Speech

Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s Opening Address to the Folketing (The Danish Parliament) on Tuesday 6 October 2009

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Denmark is a good country to live in. We have built an affluent society based on enterprise, innovation and sound business acumen. We have created a safe and secure society based on mutual trust and respect. We have created a fair and just society, where the broadest shoulders carry the heaviest burdens.

There are things we can do better. There are things we must do better. Of course, there are. But try and take two steps back from the daily issues that divide us. And then consider the picture of Denmark that remains.

It is a beautiful picture. It fills us with pride and it fills people of other nations with a tinge of envy. Denmark is a fantastic country. One of the best places in the world.

And we have created it. Not we as in “we in the Government". Not we as “we in the Folketing”. But we as in we – the Danish people.

The innovative engineer who gets an idea and subsequently puts it into motion and production.

The dynamic tradesman who works his way up, employs people and expands his business.

The responsible school teacher who is able to spot exactly what is needed to help Anne or Ahmed crack the reading code.

The many families who take great pride in and make an extreme effort to give their children a solid foundation in life.

The tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the country who spend their free time to make a huge and unselfish effort for the benefit of children and young people.

All the hard-working Danes who each day put in an effort and make a difference in order to make the Danish society a bit better.

We all stand on the shoulders of previous generations who have fought hard to get us so far. It is our common responsibility – and duty – to continue the fight.

Together, we must take responsibility for ensuring that this tiny green spot on the planet, with less than one per mille of the world’s population – smaller than 110 other countries – can continue to provide a home for an affluent, harmonious, hopeful and happy people.

This requires that we are acutely aware of not just our own strengths, but also our weaknesses. This requires that we have a firm focus not just on our opportunities, but also on our challenges.

* * *

At this moment, we are in the midst of an international economic crisis. It presents us with challenges. Tailwind has for the time being been replaced by headwind. Now is the time for us to dig deep down into ourselves and find the Danish resilience that will bring us safely through the storm.

The Government’s top priority is therefore to guide Denmark through the crisis with a minimum of human cost. Therefore, we have pursued an active crisis policy and implemented a strong economic policy that is one of the most proactive in any country in the world. Most recently, we have decided to implement a commercial stimulus package for small and medium-sized enterprises totaling around DKK 4 billion.

In the world around us, cautious glimmers of light are beginning to appear on the horizon. Economists are gradually feeling confident enough to predict a certain level of renewed growth. But these predictions are being made in the wake of the heavy and abrupt fall in growth over the past year, so let me be frank: we must be prepared for unemployment to rise for a while yet. It is unavoidable. And there is a particular risk of unemployment taking hold among young people.

Each job that is lost hurts a human being and a family. And it hurts in particular those who become unemployed even before they have entered the labour market. If the first step into the labour market does not find a foothold, it can have consequences throughout life.

We will not allow that an entire generation faces the risk of starting their working life with a sense of defeat.

Therefore, the Government will introduce strong initiatives to prevent unemployment among young people. We will set aside DKK 1 billion for an extraordinary effort to ensure the availability of more practical training placements. And already tomorrow, we will present a special initiative for young people under 18 years old who are not enrolled in any general or vocational upper-secondary education programme and who do not have a permanent attachment to the labour market.

Knowledge and education are the best defence against youth unemployment. The Government’s goal is that by 2015 a total of 95 per cent of all young people take an upper-secondary education programme. Fortunately, the majority of young people manage fine by themselves. But not everyone.

We must now get the rest on board. Those who are weary of school. Those who are at a loss about what to do next. Those who can be difficult to motivate. For one person, the answer is perhaps to find a practical training placement in a company. For another, it may be to spend a period on the training ship, Skoleskibet Danmark. Nothing is never the answer.

Not even a few young people must be allowed to lead a life of passivity once they can leave school after 9th grade. Waiting until they turn up at the employment centre after a few years is simply too late for pointing them in the direction of a working life. Allowing young people aged 15-17 to do nothing is a fundamental failure.

All young people must take a relevant education, enter a training programme, find a job or engage in some other activity after 9th grade.

It is a joint responsibility. We are now strengthening the responsibilities of the municipalities. Their task is to ensure that the 15-17-year-olds fulfil their personal education plans. This requires new tools. They will get them. But it is unquestionably also a parental responsibility. We will emphasise this by converting the child benefit for 15-17-year-olds to a new youth allowance, which will only be paid out if the young person in question is enrolled in education or training, is in employment or is engaged in another activity.

