The Storting (Norwegian: Stortinget [²stuːʈɪŋə], "the great thing" or "the great assembly") is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four years based on party-list proportional representation in nineteen plurinominal constituencies. A member of the Storting is known in Norwegian as a stortingsrepresentant, literally "Storting representative".
The assembly is led by a president and, since 2009, five vice presidents: the presidium. The members are allocated to twelve standing committees, as well as four procedural committees. Three ombudsmen are directly subordinate to parliament: the Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee and the Office of the Auditor General.
Following the 2017 election, nine parties are represented in parliament: the Labour Party (49 representatives), the Conservative Party (45), the Progress Party (27), the Centre Party (19), the Christian Democratic Party (8), the Liberal Party (8), the Socialist Left Party (11), the Green Party (1), and the Red Party (1). Since 2018, Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen has been President of the Storting.
Parliament of Norway
|Open list proportional representation|
Modified Sainte-Laguë method
|11 September 2017|
|Parliament of Norway Building|
The parliament in its present form was first constituted at Eidsvoll in 1814, although its origins can be traced back to the allting, as early as the 9th century, a type of thing, or common assembly of free men in Germanic societies that would gather at a place called a thingstead and were presided over by lawspeakers. The alltings were where legal and political matters were discussed. These gradually were formalised so that the things grew into regional meetings and acquired backing and authority from the Crown, even to the extent that on occasions they were instrumental in effecting change in the monarchy itself.
As oral laws became codified and Norway unified as a geopolitical entity in the 10th century, the lagtings ("law things") were established as superior regional assemblies. During the mid-13th century, the by then archaic regional assemblies, the Frostating, the Gulating, the Eidsivating and the Borgarting, were amalgamated and the corpus of law was set down under the command of King Magnus Lagabøte. This jurisdiction remained significant until King Frederick III proclaimed absolute monarchy in 1660; this was ratified by the passage of the King Act of 1665, and this became the constitution of the Union of Denmark and Norway and remained so until 1814 and the foundation of the Storting.
The Parliament of Norway Building opened in 1866.
On 27 June 1940 the presidium signed an appeal to King Haakon, seeking his abdication. (The presidium then consisted of the presidents and vice-presidents of parliament, Odelstinget and Lagtinget. Ivar Lykke stepped in (according to mandate) in place of the president in exile, C. J. Hambro; Lykke was one [of the six] who signed.)
In September 1940 the representatives were summoned to Oslo, and voted in favour of the results of the negotiations between the presidium and the authorities of the German invaders. (92 voted for, and 53 voted against.) However, directives from Adolf Hitler resulted in the obstruction of "the agreement of cooperation between parliament and [the] occupation force".
Although the Storting has always been unicameral, until 2009 it would divide itself into two divisions for legislative purposes. After an election, the Storting would elect a quarter of its membership to form the Lagting, a sort of "upper house" or revising chamber, with the remaining three-quarters forming the Odelsting or "lower house". The division was also used on very rare occasions in cases of impeachment. The original idea in 1814 was probably to have the Lagting act as an actual upper house, and the senior and more experienced members of the Storting were placed there. Later, however, the composition of the Lagting closely followed that of the Odelsting, so that there was very little that differentiated them, and the passage of a bill in the Lagting was mostly a formality.
Bills were submitted by the Government to the Odelsting or by a member of the Odelsting; members of the Lagting were not permitted to propose legislation by themselves. A standing committee, with members from both the Odelsting and Lagting, would then consider the bill, and in some cases hearings were held. If passed by the Odelsting, the bill would be sent to the Lagting for review or revision. Most bills were passed unamended by the Lagting and then sent directly to the king for royal assent. If the Lagting amended the Odelsting's draft, the bill would be sent back to the Odelsting. If the Odelsting approved the Lagting's amendments, the bill would be signed into law by the King. If it did not, then the bill would return to the Lagting. If the Lagting still proposed amendments, the bill would be submitted to a plenary session of the Storting. In order to be passed, the bill required the approval of a two-thirds majority of the plenary session. In all other cases a simple majority would suffice. Three days had to pass between each time a chamber voted on a bill. In all other cases, such as taxes and appropriations, the Storting would meet in plenary session.
