9.2 Administration and governance
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There is no specific governance approach to youth contribution to global processes. When young people participate in or contribute to policy-making on global issues the following ministries and Ministers are relevant.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Udenrigsministeriet) is responsible for Danish foreign and security policy, trade policy and export promotion, as well as development policy. The Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate policy is responsible for development cooperation under the auspices of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and responsible for global climate policy under the auspices of The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the planning, implementation and quality assurance of Denmark’s development cooperation. The Ministry has a set of funding pools that are relevant for young people.
The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (Klima-, Energi- og Forsyningsministeriet) is responsible for national and international efforts to prevent climate change as well as the sustainable exploration, distribution and use of energy and raw materials in Denmark. Furthermore, the Ministry is responsible for creating the framework for efficient water and waste management to protect the quality of drinking water and to ensure a reliable waste-handling system for Denmark. The Ministry has set up a Youth Climate Council which provides input to the minister on future climate solutions.
The Minister for Nordic Cooperation (Kirkeminister, minister for landdistrikter og minister for nordisk samarbejde): The minister is for the cooperation between Nordic countries under the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs, Ministry of Rural Districts and Ministry of Nordic Cooperation.
Ministry of Digital Government and Gender Equality (Digitaliserings- og ligestillingsministeriet) is a new ministry established in December 2022. The Ministry is responsible for equal rights for men, women, LGBT+ persons and ethnic minorities.
The Ministry of Higher Education and Science (Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet) administers international education programmes such as Erasmus+ and Nordplus. These programmes fund international mobility within formal and non-formal learning where global issues may be part of the project descriptions.
Furthermore, the Ministry provides the framework for research at Danish universities in which young scholars may be involved. The Ministry launched a green research strategy in 2020 in which stakeholders pinpointed areas where it will be difficult to reach the green transition targets. As a consequence, the national agency for higher education and science, higher education institutions, students and experts have developed a definition of green transition in higher education and discussed how higher education programmes can include a green dimension.
The Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Uddannelsesministeriet): The Ministry is responsible for the formal education system, from early childhood education and care to general and vocational upper secondary education, as well as adult education and continuing training. The Ministry is involved in the development of common goals, curricular and teaching materials. In other words, the Ministry is responsible for the extent of global issues included in the curriculum in general to upper secondary education programmes. Furthermore, the Ministry assists the Danish National Commission for UNESCO.
The Ministry of Culture (Kulturministeriet) is, among other things, responsible for non-formal general learning and allocates funding from the profits from the national lottery and football pools. The Danish Youth Council (DUF) administers the part of the funding pool that targets children and youth associations. Associations receiving funding from DUF may be involved in global issues.
Other relevant public or publicly funded actors
The Danish Institute for Human Rights (Institut for menneskerettigheder): The Danish Institute for Human Rights is an independent state-funded institution. According to Act no. 553 of 16/06/2012, the Institute is obligated to promote and protect human rights and equal treatment in Denmark and abroad. Among other things, the Institute develops teaching material for children and young people.
Astra is the National Centre for Learning in Science, Technology and Health in Denmark. According to Act no. 1320 of 27/11/2018, Astra assumes responsibility for developing a cohesive science education across Denmark. Through the development and dissemination of knowledge, collaboration and coordination, Astra aims to create measurable value for all who teach science or otherwise share their vision of a new generation of young people with strong science skills in Denmark – including the most talented. Among the focus areas are the UN Sustainable Development Goals and sustainable development.
The Danish Nature Agency (Naturstyrelsen) manages the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark’s approximately 200 000 hectares of forests and natural areas to create the greatest possible value for society in terms of good conditions for outdoor recreation, nature protection and the efficient operation of the Agency’s forests and other natural areas.
The Danish Nature Agency carries out practical tasks within hunting and game management and specific outdoor and nature projects – often in collaboration with other authorities, organisations and volunteers.
