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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


2. Voluntary Activities

2.8 Current debates and reforms

On this page
  1. Forthcoming policy developments
  2. Ongoing debates

Forthcoming policy developments

In the political understanding, A fair direction for Denmark (2019-), the government and its three supporting parties have outlined the political objectives and priorities for the government.

One of the objectives of the government is to strengthen Danish democracy. Among other things, this will take place via the following initiative:

Mapping and removing bureaucratic burdens for voluntary associations and increase the use of “leisure time passes” to vulnerable youths and children, so that more have the opportunity to participate in associations.

Furthermore, the government has published a programme with the bills that the government will present in the parliamentary year 2020-2021.

In relation to voluntary activities, the minister for immigration and integration will present a bill that includes an amendment to the Aliens Act. The objective of the bill is to widen the access for foreigners without working permit to perform voluntary activities under certain conditions.

In November 2019, a majority in parliament presented an agreement on the 2020 allocation of funding. In relation to young people, the following initiatives are relevant:

  • Establishment of a youth crisis centre run by voluntary organisations. The crisis centres provide counselling and temporary housing (maximum 7 days) for young people in the 14-17-year period.  A total of 16.5 million DKK is allocated in the 2020-2023 period.
  • Framework for a better transition to adulthood for young people with disabilities. A total of 6.5 million DKK is allowated in the 2020-2023 period.
  • Increased focus on implementing Housing First for homeless people (for more information, see see section 4.6)
  • Leisure pass for socially marginalised children and young people. A total of 22.3 million DKK is allocated in the 2021-2023 period.
  • Permanent support to Christmas support to socially marginalised families with children, support to summer vacation, and temporary housing during winter.
  • Support to Project Unique. The project supports young people in the 18-30-year age group who have been placed out of home during childhood.
  • Girltalk: The organisation offers counselling of young girls with low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.

Furthermore, the political parties commit themselves to develop a set of principles for the allocation of funds to voluntary, social organisations. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Senior Citizens is responsible for the development of principles. The process will begin in the spring 2020.


Ongoing debates

As a consequence of the corona pandemic and the lockdown of society in spring and again in December 2020, young people cannot participate in associational life to the same extent as previously. This has spurred a debate on young people’s inability to thrive and loneliness because of their isolation and exclusion from communities in which they normally participate. Several representatives from education institutions, politicians, youth organisations, researchers and young people have expressed concern over young people’s well-being during the coronavirus lockdown of society. When schools and leisure activities are locked down, and restrictions reduce the number of social contacts, young people are isolated in their families. The isolation gives rise to loneliness, insecurity and a failure to thrive.

The government has allocated funding for projects that support children and young people during the corona outbreak in Denmark. See section 8.8, 8.98.10 for more information on the support.