The puzzle is forming for Solberg

government liberal solbergErna Solberg (Conservatives) and the Liberal leader Trine Skei Grande. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

The puzzle is coming together for Solberg’s Government

With three women in front, the blue-green Government shows itself at the Plaza in front of the Royal Palace for the first time Wednesday. Several of the Government ministers are shifted around to make space for the Liberals.

 

A separate ministerial post will be made for the elderly, Integration will be moved from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Education will in turn be split into two. There are some of the key changes made in the Government, several media reports Tuesday evening.

According to both NRK and TV 2, five Mnisters are expected to join the Government, while four will be dismissed. Five get other responsibilities, while ten continue as before. The Government is expanded by one ministerial post, and will therefore consist of 20 people.

Norway will have a dedicated Minister of the Eldery for the first time. It is Åse Michaelsen (Progress Party) who gets the job, Dagbladet reported, a fact that TV 2 has confirmed. She served as parliamentary representative from 2005 to 2017, and has a background from the Norwegian Export Council and SAS. The Minister for the Elderly is to serve as part of the Ministry of Health and Care.

Nikolai Astrup (Conservatives) will supposedly join the Government. According to TV 2, Norway’s richest politician will take over as Minister for European Affairs; NRK however reports that he will become Minister for Development. According to the channel, a dedicated Minister of European Affairs will be discontinued. For the first time in twelve years, Norway’s oldest party, The Liberals, enters into Government. It has been confirmed that Trine Skei Grande, Ola Elvestuen and Iselin Nybø will be  Ministers. Partileder Party Leader Grande becomes Minister of Culture, Deputy Leader Elvestuen will be Minister for Climate and Environment and former parliamentary representative Nybø will be responsible for higher education in a divided Ministry of Knowledge, is confirmed to NTB on Tuesday.

Exit for four Ministers

It is expected that Prime Minister Erna Solberg will present her Government on Wednesday just after the Question hour in the Parliament.

The changes implies that four ministers must go, according to several media. Per-Willy Amundsen (Progress Party) is finished as Minister of Justice, sources tell NTB. Minister for Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen, is expected to be fired as well.

Minister for Children and Equality, Solveig Horne (Progress Party), leaves the Government, writes VG, Marit Berger Røsland (Conservatives) also resigns as Minister, reports both NRK and TV 2. She was appointed in October last year, thereby becoming one of the most short-lived ministers in Norwegian history.

Merger of justice and immigration

At the same time, Erna Solberg moves several of the Government Minister that go on. It appears that Sylvi Listhaug (Progress Party) takes over Amundsen’s job, and also retains her portfolio as Minister of Immigration. Integration and Inclusion may be transferred to another ministry than the Ministry of Justice. According to TV 2  this will be the Ministry of Education.

Jan Tore Sanner (Conservatives) takes over as minister of Knowledge in charge of primary and secondary school and also Integration and Inclusion, according to TV 2. He thereby becomes an important part of the Government’s announced inclusion policy.

Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Conservatives) will be assigned new duties in the Government – probably as a Minister of Industry and Business, reports the channel.

Minister of Industry, Monica Mæland (Conservatives) will, according to NTB, continue to be part of the Government, probably with another area of responsibility. According to NRK, she takes over the Ministry of Local Government and Modernization

Likewise Minister of Culture, Linda Hofstad Helleland, continues as a Minister, but changes ministry. She takes over as Minister for Children and Equality, according to both VG and TV 2.

No new Government

All in all, ten ministers have been part of the Government since 2013. The Government points out on its own website that it is not formally talk of a new Government. The correct term is that Erna Solberg’s Government is expanded and continuing.

– Constitutionally, there is no change in Government. The Prime Minister does not ask to be dismissed and the Government does not step down. The Government will therefore continue to be named the Solberg Government, and not Solberg II.

At the same time, it is established that Solberg can take the opportunity to change the departmental structure, for example by shifting responsibility for some policy area from one department to another.

 

© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

 

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