The economic crisis is a challenge, but it also entails the opportunity to further encourage young people to take an education. This is an opportunity that we must seize. An opportunity that we will seize.

* * *

And it is not the only opportunity that we must endeavour to seize. For the world and the reality that we will encounter after the crisis will have fundamentally changed.

The economic crisis has speeded up a development that has already begun. A development where countries in Asia are racing past Europe and the USA, demonstrating positive growth rates despite the crisis. Where Europe – and therefore Denmark, too – is losing jobs that we cannot recreate. Where we risk losing our prosperity. And if we lose our prosperity – then we lose our welfare! Then we lose international influence. And we then lose safety and security. Ultimately, we lose the hope of a better future than the one we ourselves inherited.

This must not happen. Therefore, we must regenerate growth. It will be an uphill struggle.

We must fight low productivity. Since the middle of the 1990s, productivity has risen at a lower rate in Denmark than in virtually all other OECD countries. This will not do.

We must fight for our competitiveness, which is under pressure. We must ensure a balance between pay and productivity.

We must fight to protect Danish jobs and Danish companies, which are under pressure. We must find the right answers for how we continue to make it attractive to run a business and create jobs in Denmark.

It requires that we dare to set ourselves courageous goals. It requires that we look critically at what works and that we weigh up our own and others’ proposals on an international scale.

Will an extra corporate tax increase or weaken our opportunities in the world of globalised competition? The answer is clear: extra burdens on companies will move even more jobs out of the country. This will not do.

Will a special tax on high income brackets increase or weaken our opportunities in the world of globalised competition? The answer is clear: it will stifle enterprise and the opportunity to attract talented people from the rest of the world. This will not do.

Denmark does not need to reduce enterprise. On the contrary. We need creativity and ideas to grow. We must be ready to change. This is a discipline which we have previously shown that we master.

We developed a seafaring nation of sailors into one of the world’s largest shipping nations. We built up an advanced industry of bio-tech and enzymes on the back of the manufacturing of food products. We went from the production of agricultural machinery to the development of wind turbines.

We have turned challenges into advantages before. We have changed from reduction to development. We must do this again.

In the work that the Government will assign high priority in the upcoming parliamentary session, we will engage in consultation with the new Growth Forum. And four things are already clear:

Firstly – and crucially. We must continue to pursue a responsible economic policy throughout the crisis. We met the crisis with a sound public economy, because we spent the good years paying off debt. We must not jeopardise this starting point. The bill that must be paid when the storm has settled must not become devastatingly large.

Secondly. We must focus on knowledge as a vital prerequisite for new growth – and thereby for prosperity. And we must start where the first seeds are sown: in the Folkeskole (Danish primary and lower-secondary school).

The Folkeskole must be the launching pad for entering upper-secondary education and further education. This is also how the Folkeskole perceives its role. But now we must dare to take a couple of steps back and with an open mind look at how we can do things even better.

Denmark is one of the countries in the world that spend the most money per school pupil. The large resources must naturally be matched by an equally proportionate level of ambition. With this in mind, the Government will launch a 360-degree evaluation study of the Folkeskole system.

Thirdly. Danish companies must become even more innovative in the future than they are today. Innovative not just in the sense of being research-based and high-technological. But innovative in the broadest sense of the word – creative and inventive, in a way that leads to new forms of production and new products.

In order to strengthen the innovation of companies, the Government will present an innovation strategy targeted at businesses this autumn.

And fourthly – and most obviously. We must exploit the advantage that we have within the green sector. The green sector is a growth engine that can boost job creation and prosperity in the future. And the development of a new green global economy is already fully underway.

We have a position of strength. A headstart. This is something we must maintain and take advantage of. But we must also know that competition is becoming keener. We must take that into account. We must focus and be on our toes, so that we are able to reach for the fruit that hangs higher up the tree.

Simply look at China, which is now the world’s largest exporter of low-energy solutions. Or at India, which is home to the world’s third largest wind turbine manufacturer. Denmark still has the largest, but if we are to retain this position, we must fight for it.

Therefore, the Government launched an ambitious climate strategy for businesses yesterday that is designed to turn Denmark into a green technology laboratory with the right framework conditions for developing new climate technologies.