A proposal to amend the constitution and abolish the Odelsting and Lagting was introduced in 2004 and was passed by the Storting on 20 February 2007 (159–1 with nine absentees). It took effect with the newly elected Storting in 2009.
The number of seats in the Storting has varied over the years. As of 1882 there were 114 seats, increasing to 117 in 1903, 123 in 1906, 126 in 1918, 150 in 1921, 155 in 1973, 157 in 1985, 165 in 1989, and 169 as of 2005.
The legislative procedure goes through five stages. First, a bill is introduced to parliament either by a member of government or, in the case of a private member's bill, by any individual representative. Parliament will refer the bill to the relevant standing committee, where it will be subjected to detailed consideration in the committee stage. The first reading takes place when parliament debates the recommendation from the committee, and then takes a vote. If the bill is dismissed, the procedure ends. The second reading takes place at least three days after the first reading, in which parliament debates the bill again. A new vote is taken, and if successful, the bill is submitted to the King in Council for royal assent. If parliament comes to a different conclusion during the second reading, a third reading will be held at least three days later, repeating the debate and vote, and may adopt the amendments from the second reading or finally dismiss the bill.
Once the bill has reached the King in Council, the bill must be signed by the monarch and countersigned by the prime minister. It then becomes Norwegian law from the date stated in the Act or decided by the government.
Articles 77–79 of the Norwegian constitution specifically grant the King of Norway the right to withhold Royal Assent from any bill passed by the Storting, however, this right has never been exercised by any Norwegian monarch since the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905 (though it was exercised by Swedish monarchs before then when they ruled Norway). Should the king ever choose to exercise this privilege, Article 79 provides a means by which his veto may be overridden: "If a Bill has been passed unaltered by two sessions of the Storting, constituted after two separate successive elections and separated from each other by at least two intervening sessions of the Storting, without a divergent Bill having been passed by any Storting in the period between the first and last adoption, and it is then submitted to the King with a petition that His Majesty shall not refuse his assent to a Bill which, after the most mature deliberation, the Storting considers to be beneficial, it shall become law even if the Royal Assent is not accorded before the Storting goes into recess."
The presidium is chaired by the President of the Storting, consisting of the president and five vice presidents of the Storting. The system with five vice presidents was implemented in 2009. Before this there was a single holder of the office.
|President||Tone W. Trøen||Conservative|
|First Vice President||Eva Kristin Hansen||Labour|
|Second Vice President||Morten Wold||Progress|
|Third Vice President||Magne Rommetveit||Labour|
|Fourth Vice President||Nils T. Bjørke||Centre|
|Fifth Vice President||Abid Raja||Liberal|
The members of parliament are allocated into twelve standing committees, of which eleven are related to specific political topics. The last is the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs. The standing committees have a portfolio that covers that of one or more government ministers.
|Business and Industry||Geir Pollestad||Centre|
|Education, Research and Church Affairs||Trond Giske||Labour|
|Energy and the Environment||Ola Elvestuen||Liberal|
|Family and Cultural Affairs||Svein Harberg||Conservative|
|Finance and Economic Affairs||Hans Olav Syversen||Christian Democrats|
|Foreign Affairs and Defence||Anniken Huitfeldt||Labour|
|Health and Care Services||Kari Kjønaas Kjos||Progress|
|Labour and Social Affairs||Arve Kambe||Conservative|
|Local Government and Public Administration||Helge André Njåstad||Progress|
|Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs||Martin Kolberg||Labour|
|Transport and Communications||Linda Cathrine Hofstad Helleland||Conservative|
There are four other committees, that run parallel to the standing committees. The Enlarged Committee on Foreign Affairs consists of members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the presidium, and the parliamentary leaders. The committee discusses important issues related to foreign affairs, trade policy, and national safety with the government. Discussions are confidential. The European Committee consists of the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the parliamentary delegation to the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). The committee conducts discussions with the government regarding directives from the European Union.
