After long negotiations: New government in Denmark

Denmark gets a new government across the traditional bloc borders.

After long negotiations: New government in Denmark

Denmark gets a new government across the traditional bloc borders. This was announced by acting Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Tuesday evening in Copenhagen after weeks of negotiations. She informed the Danish Queen Margrethe II that this government would consist of her Social Democrats as well as the liberal-conservative party Venstre and the liberal moderates, she said.

She will present the main points of the government program on Wednesday together with the other two party leaders Jakob Ellemann-Jensen and Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the new government, including the distribution of ministerial posts, on Thursday.

Frederiksen has ruled Denmark with a minority government made up entirely of her Social Democrats since 2019. Before the Danish parliamentary elections on November 1, however, she had announced that this time she would be aiming for a broad, centrist government. A government composition like this is extremely rare in Denmark. At the same time, after years of minority governments, Germany's northernmost neighbor will have a government with its own majority in Parliament in Copenhagen.

The rules of the game in Parliament will change

So far, Frederiksen and her Social Democrats have sought parliamentary majorities depending on the political measure. In doing so, they had primarily worked with their traditional left-wing camp, but with parties from the conservative right-wing block on strict migration policies, for example.

The majority government, which is rare by Danish standards, now means that the rules of the game in parliament will change: compromises with parties outside the government are no longer absolutely necessary for a majority. Frederiksen asserted that she would continue to try to find a broader majority.

The parties had been negotiating the formation of a new government for a good six weeks in Frederiksen's official residence at Marienborg north of Copenhagen. Never before has this process taken so long in Denmark. In the course of the negotiations, however, it has become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that Denmark is heading towards the broad government that Frederiksen wanted.

Disappointment among left-wing parties

The last remaining party from the left camp, the social-liberal Radical Venstre, had just pulled out of the negotiations. Social Democrats, Venstre and Moderate were the only ones left. The fact that Denmark is now getting such a government met with disappointment among left-wing parties.

It was radicals who got Frederiksen to call the election early in the first place: the party had given her an ultimatum in the summer to bring the election forward by months. This was linked to Frederiksen's role in the Danish mink scandal, which saw millions of mink killed during the coronavirus pandemic. Only later did it turn out that there was no legal basis for this radical step. An independent commission had sharply criticized Frederiksen and parts of her government, which had made the decision to mass culling the animals bred for fur production due to corona concerns.