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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 31 March 2022
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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation


Main public actors

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Udenrigsministriet): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for Danish foreign and security policy, trade policy and export promotion, as well as development policy. The minister for development cooperation is under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The minister is responsible for Danida, which is Denmark’s development agency. Danida is responsible for the planning, implementation, and quality assurance of Denmark’s development cooperation.

The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities (Klima-, Energi- og Forsyningsministeriet): The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities 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 of efficient water and waste management to protect the high quality of drinking water and to ensure a reliable waste-handling system for Denmark.

The Minister for Development Cooperation and for Nordic Cooperation (Minister for udviklingssamarbejde og for nordisk samarbejde): The minister is responsible for Denmark's development cooperation policy and for the cooperation between Nordic countries under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries (Ministerie for fødevarer, landbrug og fiskeri): The ministry is responsible for policy development in the fields of food, agriculture and fisheries. It focuses among others on the development of sustainable and efficient solutions in Danish food production, and on advising Danes on how to eat healty and climate-friendly food. 

The Ministry of Employment (Beskæftigelsesministeriet): Apart from the ministry's focus on employment policy, the ministry is responsible for coordinating the government’s policies on equal opportunities for men, women and LGBTI-persons.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science (Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet): Among other things, the ministry is responsible for higher education in Denmark. The ministry also 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 is responsible for science and innovation. The ministry provides the framework for research at the Danish universities, which young scholars may be involved in. The ministry launched a national catalogue with four areas of research where the use of public research funding world be the highest. Green growth with fields such as climate, bio-resources, the environment, and transportation is among the four research areas.

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. Furthermore, the ministry assists the Danish National Commission for Unesco.

The Ministry of Culture (Kulturministeriet): Among other things, the ministry is responsible for non-formal general adult 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 targeting children and youth associations. Associations receiving funding from DUF may be involved in global issues.  

Other relevant public or publicly funded actors in the field of youth work and the world

Danida: Danida is the name of Denmark’s development cooperation. This is an area of activity under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The Council for Development Policy (Udviklingspolitisk råd): The Council for Development Policy advises ministers in relation to the preparation and implementation of Danish development cooperation.

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 obligation of the institute is to promote and protect human rights and equal treatment in Denmark and abroad.

The institute is Denmark’s national human rights institution, a national equality body in relation to race, ethnicity, and gender. Furthermore, the institute has a special role in the area of disabilities, where it promotes and monitors the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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 to 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 UN development goals and sustainable development.

Danish Council on Climate Change (Klimarådet) provides recommendations on climate initiatives in the transition to a low-carbon society based on independent professional analyses centred on the overall objective for 2050. The council is under the auspices of the Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities.

The Danish Nature Agency (Naturstyrelsen): Manages the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark’s approximately 200,000 hectares of forests and natural areas in order 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): The agency 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 colorants 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 the 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 adaption.


Main non-public actors working in the field of youth and the world

The Danish Youth Council (DUF): See sections 2.2 and 5.3.

CISU – Civil Society in Development is an independent association of 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 main 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 entitled Frame, Voice, Report!

Global Focus (Globalt Fokus): Global Focus is a Danish membership body for 80 non-profit organisations (NGOs) working in international development. Global Focus was established to strengthen the cooperation between the 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 aim of the Outdoor Council is to promote outdoor recreation for organisations and the general public with regard to 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 from 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 from Danida 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 from Danida aiming to promote just and sustainable development in societies in the global south.

In 2017, the minister for development cooperation launched the new strategy for Denmark’s development cooperation and humanitarian action: ‘The World 2030’. In the strategy, youth is a key focus area. The focus on youth is evident in the youth package launched by Danida, also in 2017. The focus on youth was one of the eligibility criteria for strategic partnerships in the Danish development cooperation programme. Five civil society organisation (CSOs) have entered into strategic partnerships with Danida in the area of youth. Four of the five organisations engage young people in voluntary work:

  • 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 a 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 educations for all.
  • The organisation Plan Children’s Foundation (PlanBørnefonden) focuses on children’s rights. The organisation does not offer voluntary work.


Amnesty International Denmark is part of the international democracy and human rights organisation Amnesty International. Amnesty International Denmark works to promote human rights and injustice in Denmark and abroad. In Denmark, the organisation has 84,000 paying members.

Operation Day’s Work (Operation Dagsværk): See section 9.4.


Organisations in partnerships with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs involved in global issues

The following organisations do not exclusively target young people, but young people often participate in some of their activities:

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.

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 helps 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 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-year 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 has been focused on strengthening the capacities of poor people living in rural areas with the purpose of improving their livelihoods, as well as the recognition of and respect for their rights. CARE Danmark focuses 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.


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 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.

Distribution of responsibility within the area of development cooperation: According to the Act on International development Cooperation (lov om international udviklingssamarbejde, LOV nr. 555 of 18/06/2012), the minister for development cooperation coordinates Denmark’s participation in international negotiations and manages 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. Danida is responsible for planning, implementing, and quality assuring the Danish development cooperation. Danida funds various national and international organisations working with development cooperation and sustainable living in which young people may engage.

Distribution of responsibility within the area of green consumption and sustainable living, etc.: The national distribution of responsibility in the area of global issues resembles the distribution of responsibility in other sector areas. The relevant ministries establish the overall framework with laws passed in parliament, and the regions and municipalities have the freedom to decide how local measures are designed.


Cross-sectoral cooperation

As of August 2019, the government has set up a new coordinating committee at 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 committee is led by the Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities. The committee consists of the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Food, the Minister of Taxation, the Minister of Transport, Building and Housing, the Minister of Higher Education and Science, and the Minister of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs. Furthermore, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Development Cooperation will participate in meetings concerning international issues. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance participate when necessary.