The Election Committee consists of 37 members, and is responsible for internal elections within the parliament, as well as delegating and negotiating party and representative allocation within the presidium, standing committees, and other committees. The Preparatory Credentials Committee has 16 members and is responsible for approving the election.
Five public agencies are appointed by parliament rather than by the government. The Office of the Auditor General is the auditor of all branches of the public administration and is responsible for auditing, monitoring and advising all state economic activities. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is an ombudsman responsible for public administration. It can investigate any public matter that has not been processed by an elected body, the courts, or within the military. The Ombudsman for the Armed Forces is an ombudsman responsible for the military. The Ombudsman for Civilian National Servicemen is responsible for people serving civilian national service. The Parliamentary Intelligence Oversight Committee is a seven-member body responsible for supervising public intelligence, surveillance, and security services. Parliament also appoints the five members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee that award the Nobel Peace Prize.
Parliament has an administration of about 450 people, led by Secretary-General Ida Børresen, who assumed office in 2012. She also acts as secretary for the presidium.
Each party represented in parliament has a party group. It is led by a group board and chaired by a parliamentary leader. It is customary for the party leader to also act as parliamentary leader, but since party leaders of government parties normally sit as ministers, governing parties elect other representatives as their parliamentary leaders. The table reflects the results of the September 2017 election.
|Labour Party||49||Jonas Gahr Støre (also party leader)|
|Progress Party||27||Harald Tom Nesvik|
|Conservative Party||45||Trond Helleland|
|Socialist Left Party||11||Audun Lysbakken (also party leader)|
|Centre Party||19||Marit Arnstad|
|Christian Democratic Party||8||Knut Arild Hareide (also party leader)|
|Liberal Party||8||Trine Skei Grande (also party leader)|
|Green Party||1||Rasmus Hansson|
|Red Party||1||Bjørnar Moxnes (also party leader)|
Members to Stortinget are elected based on party-list proportional representation in plural member constituencies. This means that representatives from different political parties are elected from each constituency. The constituencies are identical to the 19 counties of Norway. The electorate does not vote for individuals but rather for party lists, with a ranked list of candidates nominated by the party. This means that the person on top of the list will get the seat unless the voter alters the ballot. Parties may nominate candidates from outside their own constituency, and even Norwegian citizens currently living abroad.
The Sainte-Laguë method is used for allocating parliamentary seats to parties. As a result, the percentage of representatives is roughly equal to the nationwide percentage of votes. Still, a party with a high number of votes in only one constituency can win a seat there even if the nationwide percentage is low. This has happened several times in Norwegian history. Conversely, if a party's initial representation in Stortinget is proportionally less than its share of votes, the party may seat more representatives through leveling seats, provided that the nationwide percentage is above the election threshold, currently at 4%. In 2009, nineteen seats were allocated via the leveling system. Elections are held each four years (in odd-numbered years occurring after a year evenly divisible by four), normally on the second Monday of September.
Unlike most other parliaments, the Storting always serves its full four-year term; the Constitution does not allow snap elections. Substitutes for each deputy are elected at the same time as each election, so by-elections are rare.
In the previous election, held on 11 September 2017, Erna Solberg of the Conservatives retained her position as prime minister after four years in power. Her premiership additionally received the support of the Progress Party, the Liberals, and the Christian Democrats, who combined secured 88 of the 169 seats in parliament. The opposition, led by Jonas Gahr Støre and his Labour Party, won 81 seats. Other opposition parties included the Centre Party, Socialist Left, the Greens, and the Red Party.
