New cabinet. New policies. New government ready to roll

Social Liberals stand out as major winners in the coalition’s common government policy

More than two weeks of secretive negotiations ended last night when Helle Thorning-Schmidt met with the queen to ask to form a government.

Thorning-Schmidt and the Social Democrats will lead a coalition that is joined by the Social Liberals and Socialist People’s Party (SF), with the parties gaining a share of the 23 cabinet seats roughly according to their relative share of the vote – eleven for the Social Dems and six each for the Social Libs and the SF.

With three parties in government, a great deal of compromise was to be expected. And examining the ministerial positions, itÂ’s clear that great effort was made to maintain balance.

On economic issues, for instance, both the Social Libs and SF all have key posts – Social Lib leader Margrethe Vestager becomes economy and interior minister while the SF’s Ole Sohn will head a new Growth and Business Ministry. 

Vestager’s role as economy and interior minister hands her considerable power over domestic politics. And with SF leader Villy Søvndal becoming foreign minister, each coalition party leader leaves the negotiations at the head of a powerful ministry.

But it is within the common government policy that the real compromises are to be found. With the Social Dems and  SF running a joint election campaign, it was the addition of the Social Libs to the mix that drew out the government negotiations to almost three weeks and resulted in a few broken promises.

The official common government policy, entitled ‘A Denmark that stands together’, revealed little that was not already expected. The previous governmentÂ’s early retirement and pension reforms will stay in place despite Social Dem and SF opposition to them. The reforms increase the age of eligibility of a state pension while state-funded early retirement will be abolished, saving 18 billion kroner.

Further concessions to the Social Liberals include the abandoning of the Socialist People’s Party’s ‘millionaire tax’ while the Social DemocratÂ’s proposal to get Danes working an extra 12-minutes a day was also scrapped.

But it wasn’t entirely one way – the Social Liberals have dropped their opposition to the 24-year-rule immigration rule which will remain for at least the first term of the new government. 

Below are the Key points of the common government policy. Read the full version (in Danish only).


Reduced social welfare benefits for new immigrants will be eliminated.

The 24-year-rule remains.

The attachment requirement is kept but modified.

Asylum seekers can live and work outside asylum centers after six months.

The former governmentÂ’s point system for family members of Danes seeking to immigrate and obtain permanent residency will be eliminated.

The Immigration Ministry will be eliminated, and its portfolio split between the Social Affairs Ministry and the Justice Ministry.


Congestion zone in Copenhagen.

Increased airfare tax.

Cheaper fuel-efficient cars.

Road pricing for lorries.

Cheaper rail and bus fares.


10 billion kroner of public works brought forward to stimulate economy.

Grants for business working on climate, energy or welfare technology.

Creation of more workplaces through increased public spending.


Tax reform to minimise social inequality and reduce poverty.

Tax on workplaces will be reduced.

Increased tax on cigarettes and unhealthy food (so-called ‘fat tax’).


Keeping the former government’s increase in pensionable age and eliminating state-funded early retirement programme.

No adjustment of unemployment benefit period (currently two years).

Creation of new work experience placements for young people.

Danish salary and work conditions should apply at Danish workplaces.

Climate and Environment:

40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels (a ten percentage point increase over previous government).

Half of Denmark’s energy to be sourced from wind by 2020.

Tightened regulation on emissions by farmers.

Removing dangerous chemicals from food and children’s toys.


Faster treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Increased prioritisation of psychiatry, especially for children and young people.

Treatment guarantee is changed from one month to between one and two months, depending on the illness.

Investigate need for more ambulances.

Tax deduction for private health insurance eliminated.

Foreign policy:

Danish military out of Afghanistan by 2014.

The government will work towards having Palestine recognised as a state.

Sending troops into combat will require two-thirds of parliament to vote in favour.

Primary school:

Funding for a proposed limit on class sizes to 24 children, must be found in budget.

An SF proposal to place two teachers in classroom implemented on a trial basis.