Olemic Thommessen is the current President of the Storting. He is the head of the Presidium, which is the Storting’s highest administrative body. In many ways, the role of the President of the Storting corresponds to the role of the speaker or presiding officer in many other parliaments. Along with the other members of the Presidium, the President heads the work of the Storting. The Presidium has overall responsibility for planning and organizing the practical implementation of the Storting’s activities.
In this regard, special importance is attached to two particular functions. The first is to ensure that all parliamentary business is dealt with and considered in accordance with the Norwegian Constitution and the Storting’s Rules of Procedure. Secondly, it is to make sure that the constitutional rules that determine the relationship between the Storting and the Government are observed.
The President of the Storting is exempt from membership of any of the Storting’s standing committees. Other than that, however, he or she has the same rights as any other Member of Parliament. In addition to presiding over the sittings in the Storting Chamber, the President and the Presidium manage the planning of the sittings.
Even though the President of the Storting has a different role from other MPs with regard to his day-to-day political duties, he may nevertheless take part in the political debate and is a leading spokesperson for Norwegian democracy and for spreading democratic values.
As the head of the Storting, the President has the important duty of promoting knowledge about the Storting’s role in our democracy. This responsibility lays the basis for a large portion of his external activities. The President represents the Storting in meetings with groups and individuals from all strata of society: delegations; school classes; voluntary organizations; arts and culture; and driving forces within different sections of society.
The President is the Storting’s official representative abroad, heads parliamentary delegations to other nations’ national assemblies, and hosts official, international visits. The Nordic countries’ parliaments have enjoyed close ties for many years, and the President of the Storting plays an extremely active role in this work.
Read more about the Presidium
Olemic Thommessen's biography