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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.4 Youth policy decision-making

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Structure of Decision-making
  2. Main Themes
  3. The National Agency for Youth

Structure of Decision-making


The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture is responsible for making and implementing youth work policy. The Minister of Education, Science and Culture is the primary person in charge of the subject-matter.

According to the Youth Act no. 70/2007, the Minister assigns nine members to the Youth Council. Five representatives are appointed according to recommendations made by youth organisations and two representatives are appointed by the Association of Municipal Authorities in Iceland.

The council is responsible for identifying important procedures for the advancement of youth work and advise the central authorities on youth policy making. 

In 2014, the Youth Council drafted a policy on youth work in Iceland from 2014-2018. Afterwards, the Ministry formed a committee to outline a course of action based on the policy draft. This is an ongoing work by the ministry.

Various other state and non-state actors are involved in youth policy but are scattered in different fields. The Directorate of Education in the field of education of young people and the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the supervision of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child, which among other things ensures young people’s access to governance. 

The Ministry of Welfare is responsible for welfare issues of children and young people.

Main Themes

The main themes addressed by the Youth Work policy have been identified through research work led by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

In 2003 the Minister appointed a committee to evaluate the status of youth activities in Iceland. The committee published a report (only in Icelandic) which influenced the Youth Act no. 70/2007. 

Among the important themes recognized in the report were increasing research efforts in youth policy and increasing demands in the education of people involved with leading youth-related activities.

In addition it was considered important to find ways to increase the involvement of young people in youth work, to further the standards of work environment and ensure that the community would support young people in youth work.

The National Agency for Youth

There is no centralised national agency for youth in Iceland.