Forsvarskommissionen besøger ISAF hold 6 i Helmandprovinsen.

The Defense Commission of 2008 visits ISAF Team 6 in Helmand Province. Photo: The Danish Defence.

Denmark has had eight Defence Commissions since the first was established in 1866 after the loss of the southern duchies in 1864. The next commission was established in 1902 to prepare laws for the organization of the Army and Navy in 1909.

After World War 1, a third commission was established in 1919 and after World War 2 a defence commission was established in 1946. Four years later a fifth commission was establish in order to prepare the new law on defence.

In connection with the Social Liberal government co-operation with the Liberals and the Conservatives in 1969, a fifth defence commission was created.

Recent commissions
In recent times there has been Defence Commission in 1988, 1997 and most recently in 2008.

Defence Commissions have, in other words, typically been used in connection with major strategic changes, changing political constellations or prelegislative work.

Defence Commissions have, in particular in recent times, had a very broad participation, typically involving politicians, government officials, officers and experts.

Defence Commission 2008

The Danish government decided, as part of the government program after the elections in November 2007, to set up a Defence Commission.

Defence Commission 2008 primary task was to make proposals for the development of the Danish Armed Forces and thereby prepare the political agreement on the defence development after 2009.

Members of the Commission
Defence Commission 2008 was led by former Minister of Defence Hans Hækkerup and was composed of politicians, government officials, officers and experts. In addition, this commission included members from Greenland and the Faeroe Islands.

This was primarily due to the tasks of the commission specifically to deal with the strategic importance of the Arctic in light of projected climate change.

The Commission held its first of a total of twenty meetings on 30th January 2008. The report was published on 26th March 2009.

Historically broad support
There was a historically broad support behind the report, and only one minority statement. Thus it formed the basis for subsequent political negotiations on a new five-year defence agreement. The Defence Commission 2008 had 29 members. Former Minister of Defence Hans Hækkerup was chairman of the commission.  The first meeting of the commission was on 30th January 2008. The report was published 15 months later on 26th March 2009.

Summary of the Danish Defence Commission report 2008 (pdf)

Last updated October 14, 2020 - 10:47

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