The Reform Programme 2008 is Denmark's second national reform programme which replaces the national reform programme from 2005. Denmark's National Reform Programme 2008 is not a fundamental recast of the Danish reform strategy but an extension of the reform programme 2005 and the intervening progress reports from 2006 and 2007. Ensuring financial stability and minimising the possible negative consequences of the financial turmoil is a present challenge. As a consequence a political agreement to ensure financial stability was entered 5 October 2008. However, regardless of the financial turmoil a main priority for the Government continues to be the implementation of the necessary economic structural reforms. These are to ensure that Denmark will be capable of reaping the benefits of globalisation and creating the welfare model of the 21st Century.
Unemployment has decreased even further since last year, and in July and August 2008, it reached a historically low level of 1.6 per cent. The employment has increased further too and is high compared to other countries. An implication of the historically low level of unemployment is a lack of labour in Denmark. It is a key challenge for Denmark to ensure higher employment permanently while meeting the challenge of curtailing capacity on the labour market.
The four priority areas of the Lisbon Strategy and the Commission's three points to watch for Denmark constitute central points of reference for Denmark's National Reform Programme 2008. The Reform Programme particularly focuses on initiatives undertaken within the last 12 months. These include the Job Scheme, The Action Plan regarding Illness Absenteeism, the Labour Market Commission, the Tax Commission, The implementation of the Globalisation Fund and the Energy Agreement.