|Labour Party (Ap)||800,949||27.4||-3.5||49||-6|
|Conservative Party (H)||732,897||25.0||-1.8||45||-3|
|Progress Party (FrP)||444,683||15.2||-1.2||27||-2|
|Centre Party (Sp)||302,017||10.3||+4.8||19||+9|
|Socialist Left Party (SV)||176,222||6.0||+1.9||11||+4|
|Liberal Party (V)||127,911||4.4||-0.8||8||-1|
|Christian Democratic Party (KrF)||122,797||4.2||-1.4||8||-2|
|Green Party (MDG)||94,788||3.2||+0.4||1||0|
|Red Party (R)||70,522||2.4||+1.3||1||+1|
|Pensioners' Party (PP)||12,855||0.4||+0.0||0||+0|
|The Christians (PDK)||8,700||0.3||-0.3||0||+0|
|Democrats in Norway (DEM)||3,830||0.1||+0.1||0||+0|
|Coastal Party (KP)||2,467||0.1||+0.0||0||+0|
|Feminist Initiative (FI)||696||0.0||new||0||new|
|Communist Party of Norway (NKP)||309||0.0||+0.0||0||+0|
|Party of Values||151||0.0||new||0||new|
|Blank and invalid votes||23,681||0.8||+0.2||–||–|
The parliament has 169 members. If a member of parliament cannot serve (for instance because he or she is a member of the cabinet), a deputy representative serves instead. The deputy is the candidate from the same party who was listed on the ballot immediately behind the candidates who were elected in the last election.
In the plenary chamber, the seats are laid out in a hemicycle. Seats for cabinet members in attendance are provided on the first row, behind them the members of parliament are seated according to county, not party group. Viewed from the president's chair, Aust-Agder's representatives are seated near the front, furthest to the left, while the last members (Østfold) are seated furthest to the right and at the back.
Since 5 March 1866, parliament has met in the Parliament of Norway Building at Karl Johans gate 22 in Oslo. The building was designed by the Swedish architect Emil Victor Langlet and is built in yellow brick with details and basement in light gray granite. It is a combination of several styles, including inspirations from France and Italy. Parliament also meets in several other offices in the surrounding area, since the building is too small to hold the current staff of the legislature.
Berit Brørby (born 5 December 1950) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party. She was President of the Nordic Council in 1998.
She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Oppland in 1985, and has been re-elected on five occasions. Brørby was President of the Odelsting 2005–2009.
Brørby was born in Oslo. At a local level, she was a member of Jevnaker municipality council from 1979 to 1983, and of Oppland county council from 1979 to 1987.Constitution of Norway
The Constitution of Norway (complete name: the Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway; official name in Danish: Kongeriget Norges Grundlov; Norwegian Bokmål: Kongeriket Norges Grunnlov; Norwegian Nynorsk: Kongeriket Noregs Grunnlov) was first adopted on 16 May and subsequently signed and dated on 17 May 1814 by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll. It was at the time considered to be one of the most liberal or radically democratic constitutions in the world, and it is today the second oldest single-document national constitution in Europe after the Constitution of Poland (3 May 1791) and second oldest in the world still in continuous force after the United States Constitution, as the Polish 3 May Constitution survived for less than 2 years. 17 May is the National Day of Norway.
During May 2014 the Storting passed the most substantial changes since 1814, particularly by including paragraphs on human rights.Eirin Faldet
Eirin Faldet (born 5 January 1944 in Oslo) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party. She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Hedmark in 1985, and has been re-elected on five occasions. She has served as Deputy President of the Storting since 2001. On the local level she was a member of Trysil municipal council from 1975 to 1978. Prior to entering politics she was a teacher and a social worker.Else-May Botten
Else-May Botten (born 16 August 1973 in Halsa) is a Norwegian politician for the Norwegian Labour Party. She was elected to the Storting from Møre og Romsdal in 2009. She was deputy representative 2005–2009. In 2009, she was Møre og Romsdal Labour Party's 1st candidate to the Storting, and was elected as a representative.
