Cabinet reshuffle Friday

A number of sources are reporting PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt will realign her cabinet as the government heads into the second half of its term

Prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne) is expected to begin the autumn political season by presenting a minor cabinet reshuffle on Friday. 

Rumours the PM would make changes had been swirling since the spring. Support for the government has declined steadily since it took office in 2011, and the changes are hoped to reinvigorate the Socialdemokraterne-Radikale-Socialistisk Folkeparti coaltion mid-way through its term.

A number of sources are reporting that the shakeup will pave the way for Henrik Sass-Larsen (Socialdemokraterne) to become a minister. Sass-Larsen, credited with securing the government's winning election strategy, was seen as a shoe-in to become a leading minister after the 2011 election, but was dumped by Thorning-Schmidt after he failed to pass a security check.

Sass-Larsen is likely ro replace the struggling Socialistisk Folkeparti leader Annette Vilhelmsen as head of the Business and Growth Ministry. 

Vilhelmsen, according to Jyllands-Posten newspaper, will take over at the helm of the Social and Integration Ministry. She will replace Karen Hækkerup (Socialdemokraterne), who is said to be heading to the Food Ministry. There, she will take over the reins from Mette Gjerskov, who will be losing her cabinet seat.

Also being demoted to rank-and-file MP is Henrik Dam Kristensen (Socialdemokraterne), the transport minister. His replacement is said to be Pia Olsen Dyhr (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the current trade and investment minister.

The European Affairs Ministry, set up ahead of Denmark's 2012 EU presidency, will reportedly be eliminated. Nicolai Wammen (Socialdemokraterne), the current europe minister, is said to be headed for the Defence Ministry. The defence minister, Nick Hækkerup, will reportedly remain in the cabinet, but will likely be given the less prominent Trade and Investment Ministry. 

Hækkerup has come under fire recently for his ministry's handling of a programme to offer asylum for Afghan interpreters who helped the Danish military.

Many discussions about a possible reshuffle focued on whether Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti) would be asked to step down as foreign minister. But most media outlets are reporting that he will remain the country's foreign policy chief.