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.

Therefore, the Prime Minister’s Office is organised with a view to updating, counselling and assisting the Prime Minister, which is also reflected in the description of the Prime Minister’s Office, as set out below.

This guiding principle was established as far back as the mid-60s when Jens Otto Krag was Prime Minister. It was also decided that the Prime Minister’s Office should not be an actual ministry with its own competencies and portfolios. The principle is that the Prime Minister’s Office is a small and professional secretariat that can quickly brief and advise the Prime Minister on current issues.

The Prime Minister’s Office is a small ministerial portfolio with approx. 80 employees.

Below you will see a breakdown of staff by profession.

Academics33
Technical and Administrative staff/Librarians18
Clerks & drivers10
IT staff 4
Students9
Total74

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 and 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, which entails that the Prime Minister’s Office assists the Prime Minister in all areas that require the Prime Minister’s involvement and participation.

Within the area of foreign affairs, which includes all issues concerning international affairs and economics, 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.

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, cf. also Government. The Government’s legislative programme is also based within the area of domestic affairs. All this takes place in close cooperation between the Prime Minister’s Office and the individual ministries. This coordinating work takes up a great deal of time and is a key part of the work of the Prime Minister’s Office. 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.

2. Portfolio tasks
The Prime Minister’s Office differs from most other ministries by not having its own formal, legislative areas of responsibility, cf. also the History of the Prime Minister’s Office. However, there are some tasks that naturally fall under the Prime Minister’s Office, referred to as portfolio tasks.

These include the following:

  • The North Atlantic area, i.e. Greenland and the Faroe Islands
  • 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. the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

The portfolio area is described in more detail here: Faroe Islands and 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.

The portfolio area is described in more detail here: The Press.

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 jurisdiction is described in more detail under Constitutional Issues.

The Royal Family
The Prime Minister’s Office is by tradition responsible for relations 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.

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