Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen

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Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen
Folkemodet Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen 20150612 0490 (18785510446).jpg
Personal details
Born (1984-02-22) 22 February 1984 (age 36)
Odense, Denmark
ResidenceValby in Copenhagen
Alma materRoskilde University
WebsiteOfficial website

Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen (born 22 February 1984 in Odense) is a former member of the Danish parliament for the Red-Green Alliance. Schmidt-Nielsen has been referred to as the "new queen of the Red-Green Alliance" by parts of the press.[1][2] She now serves as secretary general for Save the Children.[3]



Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen grew up on Fyn and currently lives in Nørrebro in Copenhagen.[1][2] She has been active in politics since 1997,[4] and she was vice chairman of the national interest group for students at the Danish gymnasiums from 2002 to 2003. At the Red-Green Alliance's annual meeting in May 2006, she was elected into the executive committee of the party with 147 votes — receiving more votes than any other candidate.[1] She was reelected in 2007.

She holds a bachelor's degree in social science from Roskilde University 2007.


Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen speaking outside COP15 on 12 December 2009

Schmidt-Nielsen has made herself noted as a political activist, and has participated in demonstrations at summits in Prague, Brussels, Gothenburg and Rostock.[4][5]

As spokesperson for the activist group Velfærdsmissionen (English: The Welfare Mission) she participated in dumping 200 kg of pasta and 40 liters of ketchup on the staircase leading to the Ministry of Finance in a protest against cutbacks in the State education grants.[1][5]

In March 2007, Schmidt-Nielsen reported the Aller Press owned pornographic magazine, Super, to the police for its use in procuring prostitutes. The background of the report was an article in the tabloid newspaper B.T. on the magazine's monthly contest in which the prize was a half hour in the company of a prostitute.[6] The report was later withdrawn when Aller called the contest off.[7]

On 30 October 2007, Schmidt-Nielsen and fellow feminists hung red stockings on a clothesline at the entry to the Ministry of Social Welfare, with the stated intention of encouraging minister Karen Jespersen to more actively attempt to solve gender equality issues.[8]

The following day, a group of members of the Red-Green Alliance including Schmidt-Nielsen planted bushes in the park Ørstedsparken in central Copenhagen as a symbolic protest against harassment of the male gay population in Copenhagen and as a manifestation of sexual liberal-mindedness.[9] Previously, plantation had been removed from the park to discourage people from having sex in the park.[9] The party also launched an initiative against hate-crimes.[10]

On 5 November 2007, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen launched a proposal for "modernizing" copyright, which included appointing a commission to redesign the copyright law to allow distributing copyrighted material and to compensate artists for the resulting loss of income.[11][12] The proposal received significant attention from the media, when she simultaneously confessed to having illegally downloaded and distributed music illegally on the internet and stated that she had no intention to cease doing so.[12][13]

Municipal and parliamentary elections[edit]

Schmidt-Nielsen ran for the municipal council of Copenhagen Municipality in the 2005 elections, but was not elected.

When in March 2007, Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil announced that she would not run for re-election to the Folketing, Schmidt-Nielsen took over her position as the party's top candidate in the metropolitan constituency.[14] At the 2007 parliamentary election, she stood for election on issues such as increased social welfare and a struggle against discrimination.[4]

On 12 November 2007, Schmidt-Nielsen participated in a debate for party leaders on TV 2 on the evening before the election as the youngest candidate ever to participate in a nationally televised debate for Danish party leaders.[15] Prior to the debate, the leader of the Conservative People's Party, Bendt Bendtsen, mistook her for an office girl and asked her to fetch him coffee.[15]

She was elected on 8,964 personal votes.[16] In 2011 she was reelected on 47,002 votes, about 15,000 more votes than prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. In 2015 her reelection was secured with 40,225 votes.


  1. ^ a b c d Sjølie, Marie Louise (2007-05-24). Revolution hver eneste dag. Dagbladet Information (in Danish). Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  2. ^ a b Rømer, Mikael (2007-11-16). Enhedslistens nye dronning rykker ind. Ekstra Bladet (in Danish). Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  3. ^ Dahlin, Ulrik (2019-04-25). "Fra 'dansk Che Guevara' til generalsekretær i Red Barnet: Portræt af Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen". Information (in Danish). Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  4. ^ a b c Find din kandidat: Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen (in Danish). Danmarks Radio. Retrieved on 2008-04-06
  5. ^ a b Enhedslistens nye prinsesse (in Danish) (2007-11-14). TV 2 (Denmark). Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  6. ^ Ib, Maria Theresa (2007-03-09). Pornoblad anmeldt for rufferi (in Danish). TV 2 (Denmark). Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  7. ^ Wind-Friis, Lea (2007-05-14). Aller slipper for anmeldelse (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  8. ^ Mygind, Liv (2007-10-30). Rødstrømper blokerer ministerium med røde strømper (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  9. ^ a b Rømer, Mikael (2007-10-31). Der skal være plads til sex i det fri Archived 2008-09-21 at the Wayback Machine (in Danish). Ekstra Bladet. Retrieved on 2008-04-06.
  10. ^ Buske mod hate-crimes i Ørstedsparken (in Danish) (2007-10-31). Red-Green Alliance. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
  11. ^ Schmidt-Nielsen, Johanne (2007-11-05). Moderniser ophavsretten (in Danish). Red-Green Alliance. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
  12. ^ a b Toppolitiker henter piratkopier (in Danish) (2007-11-05). Politiken. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
  13. ^ Enhedslisten: Musikere skal støttes (in Danish) (2007-11-07). Politiken. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
  14. ^ Enhedslisten med ny frontfigur (in Danish) 2007-05-06. TV 2 (Denmark). Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
  15. ^ a b Nilsson, Kirsten (2007-11-13). Bendtsen bad Enhedslistens spidskandidat hente kaffe Archived 2008-02-11 at the Wayback Machine (in Danish). Politiken. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.
  16. ^ Johansen, Tobias Stern (2007-11-15). "Kaffepiccolinen" fik flere stemmer end Khader (in Danish). Kristeligt Dagblad. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.

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