The speech from the throne by His Majesty The King on the occasion of the opening of the 168th session of the Storting

President, Representatives of the People. I greet the Storting as it takes up its solemn responsibilities with the wish that the fulfilment of these duties will be of benefit to our country.

One of the major changes Norway will see in the coming years is an increase in its elderly population. The Government will take steps to enable people to stay active in old age and ensure reliable access to a high standard of elder care. This is to apply irrespective of the individual’s background, functional ability or whether they live in an urban or rural area.

Norway’s national health service is designed to ensure that we all receive high-quality health care. With this in mind, the Government will work to create more nursing home places and ensure that there are an adequate number of general practitioners and other health professionals in the public health service in the years ahead.

The Government will also work to improve patient pathways and enhance cooperation between municipal services and the hospitals. Recruitment of health professionals to our health service must be strengthened. The Government does not wish to see an expansion of wholly private services at the expense of public services.

The Government will present a reform intended to improve prevention of substance abuse problems and ensure that high-quality health care, treatment and follow-up are provided at an earlier stage.


Over the past year, we have seen soaring inflation and instability in the international economy. The steep rise in prices is diminishing the purchasing power of people, placing a strain on public budgets and reducing the room for manoeuvre of private enterprises.

We have strong institutions in place to help curb inflation in Norway. Norges Bank uses interest rates as a tool to achieve the goal of keeping inflation at a stable, low level. The social partners in Norway use the ‘pace-setting industries’ model (frontfagmodellen) to reduce the risk of wage and price spirals. The Government’s sound economic governance and responsible use of public funds reinforce all of this.

The current high level of inflation is having a particularly severe impact on those with the lowest incomes. The Government is implementing a wide range of measures to increase people’s financial security, within the framework of:

  • A taxation system that redistributes wealth.
  • Increased welfare for all.
  • A strengthened safety net for those who are not in education, employment or training.

Inflation has fallen over the past few months. This offers hope that the period of high inflation may be coming to an end.

Even in today’s unstable world, the Norwegian economy remains strong. Norwegian companies are investing more than ever before. Unemployment is low.


In Norway, we must never squander the most important resource we have: our people. It is therefore very positive to see that there has been a marked decline in the number of people who are neither in employment nor in education or training. The number of people in employment in Norway has never been higher.

Many companies are reporting a shortage of skilled labour.

The Government will take steps to enable more people to participate in the labour market. Those with reduced work capacity or health problems are to be given better opportunities to work according to their capacity.

With the introduction of a new youth guarantee, the Government is stepping up its efforts to support young people who need help to find work or pursue education or training.

The Government is working to ensure that full-time, permanent positions are available to everyone who wants them. The regulatory framework must also facilitate direct employment in the organisation where the work is carried out. Working conditions are to be decent and predictable. In this way, the Government will ensure security of employment as well as security in employment.

The Government will work to encourage settlement, promote business development and ensure the delivery of high-quality services in urban and rural areas throughout the country. Steps will be taken to make it more attractive for families with children to settle in the outlying districts. The Government pursues a policy in which the municipalities are given sufficient resources and freedom of action to enable them to provide important welfare services and implement an active business policy. To become stronger, local communities must be able to decide more for themselves, and people must have more power over their own daily lives. 


The Government will work to enable more young people to successfully complete their schooling and gain the qualifications they need to find a job or pursue further education or training.

The Government will present white papers to the Storting on primary and lower secondary school education, on social mobility and reducing social inequality, and on professional education.

The costs to families of having children in day care will be reduced. The quality of child day care will be enhanced by improving staff competence.

The school day is to be more varied, with a greater emphasis on making learning more relevant and practical, and all children are to develop literacy and numeracy skills from an early age. The Government will make it a statutory requirement for all new school teachers to have completed a teacher training programme.

The team around the child network, which supports children and young people, is to be strengthened, and more people are to have the chance to participate in sports, cultural activities and voluntary work.

Access to higher education is to be improved across the country.


Russia’s war against Ukraine has continued during the past year. The scale of suffering and material damage inflicted have left a deep impression.

We do not know how this war will evolve. But we do know that Russia has underestimated the resilience of the Ukrainians and their determination to fight. Russia has also underestimated the unity of the Western countries and their willingness to stand up for freedom, human rights and democracy.

President Zelensky’s peace formula illustrates that Ukraine is capable of defending itself against Russia while at the same time actively exploring ways to achieve a just and lasting peace for the future.

Norway supports efforts to follow-up the peace plan. And we are shouldering our share of the responsibility. Here at home by settling close to 50 000 Ukrainian refugees in municipalities across Norway. In Ukraine through funding under the five-year, NOK 75 billion Nansen Support Programme for Ukraine. And in international institutions such as the UN, NATO and the World Bank by helping to find solutions to the major challenges the world is contending with.

Membership of NATO is the cornerstone of Norway’s security policy. NATO is stronger and more unified than ever before. The accession of Finland and soon Sweden as new members will bring all the Nordic countries into the Alliance. We are safer when we stand together.

The Government plans to meet NATO’s 2 % goal. This will entail significant investment in personnel, expertise, defence-related equipment and technology. The Government will present a new Long-term Defence Plan and initiate a dialogue with the Storting on the process.

There is a need to strengthen national security and emergency preparedness. The Government will follow up the work of the Total Preparedness Commission and the Norwegian Defence Commission.

The Government gives high priority to Norway’s national food production and food security. The Government’s initiatives include the establishment of national grain reserves.


The war in Ukraine is a reminder that energy policy and security policy are closely intertwined. Russia continues to use energy as a weapon and a means of exerting pressure. In light of this, it is even more critical that Norway remains a stable and reliable supplier of gas to Europe.

Renewable energy is to be more widely developed in Norway, the electricity grid is to be expanded and we are to use energy more efficiently. The Government has announced the opening of the initial areas for applications for offshore wind power production. The goal is to open further areas in the years to come.

Restructuring of the business sector is necessary if we are to reach the climate targets, maintain high employment and achieve sustainable value creation.

The Government will facilitate the creation of new, viable jobs; deliver cuts in greenhouse gas emissions; increase exports; and expand climate-friendly industry throughout the country.

The energy transition is to promote business development at the local level. At the same time, considerations relating to the environment, natural surroundings and coexistence with other industries must be taken adequately into account.

Reindeer herding is a key aspect of Sámi culture, and access to sufficient land area is crucial to maintaining a sustainable reindeer husbandry industry. The Government is working on measures that safeguard the interests of reindeer herders.

Implementing the energy transition will be costly, but it is necessary. This summer we were constantly reminded that the pace of climate change has accelerated. Local populations and tourists alike were forced to flee from forest fires in southern Europe, and in August, flooding and extreme weather caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure in Norway.

This past July was the world’s hottest month on record.

The Government is increasing its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will strengthen climate change adaptation. This applies here in Norway, where the Government will propose a dedicated climate budget with new climate-related measures in the national budget. And it applies internationally, where the Government will seek to increase alignment between climate and development policies.


A pandemic, a war in Europe, an energy crisis, a worsening climate crisis and high inflation are some of the challenges we have had to tackle so far this decade. We must take the right decisions to safeguard our common values and contribute to a peaceful Europe. And to be able to emerge from this period and still maintain a strong sense of community, keep the high level of trust we have in one another, and succeed in reducing social and geographical inequalities.

It is a hallmark of Norway’s democracy that we are able to find a common path in matters that demand this of us. The Government looks forward to fruitful cooperation with the Storting.

I pray that God will bless the deliberations of this Storting, and I hereby declare the 168th session of the Storting to be open.