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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.3 National youth strategy

On this page
  1. Existence of a National Youth Strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy
  4. Revisions/updates

Existence of a National Youth Strategy

No single youth strategy covers all aspects of Danish youth policy. Instead, several policy documents target different aspects of young people’s lives.


A fair direction for Denmark

Title in English: A fair direction for Denmark

Title in Danish: En retfærdig retning for Danmark

Type of document: Political understanding between the Social Democratic minority government and its three supporting parties.

Time of introduction: June 2019

Timeframe: The document is valid during the current government term of maximum four years.


The following strategies were launched by the former government, but were affirmed in broad political agreements in parliament and are still in effect or are being implemented. The current government will not necessarily continue the targets.

From Primary School to Skilled Worker – Vocational Educations for the Future

Title in English: From Primary School to Skilled Worker – Vocational Educations for the Future

Title in Danish: Fra Folkeskole til faglært – erhvervsuddannelser til fremtiden

Type of document: Government initiative

Time of introduction: September 2018

Timeframe: November 2018, a majority in parliament has made a political agreement regarding the initiative. The implementation will be completed in 2021.


We Accomplish Together – An Overall Action Plan for the Psychiatric System up until 2025

Title in English: We Accomplish Together – An Overall Action Plan for the Psychiatric System up until 2025

Title in Danish: Vi løfter i fællesskab - en samlet handlingsplan for psykiatrien frem mod 2025

Time of introduction: September 2018

Timeframe: 2018-2025

The action plan is described in section 4.2.


Strategy for a Stronger Civil Society

Title in English: Stragety for a Stronger Civil Society

Title in Danish: Strategi for et stærkere civilsamfund

Time of introduction: October 2017

Timeframe: The strategy is currently being implemented with funds from the former Rate Adjustment Pool Agreement 2018-2021. In the four-year period, DKK 96.6 million are allocated to the initiatives in the strategy.

The strategy is described in detail in section 2.3.


Scope and contents

A fair direction for Denmark

In the political understanding, the four parties establish their objectives for the current government term (2019-). The political understanding establishes that a new government must pursue policies in the areas of children, youth, schools and education that will make Denmark the world’s best country to be a child in – with a focus on education, tackling increased mental vulnerability, and with the stated aim of providing equal life opportunities for all children.

In relation to young people, the following objectives are relevant:

Focus on education:

  • Strengthen the primary school system: to abandon national testing in the early grades and generally to re-consider the use of testing, to provide better opportunity for starting school later, to abolish the education preparedness assessment in the 8th grade, and to strengthen the educational guidance efforts.
  • In the first national budget, a new government will be proposing a discontinuation of the redeployment contribution and thereby stopping the annual education cuts. Since 2016, all education institutions were obliged to cut 2% of their budget every year.
  • A new government will invest in education in step with identifying the required financing. By also creating a sufficient number of traineeships, this will contribute to securing jobs or educations for the nearly 50,000 young people who are currently unemployed and not in education.
  • A new government will support the opportunities for young people to complete education via a credit transfer reform.
  • It is a goal for a new government that primary and secondary school student recruitment more accurately reflects the population composition.
  • Ensure educational programmes across the country. All young people must have good educational opportunities irrespective of where in the country they live. For this reason, a new government will prepare a plan aiming for a better geographic distribution of welfare educations and access to secondary educational programmes throughout the country, and ensure that those adult education centres threatened by closure can stay open.
  • Strengthen future solutions. Our educational and research institutions must be the source of new ideas and solutions to tackle the problems we face as a society. For this reason, we must strengthen the research effort, safeguard the freedom to conduct research and aim to reach the Barcelona objective, such that public investment in research is at least one percent of GDP. Furthermore, as a part of the plan for green transition the government will increase funding for green research and demonstration programmes. 
  • A new government will also be discontinuing the education limit. In 2016, the parliament passed an act on ‘double education’ in order to reduce the number of people who have completed two higher education programmes. Since the 2017 summer intake of students in higher education programmes, only a limited number of people could enrol on their second education programme, for instance in case of health issues or labour shortage. In 2017, the law was amended and people could enrol on their second higher education programme 6 years after completion of their first higher education programme.

Strengthen welfare again:

  • Combat child poverty: the government will introduce a poverty limit and set up a benefits commission, which shall present recommendations within the benefits area.
  • Improved psychiatric care. A new government will seek to negotiate an agreement on a 10-year plan for psychiatric care with binding targets on, among other things, reducing the number of re-admissions, reducing waiting times and increasing the average life expectancy of citizens with psychiatric illnesses and with the following priorities:
  • Preventive measures to tackle psychiatric vulnerability.
  • An increase in the preventive efforts and increasing the number of interdisciplinary treatments on offer.
  • More bed capacity in psychiatric care units.
  • An expansion of the current scheme covering free psychological counselling so that it includes those aged 6-24.
  • Promote the well-being of children and young people. A national mental health action plan and a review in particular of the education system is intended to identify measures to promote the well-being of children and young people and to diminish the “performance culture”. This will include, among other things, an assessment as to whether grades can be made to be less of a factor in the education system, whether the grading scale needs to be changed, whether other forms of testing should be introduced, and finalising the ongoing assessment of the access system.

Specific target groups: All young people


From primary school to skilled worker – vocational educations for the future

The government initiative defines 12 key areas of priority:

  • Primary and lower secondary education (folkeskole) must nurture pupils' vocational aspirations
  • A break with the default choice of general upper secondary education
  • Greater municipal responsibility for the demand for vocational education
  • More young people should make the right choice right away/first time
  • 10th form should lead more to vocational education
  • Professional pride and enthusiasm should be the pillars of vocational education
  • Attractive youth environments
  • More room for clarification and to concentrate on the subjects
  • Improved quality
  • Greater certainty of getting an apprenticeship agreement
  • Social and healthcare education should appeal to more people
  • More freedom to the vocational education institutions

 Specific target groups: all young people.


Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy

A fair direction for Denmark

The top-level authority responsible for the understanding paper is the Prime Minister.

The targets have not yet been evaluated.

The initiatives in the political understanding demand a majority in Parliament in order to be implemented.


From Primary School to Skilled Worker – Vocational Educations for the Future

The top-level authority responsible for the plan and for monitoring is the Ministry of Children and Education. Furthermore, the municipalities are responsible for implementing the new initiatives. The local education institution boards have responsibility for improving the quality and the development of new educations.

There is no ministry with primary responsibility for youth policy.

The targets have not yet been evaluated.

The initiative is part of an ongoing reform of vocational educations.



A fair direction for Denmark

There are no revisions of the political understanding.


From Primary School to Skilled Worker – Vocational Educations for the Future

There are no revisions of the initiative.