And in the new parliamentary session, the Government will present a climate strategy for the sectors that are not covered by the EU’s CO2 cap-and-trade system. We will present a long-term strategy for supply security. And we will present a plan for how Denmark will meet the EU requirement that renewable energy must comprise 30 per cent of energy consumption by 2020.

These are all steps on the way towards achieving our long-term goal: that Denmark must free itself fully from dependence on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. With a point of departure in the report of the Climate Commission on Climate Change Policy, which we expect to receive next autumn, we will, before the next parliamentary election, present a proposal for how and when Denmark is to become fossil-free.

Denmark must be at the forefront of the green economy. This is crucial for our future growth. This is crucial for our prosperity. This is crucial for our welfare.

Responsible economic policy. Focus on knowledge and education. Innovation. Green growth. – These are four important ways of re-stimulating growth in the wake of the economic crisis in order to enhance our welfare.

* * *

Growth and prosperity. These are the blocks with which we must build our welfare society.

In reality it is quite simple: we must continue to be one of the most affluent countries in the world in order to be able to maintain and finance one of the best welfare societies in the world. A welfare society which combines the individual’s desire to stand on his og hers own two feet with a safe and secure community that stands ready when need arises.

And we have a great deal worth fighting for. Especially our core welfare tasks. The public service that steps in and contributes with a warm hand when life challenges us with adversity, insecurity, failure or illness. Treating illness is a fundamental and core task in our welfare society. All Danes have and must have access to the best treatment if they fall ill.

For eight years, the Government has fought doggedly and determinedly to make a good Danish health care sector even better: We have given citizens increased freedom of choice and more rights. We have invested in new equipment. We have focused on quality.

This has resulted in strong growth in productivity throughout the entire health care sector. It means that we have been able to reduce the waiting lists. More patients with cancer and heart diseases survive their illness. Nine out of ten patients are satisfied with their stay in hospital.

We have moved the Danish health care sector all the way up to a silver medal position in the EU according to a new international survey. This is an achievement. But we have not reached the goal line yet.

In the coming parliamentary session, the Government will place a renewed and strengthened focus on the health care sphere.

And rest assured: the patient will be our main concern! And we will be working on two fronts:

One front is specialised and highly skilled treatment. If people fall seriously ill, it is crucial that they receive the very best treatment. And, unfortunately, that is not found on every street corner. It requires the building up of strong professional environments. We are therefore now investing DKK 40 billion targeted in building ultramodern hospitals, where medical specialties can be brought together.

A new hospital in Aalborg East. A new university hospital in Aarhus. A new hospital in Gødstrup, west of Herning. A new university hospital in Odense. A new hospital outside of Hillerød.

Five new hospitals. And in addition to this, there are eight significant expansion and modernisation projects for existing hospitals as well as three major psychiatric projects. Additionally, there are the hospitals in Region Zealand, the plans for which have not yet been finalised, although money has been allocated to realise the projects.

This constitutes the largest modernisation of the Danish health care structure that has ever been undertaken.

The second front involves the personal issues which establish peace of mind. If people have diabetes, they are not to drive two hours to get a check-up. If they fall off a ladder, they must be able to see a doctor quickly to determine whether or not they have broken a leg. Emergency clinics, ambulances, emergency vehicles with doctors and helicopters are to improve our health care sector in the coming years while we work on the crucial quality boost which we will achieve with the building of new hospitals.

And we intend to be transparant about how the hospitals perform in terms of quality and effectiveness. We will not simply look at the sum of money being spent. First and foremost, we must look at how the patients benefit from the money. And we must reward the hospitals that take good care of the patients. This is a fundamental principle – and plain common sense.

On Friday, the Government will present a comprehensive health package which starts at the roots, invests in an entirely new map of modern Danish hospitals, and focuses on the individual all the way through the health care system, from prevention to treatment. As part of this effort, the Government will ensure the continued improvement in cancer treatment which has been seen in recent years with a new National Cancer Action Plan III.

* * *

In the entire welfare sphere, the Government strives to place not just the patient, but also the nursing home resident and the schoolchild in the centre of focus. The individual must come before the system. And this should of course also apply to those who provide good care and service every day throughout the country.

We must be careful that we do not systematise things to such a degree that we stifle enterprise. On the contrary, public employees must be shown trust – but with trust comes responsibility. Honestly.