Botten has a background as secretary of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions in the county since 1995. She was a member of the county council in Møre og Romsdal 2003–2007. Else-May Botten grew up in Halsa in Nordmøre, and lives in Molde in Romsdal.Erna Solberg
Erna Solberg (Norwegian: [ˌæːʁnɑ ²suːlbæʁɡ]; born 24 February 1961) is a Norwegian politician serving as Prime Minister of Norway since October 2013 and Leader of the Conservative Party since May 2004.Solberg was first elected to be a member of the Storting in 1989 and served as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in Bondevik's Second Cabinet from 2001 to 2005. During her tenure, she oversaw the tightening of immigration policy and the preparation of a proposed reform of the administrative divisions of Norway. After the 2005 election, she chaired the Conservative Party parliamentary group until 2013. Solberg has emphasized the social and ideological basis of the Conservative policies, although the party also has become visibly more pragmatic.After winning the September 2013 election, she became the 28th Prime Minister of Norway and the second female to hold the position after Gro Harlem Brundtland. Solberg's Cabinet, often referred to informally as the "Blue-Blue Cabinet", is a two-party minority government consisting of the Conservative Party and Progress Party. The cabinet established a formalized co-operation with the Liberal Party and Christian Democratic Party in the Storting. The Government was re-elected in the 2017 election, and was extended to include the Liberal Party in January 2018. This extended minority coalition is informally referred to as the "Blue-Green cabinet." In May 2018, Solberg surpassed Kåre Willoch and became the longest serving Prime Minister of Norway to represent the Conservative party.Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide
Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide (born 2 May 1976) is a Norwegian politician serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2017, the first woman to hold the position. Previously, she was the Minister of Defence from 2013 to 2017. A member of the Conservative Party, she was elected in 2005 as a member of the Storting for Oslo. Søreide was appointed Norway's Foreign Minister on 20 October 2017. She succeeded Børge Brende.Born in Lørenskog, from 1995 Søreide studied law at the University of Tromsø, while at university she joined the Conservative Party and got involved in local politics. In 2000 she became a member of the Conservative Party Central Executive Committee and Chairman of the Norwegian Young Conservatives. Eriksen Søreide started work as a producer at Metropol TV, she was also elected a Deputy Member of the Storting for Oslo. Following Metropol's closure Eriksen Søreide joined Grette Law Firm as a trainee, in September 2005 she was elected a Member of the Storting for the first time; in September 2009 she was elected again.Jørund Rytman
Jørund Henning Rytman (born 4 May 1977) is a Norwegian Progress Party politician representing Buskerud in the Storting. He was first elected in 2005.Kari Henriksen
Kari Henriksen (born 10 August 1955) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party.
She was born in Vennesla. She served as a deputy representative to the Norwegian Parliament from Vest-Agder during the term 2005–2009 and elected representative for the term 2009–2013 and reelected for 2013 - 2017. In 2007, during the second cabinet Stoltenberg, Henriksen was appointed State Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Care Services.Kari Kjønaas Kjos
Kari Kjønaas Kjos (born 25 January 1962 in Oslo) is a Norwegian politician representing the Progress Party. She is a representative of Akershus in the Storting since 2005 where she since 2013 has chairs the Standing Committee on Health and Care Services.
She has worked as assistant in kindergartens and had administrative positions in business. She studied economics at BI Norwegian Business School 1993-95. She worked for the Progress Party at district level between 2000 and 2005.Karin S. Woldseth
Karin Ståhl Woldseth (born 9 August 1954 in Oslo) is a Norwegian politician representing the Progress Party. She was a representative of Hordaland in the Storting until 2013 and was first elected in 2001.Lena Jensen
Lena Jensen (born 29 January 1973 in Tromsø) is a Norwegian politician for the Socialist Left Party (SV). She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Troms in 2001.
She served as a member of the Tromsø municipality council from 1995 to 2001.Marianne Marthinsen
Marianne Marthinsen (born 25 August 1980 in Jevnaker) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party.
She was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Oslo in 2005.
