His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has, as Crown Prince Regent on behalf of his father, held an extraordinary Council of State today. The extraordinary Council of State was announced to the public only one hour before it was held at the Royal Palace in Oslo and was very unexpected. The extraordinary Council of State was held because Prime Minister Erna Solberg wanted to make some changes in her government. The Crown Prince attended the extraordinary Council of State alone as the King is abroad.
Following the extraordinary Council of State, it became clear that Crown Prince Regent Haakon of Norway, on behalf of his father, King Harald, approved Kjell Freiberg, Minister of Oil’s replacement by Sylvi Listhaug. Sylvi Listhaug was, until today, Minister of Public Health and Elderly. Former Minister of Oil Terje Søviknes returns to politics and takes over Sylvi Listhaug’s old ministerial position.
Søviknes is making a comeback in the government, after resigning as Minister of Oil and Energy in August 2018. Freiberg took over as Minister of Oil and Energy from Terje Søviknes on 31 August 2018. This means that Freiberg only has had a little more than one year and three months at the King’s table.
When Erna Solberg took over as Prime Minister in October 2013, the government consisted of the Conservative Party and the liberal “Progress Party”. Since then, the government has been expanded twice. The liberal party entered the government in January 2018 and received three cabinet positions, and the Christian Democratic Party entered the government in January 2019. They also received three government ministers.
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.