We in the Folketing, but also in the regions, municipalities, on school boards and user committees, have introduced a great number of regulations that can be seen as impediments in the day-to-day work of public sector employees. And it is not because we get up every morning and go to work thinking about how we can make life more difficult for the employees. No, all the regulations are introduced with the best intentions. However, as the years go by, the stack of well-intended regulations grows. And one day the stack of regulations – each of which is supposed to solve a problem – becomes a problem in itself.

The time has come to give that stack of regulations a critical service check. It has been said before – and we have not always been good at delivering on the promise. I admit that. It is therefore crucial for us that we demonstrate more than goodwill this time, that we demonstrate concrete action. This does not apply only to the Government. This applies to the entire Folketing. This applies to local authorities.

It is difficult. Each time that we pull out a specific regulation, someone is bound to say: “That is one regulation that we actually do need.”

I urge that we let consideration for the whole outweigh the good reasons for maintaining one specific regulation. We owe it to Denmark’s teachers, social and health care workers, and nursery and kindergarten staff that they get the freedom to do their best every day. We also owe it to Denmark’s schoolchildren, nursing home residents and children in nurseries.

Today the Government will present 105 specific proposals for simplifying major welfare areas such as the Folkeskole, day care facilities, the elderly, the disabled and integration. 105 specific proposals which collectively can move millions of kroner from paperwork to work with people. Quite specifically, DKK 900 million. And mentally – in our heads and daily lives – the proposals will allow us to move even more.

The many proposals come from employees in the municipalities, regions and the state sector. From people who know from their daily work what is good and what is bad. We must for a moment set aside our own good intentions and consider without prejudice what the working day experts ask of us.

Let us set freedom free in the public sector. Not freedom from responsibility. But freedom with responsibility.

* * *

While freedom is to have better living conditions in the public sector, safety and security must have a better hold in the streets. On the whole, we live in an extremely safe and well-functioning society, where crime and violence are fortunately something that affects the few instead of the many.

But we also see with increasing concern how gang-related crime and senseless violence mark our towns and make more and more Danes feel insecure.

It is a serious problem. A problem which a reinforced police force must tackle strenuously and effectively.

But that is not sufficient in itself. We must take action against the recruitment of gang members, and we must react consistently to the – too many – sad cases of serious crime committed by extremely young people. Reports of serious acts of violence committed by children and young people have risen significantly.

It is, on its own, a serious problem. Very serious.

Not just in relation to the fact that people must be able to feel safe and secure in their daily lives, but especially out of consideration for the young people themselves. We cannot passively watch as the course of their lives suddenly takes a completely wrong direction. We cannot allow a young person’s potential to be transformed into a burden for society.

Children and young people who are trapped in criminality must be stopped by a consistent and firm hand. A hand which does not give up and let go of them. And the young people who are on their way into criminality must be caught by a warm hand that holds them on a constructive course – towards education and employment. That is the effective cure for juvenile crime.

We must grab hold of the collars of young people who are headed in the wrong direction. We must show them that the society they have turned their back on has not given up on them. We do not do that by shaking our heads and looking concerned. We do that through consistent action. Therefore, we propose lowering the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 14 years.

We must also put an end to criminals pushing children in front of them in order to avoid punishment. By doing so, harm is done to the child not just in the present, but for life. Being an accessory to a child under 14 committing a criminal act must therefore be considered an aggravating circumstance during sentencing.

At the same time, we will build up a strong corps of juvenile judges who have special experience of and an eye for child and youth development. Young people are society’s most important resource. We must therefore have specially trained judges to hear cases involving young people under 18.

And we must put more force behind the preventative measures. The municipalities must place greater focus on the problems before they escalate. This requires new tools, new types of institutions and more resources. The Government stands ready to provide these.

And it requires focus – strong political focus. In order to set the new initiative effectively in motion, the Government will therefore establish a central supervisory body which is to monitor the efforts of the local authorities to help youth offenders.

The supervisory body is to target cases involving repeated or serious crime. Once the effort has been successful, it goes without saying that the body will be discontinued. I envisage that the special supervisory body will be a temporary scheme with a time horizon of three years.
Tomorrow, the Government will present its collective plan to combat juvenile crime.

* * *

Some juvenile criminal activity is unfortunately linked with specific ethnic groups. We will pick them up with the intensified effort.

However, the problems of a small group must not overshadow the fact that we have achieved significant results in terms of integration.

This Government is the first government that has taken the job of integration seriously. Also because we are the first government to take the population’s insecurity and the unchecked immigration seriously.

