The history of the High Commissioner

The High Commissioner is supreme authority of the Danish authorities in Greenland. The High commissioner is an institute under the Danish Prime Minister’s Office.

Until 1950 the central administration in Greenland consisted of two Provincial Governors and two Provincial Councils in respectively North- and Southgreenland. After the Commission of Greenland’s report from Political and Administrative conditions a new arrangement was introduce with only one common Greenlandic Council and a Governor of Greenland.

The first meeting in the common Provincial Council took place on the 26th of September 1951 in Nuuk with Governor P.H. Lundsteen as chairman.

The central administration in Greenland was after this placed with the Governor of Greenland.

There wasn’t in legislation or other places a complete enumeration of the Governor’s assignments. Part from being in charge of family law matters and the chairman of the common Greenlandic Council the Governor had functions within a number of field of responsibilities, such as the common Greenlandic Council and municipal councils administration, housing- and occupation support, personnel- and wage negotiations together with administration of different institutions (health services, educational system, broadcasting etc.).

With the importation of the Home Rule Government of Greenland on the 1st of May 1979, see the Home Rule Government Law, the High commissioner of Greenland sat in with the changes, which followed from the Home Rule Government Law, in those functions, which until now had been under the Governor of Greenland, see the Home Rule Government Law § 20, subparagraph 2.

Overview of High Commissioners:

Torben Hede Pedersen 1. maj 1979 -

 13. juli 1992

Steen Spore1. august 1992    -

   1. juli 1995

Gunnar Martens1. juli 1995 -

   31. marts 2002

Peter Lauritzen

1. april 2002


31. marts 2005

Søren Hald Møller

1. april 2005


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