The Presidium is the supreme authority of the Danish Parliament. It comprises a Speaker and up to four Deputy Speakers, who are elected by the Parliament at the beginning of the parliamentary year or after a general election.
To sit in front
The word Presidium derives from Latin and means ”to sit in front”. This refers in more concrete terms to the fact that a Member of the Presidium chairs sittings in the Chamber from the Speaker's seat, which is located in front of the 179 Members of Parliaments’ (MPs') seats. From here, the Presidium makes sure that MPs greet the other MPs when they take the Rostrum, that they keep within the time allotted for speeches and that they use respectful language.
The tasks of the Presidium
The chief task of the Presidium is to make sure that the work of the Danish Parliament is organised and performed in a satisfactory manner. This includes ensuring that parliamentary regulations are complied with, both when it comes to political work in committees and in the Chamber and when the administrative work of the Parliament is concerned. The Presidium thus has overall responsibility for the 179 MPs and the 440 employees of the Administration of the Danish Parliament. The Presidium's areas of responsibility and the regulations for the work of the Parliament are laid down in the Standing Orders of the Danish Parliament.
The Members of the Presidium also act as representatives of the Danish Parliament when the Presidium receives the Royal Family at the opening of Parliament in October, when Denmark receives foreign Heads of State and when the Presidium travels abroad to other parliaments to exchange experience.
The most distinguished position
The post of Speaker of the Danish Parliament is considered the most distinguished position a person can be elected to in Denmark, and it usually goes to a seasoned MP who enjoys the general respect of other MPs.
The Deputy Speakers of the Presidium are elected by the four political parties who have most seats in the Parliament, excluding the Speaker’s party. In proportion to their number of seats, the political parties then elect the first, second, third and fourth Deputy Speaker among their members. As a rule, the positions go to the most experienced MPs who have a long parliamentary career behind them.