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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Denmark

Denmark

5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

On this page
  1. Young people as voters
  2. Young people as political representatives

Young people as voters

Since 1978, the voting age limit in Denmark has been 18 years of age for all types of election.

There is no imminent plan to lower the voting age limit.

There is no special provision for young people in electoral law.

Everybody on the electoral register who is not able to appear at their polling station on election day during voting hours can vote in advance. Thus, young offenders and young persons who are completing their military service or are deployed can vote in advance. The advance voting takes place under the auspices of Danish authorities or vote receivers appointed by the Danish authorities to perform this task and with material procured by the Danish Ministry of the Interior and Housing.

 

The turnout of young people

The national turnout in the 2017 municipal and regional election was 70.8%.

18 years75.1%
19-21 years60.1%
22-29 years54.9%

 

The national turnout in the 2015 general election was 85.9%.

18 years83.7%
19-21 years77.1%
22-29 years79.1%

The national turnout in the 2019 general election was 84.5 %

18 years84.1 %
19-21 years77.8 %
22-29 years77.9 %

The national turnout in the 2014 election for the European Parliament was 56.3%.

18 years49.4%
19-21 years39.4%
22-29 years44.0%

 

The national turnout in the 2019 election for the European Parliament was 66.1%

18 years68.5 %
19-21 years58.8 %
22-29 years56.7 %

 

Young people as political representatives

The legislation dealing with young people as political representatives are the Danish Parliament Election Actthe Local and Regional Government Election Act, and Members of the European Parliament Election Act.

Among other things, these acts determine criteria for eligibility. In order to stand as a candidate for general, regional, municipal, and European elections, young persons must have turned 18. There are no quotas or special functions reserved for young people in these acts.

 

Members of political parties

Article 56 of the Danish constitution states that every member of the Danish parliament is bound only by his/her own opinion. Political parties in Denmark are regulated by law in regard to state support, the establishment of new political parties and how to stand for general and local elections.

There is no top-level legislation on youth wings of political parties; however, most political parties have youth wings with their own statutes that lay down the specific rules on membership, for instance:

The Social Democratic Party youth wing, DSU: Everyone under the age of 30 can apply for membership.

The Social Liberal party youth wing, RU: The minimum age for membership is 12 years.

The Socialist People’s Party youth wing, SFU: The maximum age for membership is 29 years.

The Liberal Alliance youth wing, LAU: The maximum age for membership is 29 years.

The Alternative youth wing, ÅU: No regulation on age.

The New Right youth wing, NBU: Minimum age for membership is 12 years and maximum age for membership is 29 years.

The Danish people’s Party youth wing, DFU: Minimum age for membership is 12 years and maximum age for membership is 29 years.

Socialist Youth front, SUF: The maximum age for membership is 29 years.

The Conservative Party youth wing, KU: No age regulation. Young people under the age of 18 years will need a parental/legal guardian consent in order to apply for membership.

The Liberal Party youth wing, VU: n/a

 

 

Young candidates in national, regional, municipal, and European elections

The age limit for standing as a candidate is 18 years old.

There is no quota of seat reserved for young people and no existing provision aiming at facilitating young people to stand as political candidates.

 

Young people as elected representatives in national, regional, municipal and European assemblies in the current term:

National parliament (2019) 
Average age (years)46.6
Proportion of young people below 30 (%)6.2
Regional councils (2017) 
Average age (years) (Statistics Denmark, March 2018)53.4 years
Proportion of young people below 30 (%) (Statistics Denmark, March 2018)5.85 (12 out of 205)
Municipal councils (2017) 
Average age (years) (Statistics Denmark, March 2018)51.4
Proportion of young people below 30 (%) (Statistics Denmark, March 2018)5.46 (133 of 2432)
European Parliament (2019) 
Average age (years)49.5
Proportion of young people below 30 (%) -

There is no existing provision aiming at facilitating young people to stand as political candidates.