The Danish Parliament opens on 6 October

The new parliamentary year starts on Tuesday, 6 October 2015. Its zenith is the first sitting of the Chamber, which starts at 12.00 and is attended by many official guests, including the Royal Family

Parliamentary veteran Bertel Haarder

The first sitting of the Danish parliamentary year starts at noon precisely. It is chaired by the member who has held a seat in the Danish Parliament longest. This year it is Bertel Haarder (The Liberal Party) who has held a seat in the Danish Parliament for more than 35 years.

Before the sitting in the Chamber, there is a church service at Christiansborg Palace Church. Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family will arrive at Christiansborg at 11.40. They will be received by the Presidium, led by the Speaker Pia Kjærsgaard.

The first item on the agenda is to elect the Speaker. The vote is usually a peaceful affair, in which the Danish Parliament unanimously elects a single candidate. In addition to the Speaker, the Danish Parliament also has to elect four Deputy Speakers, one from each of the largest parties. Thet Presidium comprises the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers.

Opening Speech: According to the Government, how are things going in Denmark?

Once the Speaker is elected, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen takes the floor and makes his opening speech. In his opening speech, the leader of the government accounts for the state of the Kingdom and the world around us.

The opening speech has legal basis in Article 38(1) of the Danish Constitution, which stipulates that the Prime Minister must account for the state of the Kingdom in general and for the measures the government intends to introduce. This speech is popularly known as “The Prime Minister’s Opening Speech”.

However, the speech also contains a list of the Bills, which the Government will introduce in the new parliamentary session.

Can you attend the opening of Parliament?

There are a limited number of seats reserved for members of the public on opening day. Tickets are distributed on opening day, Tuesday, 6 October 2015, from 07.00 at the public entrance to the Danish Parliament in Rigsdagsgården (Parliament Square). Tickets cannot be booked in advance.

The Opening Debate – Thursday, 8 October at 10.00

There is no debate after the Prime Minister’s Opening Speech on the opening day. The Opening Debate starts on Thursday, 8 October at 10.00. The opening ceremony is transmitted live on the Danish Parliament’s website and TV channel.

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