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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 20 March 2024
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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation


Key actors at the national level in policymaking with regard to young people’s cultural and creative opportunities are:

The Ministry of Culture

The ministry is responsible for the development of cultural institutions and cultural policy, which include a broad range of areas:


  • Higher education in the area of art and culture
  • The non-formal general education 
  • Folk high schools
  • Evening schools
  • Day folk high schools
  • University extension courses
  • Cultural heritage
  • Media and libraries
  • Creative arts
  • Sports
  • Cultural cooperation with the local authorities

The Agency for Culture and Palaces (Slots- og Kulturstyrelsen): The agency falls under the Ministry of Culture. The agency advises the Minister for Culture and contributes to the implementation of the government’s objectives within the area of culture. The agency administers several pools of funding for cultural projects that realise the government’s cultural policy. One of the many focus areas of the agency is children and young people. The agency administers children and youth funds and initiates events to support knowledge sharing and cooperation. Furthermore, the agency carries out a wide range of art and cultural projects for and with young people.


The Danish Arts Foundation (Statens Kunstfond): The Danish Arts Foundation falls under the Ministry of Culture. The foundation promotes the arts in Denmark and Danish art abroad by awarding about DKK  550 million to Danish artists and projects annually. The minister for culture appoints a committee of representatives, which selects members for the foundation’s 16 specialist committees. Among other things, the foundation must ensure that art and culture are available throughout Denmark and that art and culture play a pivotal role in children and young people’s lives. 

Therefore, the foundation makes art more accessible for children and young people, in spite of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and supports artists and organisations that create and communicate art and culture to children and young people.


Media Council for Children and Young People (Medierådet for Børn og Unge): The Media Council falls under the Ministry of Culture. The Media Council provides guidance on children and young people’s use of computer games and serves as a national awareness centre concerning children and young people’s life and activity in digital media (see section 6.8). The Media Council works with educators, parents, authorities, and organisations to inform and advise on children and young people’s life and activity in digital media.


The Ministry of Children and Education

  • Primary and lower secondary education (folkeskole) (ISCED 1 and 2)
  • General and vocational upper secondary education (ISCED 3 and IVET)
  • The Danish minister for children and education is the acting minister for the youth field with regard to the Council of Youth Ministers of the European Union

The ministry is responsible for children and youth education programmes until upper secondary education and is the top-level authority regarding curriculum. Creativity and culture are included in the curriculum in primary, lower, and upper secondary education, see section 8.5.


The Ministry of Higher Education and Science

  • Higher education: Under the regulation of the Ministry of Higher Education, four education institutions offer higher education programmes within the fine arts
  • Science
  • Innovation

Other public actors working in the field of creativity and culture for young people

In Denmark, the 98 municipalities have a high degree of autonomy and implement cultural policy locally. The municipalities are responsible for:


  • Non-formal General Education (folkeoplysning) see section 2.1.  According to the Act on Non-Formal General [MHB1] Education, municipalities are obliged to support youth associations.
  • Municipal music and cultural schools for children and young people (musik- og kulturskoler)
  • Sports and leisure facilities
  • Municipal libraries (folkebibliotek). According to the Act on Libraries, municipalities are obliged to run local libraries with the objective of supporting enlightenment, education, and cultural activities.
  • Many municipalities support local museums approved by the Ministry of Culture. These municipalities may be obliged to supervise the museums, and some municipalities enter into operating agreements or performance contracts with the museums.

A range of state institutions within the arts fall under the Ministry of Culture, for instance:


The Royal Danish Library (Det Kongelige Bibliotek)


The Royal Danish Theatre (Det Kongelige Teater)


The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet)


The National Gallery of Denmark (Statens Museum for Kunst)


Education institutions:


  • The Royal Danish Academy of Music
  • The Rhythmic Music Conservatory
  • The Royal Danish Academy of Music
  • The Danish National Academy of Music
  • The National Film School of Denmark
  • The Danish National School of Performing Arts
  • The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts: Schools of Visual Arts

Furthermore, Ministry of Culture financially supports:


In addition to The National Museum of Denmark and the National Gallery of Denmark, there are four other state-owned museums. Furthermore, 95 museums are state-authorised by the Ministry of Culture. The state-authorised museums must meet the criteria established in the Act on Museums (Museumsloven, LBK nr 358 af 08/04/2014) and receive public funding on that ground.


Non-public actors working in the field of creativity and culture for young people in Denmark

Local Government Denmark (KL) is the association and interest organisation of the 98 Danish municipalities. Local Government Denmark supports municipalities with consultancy services and information, supporting all municipalities in delivering local services, of which culture is a municipal responsibility. Furthermore, Local Government Denmark organises cooperation and networking across municipalities, where knowledge-sharing and best practices are in focus.

A very wide range of private cultural institutions across Denmark receive public funding and thereby contribute to realising Danish cultural priorities. For more information on the cultural institutions, see section 8.4.

Very often, the institutions are organised in interest organisations such as The Association of Danish Museums, Danish Music- and Culture Schools and the Danish Library Association.

The interest organisations as well as NGOs, sports associations and youth organisations are consulted in the development of new policies or when making changes to existing policies. Furthermore, private actors often cooperate with agencies and the Ministry of Culture in the implementation of new initiatives, for instance, a campaign to counter homophobic attitudes in sports associations.


General distribution of responsibility for providing cultural and creative opportunities for young people in Denmark

Administratively, both the national level (the state) and the local level (the municipalities) play a role in providing cultural and creative opportunities for young people in Denmark. The state provides economic support and a legislative foundation for a great number of cultural institutions all across Denmark (e.g., museums, theatres, orchestras, music schools, folk high schools, and artistic education). Very often, the state cooperates and co-finances these institutions with the 98 Danish municipalities. The purpose is to ensure that all parts of the population, including young people, in all parts of the country can experience and participate in a variety of different cultural experiences. Also, the state and the municipalities provide support to NGOs within sports and leisure activities to ensure that all parts of the population, with a special focus on children and young people, can experience activities such as sports and scouting in voluntary organisations.

In order to ensure freedom of expression in art and culture, grants to artists are given with no political strings attached. Therefore, independence and the arms-length principle are fundamentals of the Danish cultural policy. The arms-length principle implies that neither politicians nor the Ministry of Culture are involved in specific subsidy allocations. The ministry’s role is to act as an architect of the framework for an overarching cultural policy and, in collaboration with the Danish parliament, to set the objectives and create the structures that form the basis of cultural policy in Denmark.

The task of awarding public support to the creative arts is to a high degree entrusted to independent institutions, councils, and committees whose members have competencies within the individual art forms. The Danish Arts Foundation and the Danish Film Institute are important bodies and institutions in this area.


Cross-sectoral cooperation

There are frequent meetings and contacts between the different key actors in order to coordinate the effort, but there is no formal structure and no permanent committees to support the cooperation between the Ministry of Culture and other ministries or agencies. Common activities also include consulting, knowledge sharing and documentation, and international cooperation.