Norway’s PM: An excellent team for safe governance

Norway's new Government outside the Royal Palace in Oslo, after meeting King Harald V in the traditional Council of State. In today’s session of the Council of State, several changes in the Government were made. New ministers are Grete Faremo, Sigbjørn Johnsen, Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, Rigmor Aasrud, Hanne Bjurstrøm, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen and Audun Lysbakken. Other ministers have got new fields of responsibility. The changes was effective as of 3 pm today. Photo: Labor Party's Flickr page.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg today presented a number of changes in the Government. Seven ministers have been given new fields of responsibility while six new ministers have been appointed.

”I am proud of the team we present today. This is a government that will contribute to leading Norway safely through the international finance crisis, and contribute to value creation and to our community. We will work together to reach the goals we have set for this government,” Stoltenberg said.

The Government now consists of 10 women and 10 men. The age span is 32-66 years, and all parts of the country are represented in the Government. “It has been important for us to secure a broadly representative government, and I am happy that we have been able to secure an equal number of women and men, people of different age, professional and regional background,” the Prime Minister said.

Ministers Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, Sylvia Brustad, Heidi Grande Røys and Bård Vegar Solhjell were honorably discharged from their posts today. ”I am grateful for their solid work, for important decisions and excellent cooperation. They have been members of an historic majority government. They have secured our victory in the recent election. And they have presented important matters in the previous period, matters forming the basis for a policy of increased community, value creation and justice,” the Prime Minister said.

After today’s changes the Government consists of 12 ministers representing the Labor party, four representing the Socialist Left Party and four representing the Centre Party. Labor ministers will now head the Ministry of finance and the Ministry of Government Administration and Reform, while the Socialist Left Party has taken over the Ministry of Children and Equality. A new post has been established as minister at the Office of the Prime Minister, to assist the Prime Minister in coordinating government work.

”The changes we make in fields of responsibility will contribute to political results.  Climate issues have been given additional awareness with an extra minister who will participate in international climate negotiations. The fields of integration and immigration have been moved from the Ministry of Labor and Social Inclusion to the portfolios of two other ministers in order to intensify our efforts in these fields. Labor issues will have its own ministry, in order to concentrate on the major reforms in this field,” Stoltenberg said.

”The outcome of the national elections changed the support for the Government parties from the previous period. It is natural that this influences the distribution of ministries and ministers,” Stoltenberg said. The political platform presented at Soria Moria in Oslo on October 7 will be the basis for Jens Stoltenberg’s second government in this Storting period.

Ministers with new fields of responsibility:

• Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen becomes Minister of Education and Research

• Minister of Transport and Communications Liv Signe Navarsete becomes Minister of Local Government and Regional Development

• Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa becomes Minister of Transport and Communications

• Minister of Defence Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen becomes Minister of Health and Care Services

• Minister of Justice and the Police Knut Storberget will also be Minister of Immigration

• Minister of Culture and Church Affairs Trond Giske becomes Minister of Trade and Industry

• Minister of Children and Equality Anniken Huitfeldt becomes Minister of Culture.

New ministers:

• Ms. Grete Faremo, partner, Oslo. Minister of Defence.

• Mr. Sigbjørn Johnsen, county governor, Hamar. Minister of Finance.

• Mr. Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, state secretary, Bærum. Minister at the Office of the Prime Minister. As chief of staff he will assist the Prime Minister in his work, without separate fields of responsibility.

• Ms. Rigmor Aasrud, Member of Storting, Gran at Hadeland. Minister of Reform and Church Affairs. Until 31 December 2009 she will also be Minister of Labour. Also Minister for Nordic cooperation.

• Ms. Hanne Bjurstrøm, special adviser, Oslo. Minister, until Dec. 20 2009 assisting Minister Erik Solheim in international climate negotiations. From Dec. 21 2009 she will be Minister of Labor.

• Ms. Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, Bindal, Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.

• Mr. Audun Lysbakken, Member of Storting, Bergen, Minister of Children and Social Inclusion.

Source:  The Office of the Prime Minister

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