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen) covers many topics within the fields of the environment and health: chemicals, pesticides, gene technology, soil, waste and environmental technology. The range of tasks is broad, from regulations for chemicals in hair colourants and investigations into how much waste can be recycled to authorisations for new pesticides and the handling of fruit and vegetables.
Municipalities: Municipalities are responsible for a range of areas that relate to global issues, such as green consumption, sustainable living and climate change. Municipalities are responsible for formal education in primary and lower secondary schools, where education in sustainable living, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), climate, etc. takes place. Furthermore, the municipalities are responsible for waste/sorting of waste/recycling, water supply/clean water and climate adaptation.
Main non-public actors
Danish Youth Council (DUF) is the national youth council. The role and responsibility of the youth council are to administer a range of national funding pools targeting organisations working with children and young people, for instance, the profits from the national lottery and football pools (the highest authority is the Ministry of Culture). See sections 2.2, 5.3, 9.3, 9.4 and 9.6.
CISU – Civil Society in Development is an independent association of more than 280 small and medium-sized Danish civil society organisations (CSOs). All members are actively engaged in development work in Asia, Africa or Latin America – either as their primary engagement or as part of their activities. The association administers three pools for development work funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
- The Civil Society Fund
- The Danish Emergency Relief Fund
- The Information Fund
- And one pool funded by the EU titled Frame, Voice, Report!
Several CSOs are members of CISU, for instance, Operation Dagsværk and DFUNK. The members, as well as other organisations working with children and young people, may apply for funding whenever they meet the eligibility criteria under each pool.
Global Focus (Globalt Fokus) is a Danish membership body of 80 non-profit organisations (NGOs) working in international development. Global Focus was established to strengthen the cooperation between Danish organisations and facilitate active engagement between Danish civil society organisations, politicians and governmental bodies, as well as the media.
The Outdoor Council (Friluftsrådet): The Outdoor Council aims to promote outdoor recreation for organisations and the general public concerning environmental needs and needs for nature protection. The Outdoor Council is a non-governmental organisation founded in 1942. It operates as an umbrella organisation and today has 86 individual member organisations. The council distributes funds from the profits of the national lottery and football pools to promote outdoor activities.
Disabled Peoples’ Organisations Denmark (DPOD) (Danske Handicaporganisationer): DPOD is the umbrella organisation for 34 Danish disability organisations. The organisation administers a pool under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for international partnerships aiming to promote the rights of disabled people.
Danish Mission Council Development Department (DMCDD) (Dansk Missionsråds Udviklingsafdeling): DMCDD is an umbrella organisation for Danish churches and church-based organisations partnering with other churches and NGOs in developing countries. The organisation administers a pool under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aiming to promote just and sustainable development in societies in the global south.
Operation A Day’s Work (Operation Dagsværk): See section 9.4.
Organisations with partnerships with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs are involved in global issues. Some organisations targeting young people in particular:
The Danish Family Planning Association (Sex og Samfund) works to promote the universal right to decide over one’s own body and sexuality and is Denmark’s largest non-governmental organisation in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), working since 1956.
Save the Children Denmark (Red Barnet) works to ensure that all children have a good life and to strengthen and protect children’s rights. The organisation works in Denmark and 120 other countries.
MS ActionAid works to fight poverty and injustice in the world. Furthermore, the organisation works to strengthen sustainable global development.
Oxfam Ibis is the Danish member of the Oxfam confederation. Oxfam Ibis works to ensure economic justice and inclusive democracies as well as quality public education for all.
Plan Children’s Foundation (PlanBørnefonden) focuses on children’s rights. The organisation does not offer voluntary work.
SOS Children’s villages (SOS Børnebyerne) works to provide quality care for children who can no longer live with their parents.
Danish Refugee Council (Dansk Flygtningehjælp): The Danish Refugee Council assists refugees and internally displaced persons across the globe, providing emergency aid, fighting for their rights, and strengthening their opportunities for a brighter future. The Danish Refugee Council was founded in Denmark in 1956 and has since grown to become an international humanitarian organisation with more than 7 000 staff and 8 000 volunteers.
