What did Danish PM Frederiksen say in 2024 New Year speech?

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
What did Danish PM Frederiksen say in 2024 New Year speech?
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen gives her New Year's speech at Marienborg on January 1st 2024. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Ritzau Scanpix

While Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen spent much of her traditional New Year speech on Monday talking about Queen Margrethe, the Danish government leader had originally intended to focus on other topics.


Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Monday gave the traditional New Year’s Day speech, broadcast from the government leader’s official residence Marienborg on January 1st. 

In the customary speech, Frederiksen praised Queen Margrethe following the latter’s surprise announcement that she will abdicate the throne this month.

The Queen’s contribution to Denmark can “not be overestimated”, Frederiksen said.

“You have been our anchor when the wind blew. Our conscience in life’s important questions. Our guide during decades in which the Denmark of the future emerged. You have brought us together in both the everyday and the difficult,” Frederiksen said.

The Queen’s surprise abdication has stunned Denmark, with many Danes saying they became emotional when she announced the decision live on television on New Year’s Eve.


The New Year speech was Frederiksen’s fifth as prime minister. The traditional speeches are usually recorded at Marienborg just before the end of December and broadcast on January 1st.

Topics tackled by prime ministers during the annual speeches are often domestically focused and can outline core issues on which the government plans to focus in the coming year.

But the announcement by Queen Margrethe, which came on New Year’s Eve, forced last-minute changes to Frederiksen’s 2024 speech, according to the prime minister herself.

“My New Year speech this evening will be an entirely different one than I had originally thought. I wanted to talk about the government’s upcoming elderly reforms. Reforms that will all about care and compassion, and about more independent choice for our seniors and elderly,” she said.

“Where those of you who are advanced in years will be far more able to shape the daily routine and care you get, and where the staff who visit you will be familiar faces,” she said.

“I also wanted to talk about local welfare. And the health system. But we’ll have to tell you about all of this another time,” she said before turning the focus of the speech onto the Queen’s announcement.

The government’s policy paper, agreed by the three coalition parties when they took office in December 2022, stated a plan to introduce refomrs on elderly care.

The reforms were intended to be presented in 2023 but have been delayed.

The government is meanwhile to introduce fertility treatment through the public health system to couples and women trying for a second child, Frederiksen said during the New Year’s Day speech.

“Involuntary childlessness affects far too many. If not ourselves, then someone we know. There are still taboos we must break,” she said.

The number of attempts covered by the state will be increased from three to six before couples must instead seek fertility treatment at private clinics, she said.

“We will also introduce free help for child number two, so that hopefully a little brother or sister can come along,” she said.


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