Faroe Islands Government and Politics

State and politics

The Faroe Islands have been an autonomous people’s society in the Danish empire since 1948 (law on home rule). The Faroes are exempt from military service, and Denmark manages defense and foreign policy, but the Faroe Islands have a decisive influence on all international issues affecting the country, and in the trade and fisheries policy area, the Faroe Islands are in practice independent (see Business and Industry).

The Faroe Islands have their own administration and tax collection and the local legislative power is exercised by the Lagting, which consists of 32 representatives and is elected for four years in direct elections with universal suffrage. The legislature also appoints the national government, the government, which leads the administration and currently consists of a lawyer (chairman) and five other members. Legislative proposals that only concern Faroese conditions, e.g. social laws and laws on health care and teaching, are usually dealt with first in the Lagting, after which they are submitted to the Folketing, while the reverse applies to legislative proposals that also affect other parts of the country. The Faroe Islands have two representatives in the Folketing, and since 1948 in Tórshavn there is a national ombudsman who has representative functions and forms a link between the Faroe Islands and the central state power. In 1970, the Faroe Islands were represented in the Nordic Council.

Administration and municipalities

In line with rising prosperity and increased resources, the Faroe Islands have taken over the management and financing of more and more tasks and thus expanded self-government. In 1948, the Faroe Islands took over local appointments, municipal administration, libraries and pharmacy services, etc. the administration of postal and social services (1975) and hospital and school services (1979) transferred to the Faroe Islands. New institutions have also been established. a national museum (1952), a Faroese academy (1965) and own radio and TV (1957 and 1984, respectively). However, the contributions from Denmark are still large in several areas and are mainly paid in the form of so-called block grants. The judiciary is under the Ministry of Justice, and the police and administratively the Faroe Islands are divided into seven counties with as many governors and a national guardian/police chief as chief. The district attorney has a number of tasks and is among other things. judges in the first instance in certain cases. As the highest authority in family law cases and other administrative civil cases, the Ombudsman has served since 1948, and in Tórshavn also resides (magistrate) and police chief.

Communally, the Faroe Islands are divided into 50 primary municipalities and seven island areas, which means that, unlike Denmark, the Faroe Islands have retained the old small municipal system in modified form. Most municipalities are very small. 27 municipalities have less than 500 residents and only one, Tórshavn, has more than 5,000. Municipalities with more than 1,500 residents are governed by city councils and have several mandatory committees, while the smallest municipalities are led by village councils and otherwise lack municipal organization.

Churchly, the Faroe Islands since 1990 have been their own diocese with a bishop in Tórshavn. The Faroe Islands are divided into 13 pastorates with 50 municipalities and 60 churches.

Parties and government formation

Faroese politics has been characterized throughout the 20th century by the question of national and economic independence from Denmark.

In the Lagtinget there were originally two equally strong parties, the Self-Government Party (Self-Government Flock), founded in 1906, which, under the leadership of Jóannes Patursson, worked for increased independence and a radical new order in the economic field, and the Sambandspartiet (Sambandsflokkurin), founded in 1906, which was founded in 1906. with Denmark. The parties cooperated in the Danish Parliament with Radical Venstre and Venstre respectively, and were completely dominant in the Lagting until the Second World War. As late as the 1932 election, both parties received 19 seats out of a total of 21; the remaining two went to the Social Democrats.

The Faroese Social Democracy (Javnunarflokkurin) was founded in 1925 on the initiative of the Danish. At the same time, a nationwide trade union was formed, and in the 1930s the Social Democrats, albeit few, played an important role as a support party for the Self-Government Party. The economic crisis was a breakthrough for the modern party and organizational system, and, as in other Nordic countries, the red-green alliance pursued an active crisis policy. through support for cooperatives in the fishing and fishing industries. But the backlash was strong and led to the split and weakening of the Self-Government Party.

In 1936, the Business Party (Vinnuflokkurin) was founded, and in 1940 this was transformed into a liberal (today neoliberal) People’s Party (People’s Party) led by Jóannes Patursson who left the Self-Government Party in protest against the cooperation with the Social Democrats. Together with the Radical Republican Party (Tjóðdveldisflokkur)), founded in 1948, the People’s Party is also the party that, during and after the Second World War, most strongly pushed for the demand for self-government, both in the economic social and foreign policy area. In the 1946 referendum, the party received a scarce majority for its demand for immediate and complete emancipation from Denmark. Since 1948, the issue of fishing borders and NATO’s presence in the Faroe Islands has also triggered strong national and separatist sentiments, and after the 1962 election victory, the People’s Party at the head of a nationalist coalition government (with the Republican Party and the Self-Government Party) made a fresh attempt to hasten Denmark’s release..

The Faroe Islands have long been under Danish rule, which is why the national issue also applies in the social and economic spheres. The Home Rule Act is a framework law that constantly requires new decisions with regard to the degree of independence, and in a system of 3 to 4 equal parties around 20% has led to widely changing government combinations across the traditional left-right scale. The Social Democrats also work for increased independence but want to hurry up and have for several periods co-ruled with the Liberal Conservative Union Party. This happened in 1948–50, 1959–63, and 1967–74, with the teamman alternating between the parties. When the Faroe Islands faced important decisions on EC and fisheries policy in 1975, the Social Democrats formed government together with the nationalist parties, but in 1981 the long holding of power was broken and in the same year a bourgeois coalition government (Sambandspartiet, Folkpartiet) took office. The government issue has been very difficult in recent years. Different coalitions have succeeded. In the Danish Parliament, the Faroe Islands have two representatives.

Faroe Islands Head of Government

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