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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.7 Funding youth policy

On this page
  1. How Youth policy is funded
  2. What is funded?
  3. Financial accountability
  4. Use of EU Funds

How Youth policy is funded

In Denmark, there is no specific budget for youth policy.

The Finance Act (finansloven) allocates grants to the ministries, municipalities, and regions. The youth policy initiatives by ministries, municipalities, and regions are covered by these grants.

Every year, a new finance bill, which determines the Danish state’s budget for the following year, must be passed. Like most other bills, the budget proposal is introduced by the government. The government determines a frame for the state’s budget and negotiates with the ministries (in March and April), municipalities, and regions (in June). The budget agreement typically establishes the tasks, level of service, political priorities, etc. for the coming year. The minister of finance must present the finance bill to the parliament by 1 September at the latest. The bill is usually passed by parliament in December just before the Christmas holiday.


The focus areas of the Finance Act of 2021 are (list not exhaustive):

  • Improved general and vocational upper secondary education programmes
  • Strengthening cultural activities (e.g., a children and youth package)
  • Climate and nature
  • Improved healthcare and social policy (e.g., free psychological treatment of the 18-24-year age group)


Besides the youth policy initiatives funded by the Finance Act (finansloven), one pool and two acts finance associations, organisations, and voluntary social work.


Often, associations, organisations, and voluntary social work involve initiatives targeting young people, for instance youth schools, leisure activities, sports clubs, political youth organisations, and other interest organisations. For a detailed description of associational life in Denmark, see sections 2.1 and 2.2.


What is funded

A broad range of welfare services are funded by public funds.

  • Day-care institutions
  • Primary and lower secondary education (folkeskole), upper secondary education, special education, higher education and science
  • Employment measures for young people
  • Health services
  • Municipal leisure activities
  • Measures for young people with special needs
  • Measures for young people with physical or mental disability
  • Measures for socially vulnerable young people


The Act on Profits from the national lottery and football pools (Udlodningsloven,  LOV nr 1532 af 19/12/2017), the Act on Social Services (lov om social service,  LBK nr. 1287 af 28/08/2020) and the Act on Non-Formal General Adult Education (Folkeoplysningsloven, LBK nr 1115 af 31/08/2018) fund initiatives such as:

  • Youth organisations
  • Youth political parties
  • Non-formal general adult education programmes (folkeoplysning)
  • Camps, festivals, and youth conferences
  • Youth training programmes
  • Inclusion programmes
  • Leisure activities
  • Cultural activities


Financial accountability

The National Audit Office of Denmark (Rigsrevisionenaudits public spending on behalf of the Danish parliament and seeks to strengthen the accountability of public administration to the benefit of the citizens. The National Audit Office of Denmark audits the government accounts and financial statements of publicly funded enterprises and verifies the legality and effective use of public funds. The National Audit Office of Denmark conducts the audits in compliance with the Danish standards for public sector auditing.

The National Audit Office of Denmark is independent in its planning and choice of audit approach and methodology. The National Audit Office of Denmark performs the audits on behalf of the six members of the public accounts committee, who subsequently comment on the reports and submit them to the Danish parliament (Folketinget). The annual financial audit is mainly performed as a financial audit, but often includes elements of a compliance audit and sometimes also a performance audit.

The National Audit Office of Denmark publishes approximately 25 reports every year. One third of the subjects of these reports are decided on by the public accounts committee and the rest by the National Audit Office of Denmark. Audits are planned on the basis of assessments of materiality and risk. Some studies concern only one department whereas others address the same issue across several departments.

Ensuring that action is taken on the points raised or recommendations made in the audit reports is crucial for the effectiveness of the work. The Danish audit model includes a follow-up procedure that ensures effective follow-up.


Monitoring of state pools and public funding

Associations and organisations may be entitled to funding from the profits from the national lottery and football pools pools (Udlodningsloven,  LOV nr 1532 af 19/12/2017), Act on Social Services (Lov om social service,  LBK nr. 1287 af 28/08/2020), and the Act on Non-Formal General Adult Education (Folkeoplysningsloven, LBK nr 1115 af 31/08/2018). Associations and organisations may receive either project funding or operating aid.

Each individual grant scheme has a mandatory set of regulations that the recipient of the fund must comply with.

Project funding is based on a project description with information on target groups and objectives.

Operating aid is typically granted based on the number of organisation members.

If the benefactor does not return a financial and goal achievement account by the report deadline or if an organisation reports misleading information, the partial or full grant may be withdrawn.

Accounting reports are usually asked to be verified by an auditor.


Use of EU Funds


Denmark participates in the Erasmus+ programme to support education, training, sport and youth.

The total budget for the 2014-2020 period is about €14.7 billion.

The Danish 2020-allocation budget was EUR 36.3 million.

Under Key Action 3 the European Commission allocates grants for a wide variety of actions aimed at stimulating innovative policy development, policy dialogue and implementation, and the exchange of knowledge in the fields of education, training and youth.

The Danish Youth Council receives funding via the “Key Action 3: Policy Reform” for the implementation of the EU Structured Dialogue as chair for the national working group in Denmark.

Key Action 3: Decentralised management: The Youth Democracy Festival receives funding in relation to the EU Structured Dialogue.

Key Action 2: Transnational cooperation activities: National, regional, and local projects receive funding in relation to the European Youth Week.

Trends in amount: The level has been stable.

The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science is national agency for Erasmus +


European Solidarity Corps

Denmark participates in the European Solidarity Corps.

The total Budget for the 2018-2020 period is €375.6 million

The Danish 2020-allocation budget was about EUR 1.8 million.

The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science is national agency for Erasmus +



In the 2014-2020 programme period, research institutes, researchers and organisations have been funded with €1 330 million, which is 2.57% of the total Horizon2020 budget.

The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science is national contact point (NPC) for Horizon2020 in Denmark.


European Social Fund

The Danish national Operational Programme for the implementation of the ESF in the period 2014-2020 outlines the priorities and objectives to spend 400 million euros (of which over 200 from EU budget) contributing to strengthening economic growth in all Danish regions.

The total ESF allocation will be distributed among the following four priorities:

  • Entrepreneurship and job creation: 144.7 million euros will be devoted to actions aiming at increasing self-employment and jobs in ESF-supported enterprises;
  • Cross-border mobility: 5.6 million euros will fund actions to enhance transnational labour mobility;
  • Inclusion through education and employment: 80.1 million euros will help those on the margins of the labour market to find a job. This amount represents the 20% that must be reserved for Social Inclusion;
  • Vocational training and higher education: 150.3 million euros will be devoted to increase the number of vocational education participants, among both young and adult people.

There will be a strong regional approach, since the use of ESF will be tailored to the specific needs of the different Danish regions.