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Monarchy is Put to Debate in Norway

Member of Parliament, Snorre Valen told Dagbladet that he thinks no one would choose monarchy, if we today advocate a democratic form of government. Now the party wants the rest of Parliament to discuss the issue in 2015 and make a referendum by 2018.

Monarch in Norway

While the Constitution of Norway grants important executive powers to the king, these are almost always exercised by the Council of State in the name of the King (King’s Council, or cabinet). Formally the King appoints the government according to his own judgement, but parliamentary practice has been in place since 1884. Constitutional practice has replaced the meaning of the word King in most articles of the constitution from the king personally to the elected government. The powers vested in the Monarch are significant, but are treated only as reserve powers and as an important security part of the role of the Monarchy.

The King’s functions are mainly ceremonial. He ratifies laws and royal resolutions, receives and sends envoys to foreign countries and hosts state visits. He has a more tangible influence as the symbol of national unity. The annual New Year’s Eve speech is one venue where the king traditionally raises issues dealing with negative aspects in society. The King is also High Protector of the Church of Norway (the state church), Supreme Commander of the Norwegian armed forces and Grand Master of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav and the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

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