In close cooperation with the Danish People’s Party, we have brought immigration under control. And this has allowed us to pursue a more consistent and more positive integration policy.

The results speak for themselves:

The employment rate for New Danes has skyrocketed over the last five years, and fortunately the present economic crisis has not changed this trend. Especially encouraging is the fact that a great number of women have entered the workforce. And more New Danes have embarked on an education or training programme than ever before. The children of immigrants are breaking social patterns to an unprecedented extent.

We have achieved all this not despite – but because of the Government’s firm and fair immigration policy.

But the results must not lull us into complacency. The Government intends therefore to give both the immigration legislation as well as the integration legislation a renewed service check in the light of the positive experience.

* * *

The issues I have touched on here are serious. Crisis. Prosperity under pressure. The need for growth. Juvenile crime. Health care. Deregulation. Integration.

All of it illustrates the Government’s focus on continued development of the Danish welfare society. And it underlines our resolve and determination – also when we are faced with altogether huge challenges.

Such a challenge will present itself in exactly 61 days when Denmark is to host one of the most important international meetings in our lifetime. The UN Climate Change Conference, COP 15.

It will prove an extremely difficult task to reach the agreement we want. Nevertheless, it is a task we must make every effort to perform. If we fail, it will not be because we did not try hard enough, because we did not work hard enough, or because we did not believe firmly enough.

The Government will do everything in its power to achieve the very best agreement possible! And the goal is clear: we want an agreement that contributes to limiting man-made warming to a maximum of two degrees.

But a successful outcome does not depend exclusively on our efforts. At the end of the day, success will depend on whether it is possible to reach agreement between the EU, the USA, China, India and other major international stakeholders. Denmark’s task is to act as catalyst for the negotiations.

Admittedly, major countries like the USA, China and India have planned comprehensive green investments. But the challenge is larger. The level of ambition must be raised through concerted efforts. And global cooperation is a precondition for achieving maximum benefits from the change to green technology.

This is the task. And it is in this perspective that the Government has made the hosting of the Climate Change Conference the greatest foreign policy commitment in recent years.

Within the last few weeks, I have held thorough consultations with the President of the USA, the President of Russia, the Prime Minister of India, the President of South Africa, the new Prime Minister of Japan, the President of Brazil, with several of my European colleagues, and with a great number of other heads of state and government.

Their personal commitment is altogether decisive for concluding a climate change agreement.

Provided we achieve that, the next step will be to translate an agreement into practice – and that will require broad commitment from parliaments worldwide. Therefore, it is very encouraging that the Folketing later this month will host an international parliamentarian conference on climate change.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Folketing – also the opposition – for the support you have given the Government’s climate change diplomacy all along. I also wish to say thank you for the understanding you have shown for the difficulties we encounter on the way. We will need to stand together, also for the last difficult haul in the run-up to the Climate Change Conference.

In Copenhagen, Danes will be made aware of the climate change summit in their day-to-day activities. We will see an exceptional high number of visitors in the weeks leading up to Christmas this year. Let us welcome them and let us welcome the fact that the entire world is interested in Denmark. And let us make an effort to show ourselves in the most favourable light possible.

The Climate Change Conference is a unique show window for Denmark and Danish capability. Denmark is a leading country with respect to a number of environmentally friendly and energy-efficient technologies. We must show that to the world.

* * *

Denmark must continue to be at he forefront regarding the fight for peace and security.

On 5 September, Denmark introduced a flag-flying day for our civilian and military personnel currently deployed and having been deployed on international missions. With this flag-flying day, we marked decades’ clear commitment to bringing peace to war and conflict-ridden countries. A commitment to bringing hope to people who live in fear and distress.

The hope of human beings is a powerful force that can pull societies out of poverty, war and oppression. Indeed, the greatest human achievement in my eyes is to bring hope to another human being.

And that is exactly what they do, these men and women who we paid tribute to on 5 September. The men and women who have been or are posted abroad in the service of Denmark. And those who did not come home again.

It was a fine day. And I wish to express my gratitude to the many who contributed to making it a special day. The support Danes expressed on 5 September is altogether invaluable to our men and women posted abroad.

This became very clear to me when I visited the Danish soldiers in Afghanistan shortly before the flag-flying day. We can be truly proud of them! The deployed Danes’ incredible commitment is obvious and apparent. Thanks to them we can hold our heads high and we can take pride in their professional and humane approach to an extremely difficult task. A task which they are deeply committed to performing in spite of the considerable dangers associated with it.