DFUNK is the youth section of the Danish Refugee Council (Dansk Flygtningehjælp). DFUNK works to establish safe and stable communities for young refugees in Denmark. DFUNK runs a wide range of activities, such as local young-to-young groups, mentoring arrangements, homework assistance and food communities.
Danish Red Cross (Dansk Røde Kors): The Danish Red Cross is a humanitarian relief organisation working in Denmark and internationally. In Denmark, 34,000 volunteers are engaged in the Danish Red Cross.
DanChurchAid (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp): DanChurchAid is an independent organisation supporting the poorest people in the world in their struggle for a dignified life and helping those whose lives are threatened. DanChurchAid provides emergency relief in disaster-stricken areas and long-term development assistance in poor regions to create a more equitable and sustainable world.
Caritas: Caritas Denmark is the humanitarian relief and development organisation of the Catholic Church. Caritas work together with the Catholic parishes and schools in Denmark to support projects nationally and internationally.
ADRA Danmark is a development and humanitarian relief organisation. The NGO works to ensure all people have equal rights and possibilities for the future. ADRA Denmark has a youth section aiming to engage young people in global issues. The section is managed by young volunteers in the 15–30 age group.
Mission East (Mission Øst): Mission East is a relief and development organisation working in crisis-affected countries in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Asia. Mission East delivers emergency relief during disasters as well as long-term development assistance.
International Media Support: International Media Support (IMS) is a non-profit organisation working to strengthen the capacity of media to reduce conflict, strengthen democracy and facilitate dialogue.
WWF Danmark: WWF Danmark is part of the international nature and environment organisation WWF.
CARE Danmark: CARE Danmark focuses on strengthening the capacities of poor people living in rural areas to improve their livelihoods, as well as the recognition of and respect for their rights. CARE Danmark concentrates on nine countries in Africa and Asia in which the organisation cooperates closely with local society. CARE’s work in developing countries is carried out by local employees, who account for 97% of all employees in CARE.
Danish Trade Union Development Agency (Ulandssekretariatet): The Danish Trade Union Development Agency (DTDA) is the Danish trade union movement’s organisation for international development cooperation.
Danmission is an independent Christian-based organisation. Danmission focuses on poverty reduction, religious dialogue and church development in 12 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Denmark. Danmission has a strong network of supporters and volunteers working. More than 8 000 people across the country are engaged with Danmission – of which 2 800 volunteers in Danmission’s charity shops alone.
Forests of the world (Verdens skove) is an international environment and development organisation working for forest conservation and global sustainability goals. The organisation involves volunteers in their work.
General distribution of responsibility
National initiatives are often carried out within the framework of international principles, agreements, declarations and goals established under the auspices of the UN and the EU. Among these are the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC auspices (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
At the national level, young people’s participation and engagement on global policy issues are, for the most part, integrated into other already existing policy areas such as formal education, volunteering, organisational activities, etc.
According to the Act on International Development Cooperation (lov om international udviklingssamarbejde, Act no. 555 of 18/06/2012), it is the responsibility of the Minister for Development Cooperation to coordinate Denmark’s participation in international negotiations and manage Denmark’s bilateral and multilateral development cooperation. The Minister may grant financial or professional support to partners in developing countries. Furthermore, once a year, the Minister must present a four-year plan for the financial framework of the Danish development cooperation.
The national distribution of responsibility in the area of global issues resembles the distribution of responsibility in other sectors. The relevant ministries establish the overall framework through laws passed in parliament, and the regions and municipalities have the freedom to decide how local measures are designed.
As of August 2019, the government has set up a new coordinating committee at the government level. The task of the Committee for a Green Transition (Udvalget for grøn omstilling) is to ensure that the different sector ministries cooperate on the government’s targets for a green transition. Furthermore, the committee monitors the implementation of specific decisions that are processed in the committee. The cooperation does not involve measures regarding young people’s contribution to global policy-making. The Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities leads the committee. The committee consists of the Minister for Environment, the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Minister for Taxation, the Minister for Higher Education and Science and the Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs.