. Robots can deliver better welfare. Digitisation can mitigate climate change. The jobs of the future can become more rewarding and less physically demanding and strenuous.

We must foster a strong Denmark where we seize the opportunities. And a safe Denmark where we all share in our progress.

The Government has invited the trade unions, business leaders, experts and others to forge a partnership on Denmark’s future.

We must have sky-high ambitions for digitisation. Therefore, the Government will present a strategy for Denmark’s digital growth.

We must maintain and further develop a labour market that is both dynamic and offers proper conditions. And where social dumping does not occur.

In the future, we must be even better at retraining and upskilling. Therefore, the Government is negotiating with employers and unions on providing better adult education and continuing training. Because it is more important than ever to get everyone on board.

Each person has a responsibility to learn throughout life. This responsibility will be greater tomorrow than today. A new tripartite agreement must pave the way for this.

In Denmark, we have been good at providing education and training in line with the decrease in unskilled jobs. This has made us richer. This has made more people feel more safe and secure.

Therefore, Danes are courageous about the future. And a courageous people deserves a courageous Folketing.

* * *

The future looks promising when Denmark can attract important investments. When Apple and Facebook locate data centres in the towns of Åbenrå, Odense and Viborg.

Because Denmark has a high level security of supply. And because we have a great amount of green energy.

We have that balance: high green ambitions – and it is a profitable business.

On good days, all our electricity is generated by windpower.

Renewable energy accounts for more of our energy consumption than ever.

The Government had set the target that at least 50 per cent of energy consumption in 2030 must be delivered by renewable energy.

And that we must be completely independent of fossil fuels. An ambition that was set out a decade ago by the Liberal Party Prime Minister at the time. Back then, we did not dare to set a date for this. We have done so since. It must be fulfilled in 2050.

How do we best go in that direction? We will present a proposal on this after New Year. In our proposal on a new energy agreement.

When we have finalised our proposal, we will also have a number of key building blocks for a comprehensive climate plan.

Denmark is a frontrunner in green energy. We have become so through a sustained and persistent joint effort.

In 12 of the last 16 years, during which we have strengthened our green position, Denmark has had a centre-right liberal government. This does not give us a patent on the transition to a green economy.
But it shows that it is untrue when others claim to have such a patent.

Indeed, the Government has just agreed with the Danish People’s Party to set aside DKK 1 billion to support solar and wind energy.

Last month in New York, I launched the new global initiative, ‘Partnerships for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030’ – P4G.

Within green energy, we are not stationary either. We are also seeing progress here.

* * *

Denmark is doing well. More people have a job. And I am particularly pleased that there is a mood of optimism prevailing throughout the country.

I experienced this first-hand last month in Esbjerg. Which is the headquarters of Denmark’s off-shore industry.

It was also my clear impression from my visit to Thisted. Where Hanstholm Port has just celebrated its 50th anniversary – today it is one of Northern Europe’s leading fishing ports.

I experienced this in Vejle, where longstanding family-owned businesses are helping new scale-up businesses move forward.

And I also saw this as recently as last week in Hillerød, where the company Foss has begun constructing a facility with space for several hundred new research workers.

We see progress being made throughout the country. We must continue to pursue this course.

The Government is fully engaged in implementing the largest ever comprehensive relocation of central government workplaces.
The movement of 3,900 jobs out of the capital to the rest of the country.

We have just received the latest status report, which shows that:

Out of 3,900 jobs, more than 2,500 have moved into their new premises.
23 institutions have moved.
And more than 25 towns have gained new central government jobs.

During the process, there were some who felt that it would be difficult – virtually impossible – to find competent people to staff the agencies and institutions that moved away from Copenhagen.

This criticism has proved to be unfounded.

In August, I visited the Department of Civil Affairs and the Danish Appeals Boards Authority in Viborg.

I spoke with a young man who had chosen to take the journey back and forth from Copenhagen while waiting to see how things went. Others had taken the leap and had moved home with their family. And others commuted, for example from Aalborg.

In Viborg, they have succeeded in creating an attractive environment for legal specialists.

Benefiting the people who are given new job opportunities. Benefiting citizens who experience public authorities becoming less geographically distant. And benefiting the town which acquires new jobs.

We are in the process of relocating central government jobs and workplaces on an unprecedented scale.

I am pleased to observe that also in this Folketing there is an increasing understanding for and broader support for this transfer of workplaces.

We also have high ambitions for the next wave.

In a new relocation round, the Government will again establish several thousand jobs outside the capital. We will present our proposal on this matter in December.

* * *

We must ensure better balance geographically. And we must firmly maintain the social balance that is Denmark’s strength.

Some talk about the American dream. Where a paperboy or girl can become a billionaire. But I have always thought of Denmark as the land of opportunities.

Free education. Secure welfare. Gender equality. This is where you can realise your dreams! In Denmark, people embrace mobility.

I am convinced that it gives us a unique drive. Out of our social safety and security grows dynamism and faith in the future.

I am proud of living in one of the safest and most secure societies in the world.

This Government protects and takes care of the welfare society. The agreed service expenditure in the municipalities from 2015 to 2018 has increased by almost DKK 1 billion.

DKK 1 billion more – not less money, as was the case under the Social Democratic-led Government.

Denmark has one of the world’s best welfare societies.
And it is constantly becoming better. But perhaps we are not always so good at remembering what we have achieved.

Take health care. A great deal has happened there since I became Minister for Health in 2001.

At hospitals, there are now 5,100 more doctors employed.
And just as many more nurses – 5,100.

This corresponds to one more doctor and one more nurse being employed on average every single day - except on Sundays. That means an average of six extra doctors and six extra nurses per week.

So today we have more staff and we spend more money on health care than ever before.

But you might ask yourself the question: Where have all these extra staff gone and what has happened to all the money?

Well, they have gone towards, among other things, performing close to 300,000 more operations. To halving the time spent waiting for operations. To providing significantly better cancer treatment. As a result of which more people survive a cancer disease.

This is good.

But is it good enough? No, it will never be.

The individual’s needs can become forgotten and overlooked in a myriad of systems. It is unfortunate for the citizen. Demotivating for the employee. This is an area where we must do better.

At the beginning of next year, the Government therefore will present a coherency reform programme.

I myself become both angry and concerned when I hear that many elderly and chronically ill people become trapped in the system between hospital, municipality and their own doctor. In a time of specialisation and super hospitals, it is extra important that we also give full attention to the individual.

In the new parliamentary year, the Government will present a proposal for an integrated health service that particularly meets the needs of the elderly and the chronically ill.

This spirit of community must be there for us if we become ill and when we become old.

We must preserve our community. The large community – the community that embraces us all – but also the day-to-day community. It must become even stronger.

In this regard, the clubs and associations represent a cultural cornerstone of our society. The Government will present a strategy for encouraging more people to engage in clubs and associations. We will earmark funds for this from the rate adjustment pool.

* * *

Our community must also be ready to help if disaster strikes.

On June 17, Greenland was struck severely by a land slide causing a tsunami. People lost their lives. Homes were destroyed. The majority of residents in the two villages, Nuugaatsiaq and Illorsuit, lost their livelihoods.

Danish and Greenlandic authorities have delivered a huge joint effort. Thank you for that. And thank you to the Folketing for its endorsement in supporting the Greenland Self-Government authorities with DKK 30 million in its efforts to help the affected citizens rebuilding their existence.

We have also agreed to cooperate on cleaning up after the former US military presence in Greenland.

We engage in dialogue with the Faroe Islands and Greenland on fishing. And we cooperate in the Arctic Council.

In the Faroe Islands, there is high economic growth and almost full employment. Optimism is strong. For the first time, the population has reached 50,000.

Both in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland, there is a national pride and self-esteem that constitutes the foundation of the work on drawing up their own constitutions. This is something I fully understand. But at the same time, the Constitution also sets a clear framework. And I know there is awareness about it.

I take the discussion seriously.

I’m fond of Greenland. I’m fond of the Faroe Islands. As well as Denmark. I’m fond of the Realm.

Today I wish to take the opportunity to say to the Greenlandic and Faroese Members of the Folketing: Thank you for the huge efforts that you make. For all of us.

* * *

Conditions at home and abroad are more closely connected than ever before.

The Government’s new Foreign and Security Policy Strategy sets out key benchmarks for Denmark in a challenging period of time. I look forward to the discussions of the Strategy here in the Folketing very soon.

It is an important debate. There is much to discuss.

The world’s most powerful nation, the USA, has embarked on a more unpredictable course than earlier.

The British decision to withdraw from the Community challenges cooperation in the EU.

A more aggressive Russia. An insane North Korea. Instability in North Africa and the Middle East. Terrorism and migration.

Threats from cyberspace and attempts to influence our society from outside.

An unstable world. As late as yesterday the altogether appalling and heinous act of violence in Las Vegas.

The bloodiest mass shooting in decades. People enjoying themselves at a country festival were brutally mown down.

The price of peace and freedom has gone up.

The overall threat level is more serious than in any other period since the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The Government will give the Danish armed forces more military muscles. To enable us to better contribute to NATO’s collective deterrence and defence. And to enable us to continue our engagement in the world at large.

We will increase the armed forces’ ability to support the police. To the benefit of our security.

And we will strengthen the protection against cyber-attacks significantly.

This will be part of the proposal for a new defence agreement, which we will submit to the Folketing later this month.

The Government will give the armed forces a substantial boost.

The large investments in defence, border controls, the police, intelligence services and our other national security capabilities are necessary.

But our common culture and the ideals of freedom and equal opportunities that have bound us together for generations – they are our solid foundation in an unstable world.
Our community is the strongest bulwark of all.

* * *

Freedom and equal opportunities. These are also common European values.

The crucial platform for pursuing Danish interests in the world is the EU.

The EU cooperation is not perfect – but it is infinitely better than the alternative: A divided Europe where everyone pursues their own narrow interests.

We should not take the benefits of the EU for granted. Brexit has reminded us of that.

The advantages may seem invisible in every-day life. But they are huge.

The Single Market. Danish companies have unrestricted access to 500 million consumers. Danish consumers have unrestricted access to an abundance of goods. The advantage for an ordinary family amounts to DKK 65,000 a year.

We need the EU. That is exactly why it is important not to get lost in new grand integration projects. But, instead, focus our effort on what really matters.

Growth and jobs. Migration. Strenghten the external borders. Security.

And exactly because we need the EU, we must challenge obvious examples of unfairness.

This is the balance we need in EU policy.

The vast majority of EU citizens in Denmark have a job, pay taxes and contribute to the society.

However, when the freedom of movement is exploited by people who come to beg in the streets rather than go to work. Or when people export Danish child and youth allowances to countries where it is worth three times as much. That is not fair.

We need a new kind of fairness. A better balance.

Next month, Denmark will assume the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe.
There, too, it is my clear ambition to work in the same direction.

Against unfairness. For fairness.

In some areas, the European Court of Human Rights has established a legal practice and state of the law which does not resonate with the people and the individual Member States.

I find it unacceptable that we cannot deport hardened foreign criminals out of regard for family life and privacy. It offends my sense of justice.

I cannot explain why criminals from some EU Member States have to stay in Denmark because the prisons in their home countries fail to fulfill basic human rights to which the countries themselves are signatories. Honestly, it should not be our problem in Denmark.

There is also a need for new fairness in this regard.

European cooperation – both in the EU and in the Council of Europe – must make sense to the citizens.

This is part of a free, prosperous and peaceful Europe.

* * *

We fight for Danish values in the world at large. I am proud of the effort made by our men and women posted in the hotspots abroad: Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Kosovo, the Middle East, South Sudan, South Korea. You make Denmark proud.

And I am very proud that Denmark fights for the world’s women. When others pull out, we step up our effort.

And the Government will now allocate the largest amount ever in Danish history to humanitarian assistance.

We want to help. To give more people hope of a better future in their home country.

So that fewer people will head for Europe. We will lower expenditures for asylum centres in Denmark. Money that we can instead spend on helping people in their regions of origin.

In this way, there is a close connection between what we do at home and what we do abroad.

The Government will continue to tighten our immigration policy.

We will work towards returning rejected asylum seekers.

We will maintain strict rules on family reunification.

And we will tighten the rules on citizenship. Danish citizenship is for those who want to be part of Denmark. For people who are committed to our values and democracy.

* * *

The joint effort in the EU has reduced the migrant flows.

Politics makes a difference.

The tightening of the immigration policy that we have implemented together with the Danish People’s Party have contributed to significantly reducing the number of asylum seekers headed for Denmark – also compared with the rest of Europe.

Politics makes a difference.

The tightening of cash benefits and integration allowance that we have implemented together with the Danish People’s Party contribute to getting more refugees and immigrants into work.

Politics makes a difference.

The agreements on integration which the social partners, the municipalities and the Government have concluded mean that a much greater number of refugees are declared ready to take a job than ever before.

Politics makes a difference.

We are moving in the right direction, but we have not crossed the finish line. Because, in spite of many good intentions and a great number of plans and proposals – including several for which I myself have co-responsibility – there are also problems that have not been solved.

Throughout the country, cracks have appeared in the map of Denmark. People who live there have no contact with the rest of society. Many do not want any contact.

It is a matter of a counter-culture that has developed from an environment where far too many live on transfer income.

Where it is not the rule to hold down a job. Where the participation, the community, the responsibility that comes with a job does not exist. Where more are criminals.

We have not succeeded in taking effective action against parallel societies. It is a serious failure. We must accept that responsibility.

It is important for me to say that the vast majority of people who come to Denmark from abroad make a positive contribution.

I meet many well-integrated immigrants and descendants who are concerned about their children’s future. Who fear that their own children who make an effort at school, who go to work, who do well, will be lumped together with young people who do not make use of the opportunities they are offered by Danish society.

I wish to say to all of you with a foreign background who have committed to Denmark: You are welcome; you are doing a fine job. Keep it up.

Integration is not a matter of skin colour, it is not a matter of religion. It is a matter of committing to Denmark.

Denmark is and must be Denmark. A safe and secure country. A free country.

Therefore, we must address the huge problems that arise when our fundamental freedoms are placed in the hands of some who use them to work against freedom.

The Danish tradition of free schools (private independent schools) is one example that shows the dilemma.

The free schools grew out of N.F.S. Grundtvig’s ideas. As a tool to empower and to create more freedom.

However, the freedom which in the hands of Danish principals, teachers and parents is used to shed light is, unfortunately, used at other schools to shed darkness.

Danish rules, laws and norms cannot prevail in areas that are not Danish in terms of values.

Therefore, the Government has tightened the legislation regarding free schools. And the supervisory authorities have followed up on this. One school has been deprived of its state grant on a permanent basis. Others have become subject to tightened supervision.

I am very pleased that the authorities tackle schools that do not face up to their responsibility. A responsibility for preparing children to live in a country where we have freedom and democracy.

We need to address the root of the problems more firmly and directly. Otherwise they will get out of hand and we run the risk that all are lumped together, which means that we lose the tolerance of diversity that is also a Danish value.

Therefore, at the end of the year the Government will present specific proposals for ways in which we can take action against parallel societies in a far more targeted manner.

* * *

Last month, two citizens were hit by shots fired at Nørrebro in Copenhagen. They were chance passers-by.

Last week, a civilian police car was shot at. An attack against those whose job it is to protect us.

This is a direct attack on the trust and safety of our society.

As citizens we must be able to live our lives and walk down the street in peace and quiet.
And public sector employees should not have to put their lives at risk when going about their jobs – on the contrary, they deserve enormous respect for what they do.

Great respect for all of you who work hard to ensure that Denmark is a safe and good country.

This applies to the police. It applies to hospitals, to nursing homes, to kindergartens, to schools, to social security offices, to residential facilities – to all public sector places of work.

You protect and take care of Denmark.

* * *

We must protect and take care of our trust and safety.

There are serious gang-related conflicts.
Crime must be fought with the toughest measures. We are doing that with a number of strong anti-gang initiatives that we have adopted here in the Folketing.

But, most important, we must take steps to prevent people from ending up in a situation where they destroy other people’s lives and waste their own.

And, most important of all, we must get hold of the very young before things go terribly and irreversibly wrong.

We must get children and adolescents away from crime and into a decent life.
The Government will hold very young criminals accountable for their actions. Crime must have consequences. But children are children. And we will not imprison children.

We will propose the establishment of a new Juvenile Crime Board headed by a judge to consider cases involving children and adolescents as young as 12 years old who have embarked on a path of serious criminal activity.

This will result in swifter reaction towards the very young. And in interdisciplinary social action.

The Government will in a short time present our reform of the effort to fight juvenile crime.
The very young must be met with consistency and a firm hand when they venture down the wrong path. But they must also be met with a warm heart and a hope of a different and better life.

* * *

The Government’s proposal on juvenile crime is a new element in our overall strategy to support children and young people on the edge, to move them away from the edge, and to make them get on with their lives.

Along with the vast majority of Denmark’s young people.

Last year, a total of 138,000 young people received a school-leaving certificate or diploma. From a vocational education and training programme, an upper secondary school or a higher education programme. It is a historically high number.

In these years we spend more money on education than ever before. More than DKK 30 billion on upper secondary education, vocational education and training and higher education programmes alone. This is an increase of 30 per cent over ten years.

Nevertheless, in every school class there are typically four or five pupils who have not come to grips with the curriculum. Who are not enthusiastic about the opportunities. But who, on the contrary, are overwhelmed by powerlessness.

These are people we must not let down. Education is becoming increasingly important in terms of getting a job, providing for oneself, and doing well in life.

The price of not doing anything is going up.

Therefore, I am pleased that in June the Government entered into a political agreement on daycare services with extra support for socially marginalized children.

Therefore, I am very pleased with the agreement we have reached with the trade unions and the employers on more practical training placements for young people attending vocational education and training programmes.

Therefore, I look forward to concluding an agreement very soon on preparatory education programmes for the young people who have the greatest difficulties in finding their way after Folkeskolen (Primary and lower secondary school)

And, therefore, I am also pleased that the money of the skolepulje (extra government funding for failing schools) is now being spent at more than 100 Folkeskoler throughout the country. The funds are an offer to schools with a large proportion of low performing pupils.

By contrast, I find it incomprehensible that schools in the City of Copenhagen, the municipality with the greatest problems, do not wish to accept a bag of money and an outstretched hand. This is letting down the pupils in Copenhagen.

In August, I paid a visit to Søndervangskolen in Aarhus. There they have already improved by one grade point within just a few years. In spite of the fact that more than nine out of ten of the pupils have parents who are immigrants. Now the skolepulje is there to help them do even better.

Last month, I visited Særslev-Hårslev School in the northern part of Funen. There I was told by Cecilie and Liva in grade seven that school days are now mobile phone free. That the pupils must be outside during all the breaks. And that a more structured school day makes it easier to learn and thrive.

It is my hope that methods and approaches on the basis of the skolepulje will spread to many more schools. To the benefit of the children who need it most so that we get everybody on board.

* * *

We must get everybody on board!

Why is that so important?

Because Denmark is a country where we gain mutual strength by communicating eye-to-eye. We share the same school and residential area, and we exchange words with our neighbour in the garden or over a cup of coffee, even though we are different.

This balance is more important than anything else.

Therefore, I clearly reject the counter-culture and the parallel societies that erect barriers between people.

I wish to see a Denmark where there is freedom of diversity and equal opportunities.

Today, I am very proud to deliver my address in a parliamentary assembly hall where we have got better working conditions for those who, for example, are wheelchair users. It is the only natural thing – here in the heart of democracy.

I wish to say thank you to the Speaker of the Folketing and the other members of the Presidium for this important prioritisation.

Next month, the Government will submit a Bill to the Folketing against discrimination and for equality of people with disabilities.
I expect broad support for this.

We must at all times move towards a Denmark where more people participate.

Not only the enthusiastic young people at Esbjerg Gymnasium and those who share their views. But all of us. All we Danes.

Denmark is doing well. Actually, Denmark is doing rather well.

There is reason for optimism. And if we use the good times with due diligence, we will also have something to be optimistic about in the future.

So that we may encounter even better times. Better than ever before. For more people than ever before.

LONG LIVE DENMARK. Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!