Danish statutory pensions giant ATP is to be granted more scope to invest in entrepreneurship and start-up companies, according to the political platform launched yesterday by Denmark’s new coalition government.

In the plan revealed as Denmark’s parliament opened with a new grand coalition government of Social Democrats, the Liberal Party and the Moderates on Wednesday, prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s government also vowed to hasten case processing and execution of new climate projects.

The primary focus of the 2022 political platform is on cutting tax, incentivising work, and reforming welfare.

As part of its plans for growth, the coalition – an unusual political combination which was only agreed on Tuesday – said it would “take the initiative so that ATP can invest to an even greater extent in Danish entrepreneurship, start-up companies etc.”

No further details on this were given in the 63-page document.

Asked for comment on this element of the political plan, Mikkel Svenstrup, ATP’s chief investment officer, said ”ATP is already an investor in Danish companies.

”Last year, we launched Long-Term Danish Capital (Langsigtet Dansk Kapital) with the desire to focus on investing in Danish companies with the ambition to create an attractive long-term return, growth and jobs in Denmark,” he said.

”But our investments must, as always, be done with a view to a good, risk-adjusted return for the benefit of the members,” Svenstrup said.

When it announced in May 2021 that it would set up the new division at its Hillerød headquarters, the the DKK678bn (€91bn) pension fund said it would allocate DKK6bn to the area over the following three years. This June ATP revealed the first investment made by the unit, putting a “three-digit million” kroner sum into local sports tech firm Veo.

Mette Frederiksen - Danish Prime Minister

Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen

As part of the new Danish government’s climate plans, which include bringing forward the national goal of “climate neutrality” to 2045 from 2050, the government said it would “shorten the processing time for the establishment of renewable energy, so it will not be put on hold because of red tape”.

Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD) said it welcomed the strong focus on climate action as well as the rethinking of welfare contained in the political platform.

Kent Damsgaard, chief executive officer of the lobby group said: “We are faced with some huge problems in relation to our climate, our welfare and our health – and virtually no financial leeway.”

In such as situation, he said, it was “both historically new and unusually wise that we are getting an ambitious reform government in Denmark”.

Denmark would not meet its climate goals if there were no significant boost in setting up new green projects, he said.

“The concrete projects are there, and the investments are there, but the processing times have been a huge barrier,” Damsgaard said, adding that it was very important that the government set the pace for the expansion and shortened case processing.

Also part of the government’s stated growth plans is a “focus on avoiding unintentional over-implementation of EU rules”.

The government said in the platform document: “We must continue to implement the EU rules we are committed to, but at the same time have a systematic focus on the implementation of business-oriented EU legislation, so that we avoid unnecessarily restrictive rules to the detriment of Danish companies and workplaces.”

This would be done, for example, in the field of climate and environment, it said.

Damsgaard repeated his organisation’s recent opinion that the amount of EU regulation was, in several areas, “simply out of control”, and said IPD looked forward to working with a new Minister for Business to tackle this.

The latest digital edition of IPE’s magazine is now available