Responsibilities

The Prime Minister’s secretariat
The main responsibilities of the Prime Minister’s Office are to act as the Prime Minister’s secretariat and assist the Prime Minister in the management of the Government’s work.

This guiding principle was established as far back as the mid-60s when Jens Otto Krag was Prime Minister. The Prime Minister ́s Office is supposed to be a small, professional secretariat, qualified to brief, and prepare the Prime Minister in relation to current affairs.

Therefore, the Office is organized with an eye for keeping the Prime Minister up-to-date, counselling and assisting in coordinating so that proposals and decisions in the government are at all times in line with the government’s politics.

This is also reflected in the portfolio tasks of the Prime Minister ́s Office and in its organisation.

The Prime Minister ́s Office is a small ministry of normally around 80 employees.
Below, you can see how the employees are distributed in terms of profession:

Academics44
Technical and Administrative staff/Librarians15
Clerks & drivers10
IT staff 2
Students8
Trainee1
Total80

The main responsibilities of the Prime Minister ́s Office
The work of the Prime Minister’s Office is generally divided into two main tasks, the first of which is by far the most important:

1. Servicing the Prime Minister
2. Portfolio tasks

1. Servicing the Prime Minister
The vast majority of the work of the Prime Minister’s Office is directed towards servicing the Prime Minister. This entails that the Prime Minister’s Office assists the Prime Minister in all areas that require the Prime Minister’s involvement and participation.

Servicing the Prime Minister with regards to foreign affairs
An important part of the work concerns the European Union (EU) and the Nordic area. The Prime Minister’s Office cooperates closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the preparation of cases and tasks.

Another major part of the foreign affairs area is security and defence, including Denmark’s participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In the areas of security and defence, the Prime Minister’s Office cooperates closely with the Ministry of Defence on the preparation of cases and assignments.

The area of foreign affairs also takes care of a range of other tasks such as the Prime Ministers participation in the cooperation in the UN, the cooperation in the Nordic Council, other organizations and the bilateral cooperation with countries and other stakeholders.

Servicing the Prime Minister within the area of domestic affairs
Within the area of domestic affairs, all cases and responsibilities in the fields of economics and domestic affairs that require the Prime Minister’s involvement and participation are prepared. The area of domestic affairs also includes the task of preparing and coordinating material to be used for the Government’s weekly meetings and for the Government’s Coordination Committee. Furthermore, materials for inquiries and press conferences are prepared. The development of and follow-up work on high-priority government initiatives are handled on a continuous basis.

The Government’s legislative programme is also based within the area of domestic affairs. All of this work happens in close cooperation between the Prime Minister ́s Office and the individual ministries.

Questions concerning the Government’s relationship to Parliament and preparations for the meetings of the Council of State are also dealt with within the area of domestic affairs. The Council of State is held ca. 8 times a year at Christiansborg, presided by the Queen, and all laws and major acts of government are negotiated.

Furthermore, the coordination and communication regarding the government’s political initiatives and work in general is handled continuously.

2. Portfolio tasks
The Prime Minister ́s Office differs from most other ministries in that it only has few actual portfolio tasks. The most important portfolio tasks are:

• The north Atlantic area, i.e. The Faroe Islands and Greenland
• The Press
• Constitutional law, government formation, various matters concerning ministers and portfolio allocations
• The Royal Family

The North Atlantic area
The Prime Minister’s Office is responsible for the preparation of all cases and assignments concerning the North Atlantic area, i.e. general questions regarding the self-government agreements for the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The area is the largest portfolio area of the Prime Minister ́s Office.

In the Domestic Policy Division within the Prime Minister ́s Office, a North Atlantic Secretariat has been established. It handles the portfolio task in close cooperation with the Prime Ministers only subordinated institutions, The High Commissioner of the Faroe Islands, and the High Commissioner of Greenland.

The press
Since 1925, the Prime Minister’s Office has acted as the press ministry. The Prime Minister’s Office deals with general issues and questions of principle which are important in the cooperation with the relevant, responsible ministries.

Constitutional law, government formation, various matters concerning ministers and portfolio allocations
Determining the number of ministers and the distribution of portfolios between them has been the responsibility of the Prime Minister since 1848.

The Prime Minister’s Office deals with a number of other constitutional issues such as the formation of government, the appointment, dismissal, and remuneration of ministers as well as the distribution of portfolios.

The Royal Family
Finally, the Prime Minister’s Office by tradition is responsible for the portfolio area related to the Royal Family. This is a natural consequence of the Prime Minister’s role as Head of Government. The Permanent Secretary of State in the Prime Minister’s Office has therefore always performed the role of Secretary to the Queen in Council. Cooperation with the Royal Family takes place on various areas.
Beside the overall relations to the Royal Family, the departmental responsibilities also cover the relevant legislation regarding the Royal Family.

The Prime Minister’ s Office is also responsible for the finance clauses regarding the Royal Family as well as the administration and the allocation of annuities for members of the Royal Family.

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