Their commitment is reinforced by our support – by the support of the people.

Afghanistan’s path to democracy is long and full of challenges – we also saw that in connection with the presidential election in August. But there is no doubt in my mind. We must contribute to a stable Afghanistan out of consideration for our own security. And we must bring hope to the Afghan people that they will be able to live in safe and secure conditions.

* * *

Irrespective of whether it is a matter of global financial crisis, climate change agreement or security policy, the EU is an important framework for pursuing Danish interests worldwide. Denmark’s path to influence goes through the EU. An EU which is changing its framework these years. The reason is that we have grown into a bigger team in the EU and, consequently, we need new rules.

On Friday last week, we came one step closer to putting this new framework into place when the Irish people endorsed the Treaty of Lisbon. This is very encouraging because the European countries need to stand together. We must turn towards each other instead of away from each other.

This applies also to Denmark. It is in our major interest to be at the heart of Europe – also in a larger and stronger EU. But on this count, we are held back by the Danish opt-outs. The opt-outs mean that we cannot participate in important decisions. Therefore, the Government will continue to work towards the abolition of the Danish opt-outs.

But, naturally, not until the time is ripe.

In addition to clarification of the EU Treaty framework, a referendum on such an important issue as the Danish opt-outs requires a broad and solid majority in the Folketing. Up to now, this has not been the case.

The economic crisis has underlined that it will be to the advantage of Denmark to participate in the euro area. We have seen a vigorous and dynamic EU in which the Member States have joined forces to fight the crisis. We have been confirmed in our belief that the euro area is fully compatible with a policy that fosters growth and employment.
Paradoxically, however, the crisis also means that Denmark is headed for a situation where it is by no means at all a foregone conclusion that we can join the euro area. Next year, Denmark, in line with many other countries, will face a large public finance deficit as a result of the economic crisis.

As things look now, it is to be expected that we, for a period of time, cannot meet the accession criteria for membership of the euro area.

It means that neither the political nor the economic preconditions for a referendum on the euro are fulfilled at the moment.

This is a new situation and we must reconsider how to address the issue of the Danish opt-outs.

Therefore, it is the Government’s intention, early in the parliamentary session to invite the political parties of the Folketing to thorough consultations in order to seek full clarification of the positions of all parties.

* * *

Before concluding my Opening Address, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to the entire Greenlandic people. It was a great pleasure for me to take part in the celebration of Greenland self-government on 21 June.

It was a fine day on which Greenland looked ahead. I could sense the faith and confidence in a future with opportunities for assuming responsibility for new societal tasks.

Both in relation to Greenland and the Faroe Islands, the Government will pursue a policy based on transfer of responsibility to the extent possible, and to the extent of the wishes of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

In recent years, the Faroe Islands have assumed responsibility for a number of areas, and Greenland is now well under way with preparations for this.

We will ease the ties of the Unity of the Realm that might feel restrictive. But there are also ties which we in a globalised world may have a common interest in strengthening.

This has been the case during the current economic crisis, when we have been able to extend the Government’s bank and credit packages to also include the financial institutions in the Faroe Islands and in Greenland.

The same applies to the forthcoming climate change agreement where it is the Government’s wish that it entails Greenland and the Faroe Islands to conclude. We will pay great attention to this aspect during the negotiations prior to the climate change summit, and also when we see the outline of the draft final agreement.

* * *

The parliamentary session 2009-2010 is a year in which major decisions will be taken:

- We must navigate through the crisis with minimum human costs
- We must ensure that all young people are receiving education and training or are in working
- We must prepare Denmark for new growth after the crisis
- We must take giant strides towards building new modern hospitals throughout the country
- We must make working life easier for public sector employees, and we must get more service value for our welfare tax money
- We must address juvenile crime effectively. It is both unacceptable and tragic that children and young people commit serious criminal offences
- We must subject our immigration legislation and integration legislation to a service check.
- We must host an important climate change summit in December

The Government has drawn up the agenda and is prepared to see it through in the new parliamentary session. I look forward to collaboration on the many important decisions here in the Folketing.

Together we must stand guard over the Denmark which we have created through our joint efforts.

Let us commence the work of the new parliamentary session with three cheers for Denmark.

LONG LIVE DENMARK

Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!