During today’s Council of State in Oslo His Majesty the King and his son, the Crown Prince, officially approved changes in the Norwegian government.
King Harald approved the resignation of Minister of Transport and Communications, Ketil Solvik Olsen, as well as the resignation of Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes. Both of them will leave the government. Former minister Olsen will move to the United States with his wife because she has received a job offer in the state of Alabama. Terje Søviknes is leaving the government to work in the private sector.
His Majesty has also given his permission to minister Jon Georg Dale to switch his position in the government. Minister Dale was Minister of Agriculture, and he will now become the new Minister of Transport and Communications.
King Harald has also allowed new persons to enter the government. Parliament member for the progress party Kjell-Børge Freiberg has permission from His Majesty to become new Minister of Petroleum and Energy while the State Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Bård Hoksrud, is the new minister of Agriculture.
These changes are taking place only a few weeks after the Minister of Fisheries, Per Sandberg, resigned as a result of a political scandal.
The meeting was held in the Council of State Hall at the Royal Palace in Oslo. His Majesty King Harald and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon were present, along with the entire Norwegian government. The Council of State in Norway is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister, and it functions as the collective decision-making organ constituting the executive branch of the Kingdom of Norway.
With the exception of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who retain their ministerial ranking in their own right, all the other members of the Cabinet concurrently hold the position of “statsråd”, meaning Councillor of State, and that of Chief of the various departments. They are not formally considered ‘ministers’, although they are commonly addressed as such. The Cabinet convenes typically every week, usually on Fridays at 11:00 a.m. at the Royal Palace, Oslo and is presided over by the monarch.