Commission appointment prompts Danish reshuffle

Commission appointment prompts Danish reshuffle

Thorning-Schmidt makes cabinet changes after deputy prime minister nominated for next Commission.



Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark’s prime minister, yesterday (1 September) appointed Benny Engelbrecht as the taxation minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle caused by the nomination of Margrethe Vestager as European commissioner.

Thorning-Schmidt announced the nomination of Vestager, the deputy prime minister and minister for economic and interior affairs, on Saturday (30 August).

Engelbrecht has been a member of parliament for the Social Democrats since 2007 and takes over the tax role from Morten Østergaard, who replaces Vestager in the economics ministry  Lars Løkke Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister and leader of the liberal Venstre party, criticised the appointment of Engelbrecht, saying that he “would not have the necessary experience”. Rasmussen added that he hopes to be “pleasantly surprised” by Engelbrecht’s work.

Østergaard is a member of the centre-left Social Liberal Party – a junior partner in the coalition government. He was minister for science, innovation and higher education before being named tax minister in February. He will also take over Vestager’s position as Social Liberal Party leader.

Thorning-Schmidt said she would like Denmark to get an “important and weighty post” in the next Commission, and said that to achieve this “you need a very qualified candidate”.

Cynthia Kroet 

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