She graduated from University of Oslo in 2001, having studied economics. She has a somewhat diverse working background, having been a journalist in Romerikes Blad, nurse assistant, office worker and secretary of the Workers' Youth League. She has also been involved in Nei til EU, Attac Norway and Fredsinitiativet.Marit Nybakk
Marit Nybakk (born 14 February 1947 in Nord-Odal) is a Norwegian politician for the Labour Party, a former First Vice-President of the Norwegian Parliament, the Storting, and a former President of the Nordic Council. From 2016 to 2018 she was President of the Norwegian Association for Women's Rights, the preeminent women's and girls' rights organisation in Norway.A pragmatic social democrat and a proponent of the Third Way, she became a Member of Parliament in 1986 as the substitute for Gro Harlem Brundtland when the latter became Prime Minister. In 2009 she became the Storting's Third Vice President, before becoming First Vice President in 2013. She did not stand for reelection in 2017; at that point she was both Norway's longest-serving incumbent member of parliament and the longest-serving woman of all times. Nybakk served as President of the Nordic Council for the term 2013.
Nybakk has been one of the Labour Party's principal politicians in foreign and defence affairs since the 1990s and has been her party's spokesperson on defence. She was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Defence between 2001 and 2005 and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs between 2005 and 2009. She is a former leader of the Socialist Group in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.Morten Høglund
Morten Høglund (born 16 July 1965 in Ski, Norway) is a Norwegian politician representing the Progress Party. He is currently a representative of Akershus in the Storting and was first elected in 2001. Høglund was the vice-mayor of Ski between 1989 and 1991, and then held the same position in Asker from 1995 to 2003.Per Roar Bredvold
Per Roar Bredvold (born 5 March 1957 in Elverum) is a Norwegian politician representing the Progress Party. He is currently a representative of Hedmark in the Storting and was first elected in 1997.Politics of Norway
The politics of Norway take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. Executive power is exercised by the Council of State, the cabinet, led by the Prime Minister of Norway. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the legislature, the Storting, elected within a multi-party system. The judiciary is independent of the executive branch and the legislature.
The Economist Intelligence Unit rated Norway as a "full democracy" in 2016.Prime Minister of Norway
This is a descriptive article. For a list, see List of heads of government of Norway.The Prime Minister of Norway (Norwegian: statsminister, literally the "minister of the state") is the head of government of Norway and the most powerful person in Norwegian politics. The Prime Minister and Cabinet (consisting of all the most senior government department heads) are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the monarch, to the Storting (Parliament of Norway), to their political party, and ultimately the electorate. In practice, since it is nearly impossible for a government to stay in office against the will of the Storting, the prime minister is primarily answerable to the Storting. He or she is almost always the leader of the majority party in the Storting, or the leader of the senior partner in the governing coalition.
Norway has a constitution, which was adopted on 17 May 1814. The position of prime minister is the result of legislation. Modern prime ministers have few statutory powers, but provided they can command the support of their parliamentary party, they can control both the legislature and the executive (the cabinet) and hence wield considerable de facto powers. As of 2019, the Prime Minister of Norway is Erna Solberg, of the Conservative Party.
Unlike their counterparts in the rest of Europe, Norwegian prime ministers do not have the option of advising the king to dissolve the Storting and call a snap election. The constitution requires that the Storting serve out its full four-year term. If the prime minister loses the confidence of the Storting, he or she must resign.Åse Michaelsen
Åse Michaelsen (born 4 June 1960 in Mandal) is a Norwegian politician representing the Progress Party. She is currently a representative of Vest-Agder in the Storting and was first elected in 2005 and is from 17 January 2018 the Minister of Elderly and Public Health.Øyvind Korsberg
Øyvind Korsberg (born 31 January 1960 in Tromsø) is a Norwegian politician for the Progress Party. He was First Vice President of the Storting during the term 2009–2013.
He was elected to the Norwegian Parliament from Troms in 1997, and has been re-elected on two occasions.
Korsberg was a member of the executive committee of Tromsø city council during the term 1991–1995.
|States with limited|