Ertholmene is owned by the Danish State and administered by the Danish Ministry of Defence.
The archipelago does not belong to a specific municipality, and people living on the island do not participate in municipal elections. However, they do participate in parliamentary elections, EU elections and referendums.
The Ministry of Defence appoints an administrator to carry out day-to-day management and operations, and to serve as the supreme authority on the island.
However, a Contact and Development Council – usually referred to as the Island Council – has been appointed, comprising a chairperson designated by the Ministry of Defence and four members elected from among the island residents.
The Council’s roles are:
- To ensure and develop a well-run and sustainable island community.
- To contribute to good and mutual communication.
- To give the island residents the opportunity to influence and decide on issues affecting their daily lives.
- To contribute to and provide inspiration for the island’s development as a tourist attraction and nature reserve.
- To serve as a dialogue forum for the discussion and development of decisions and new ideas.