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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main Executive and Legislative Bodies


1.Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

1.2Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Last update: 27 November 2023

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. The monarch is Denmark’s head of state, whose essential duties are to represent Denmark abroad and be a figurehead at home. The monarchy in Denmark is constitutional in accordance with the Constitution, and the monarch, or the sovereign, formally heads the government and represents Denmark during incoming and outward-bound state visits. The monarch cannot independently perform political acts.

The Constitution specifies the separation of power, Folketinget, the Danish parliament, is the legislative power, enacting the laws of the country. The Government is the executive power, ensuring that laws are implemented. The courts of law are the judicial power, pronouncing judgements in disputes between citizens and between the authorities and citizens.

Central Level

The Danish government consists of a prime minister and a number of ministers each responsible for a ministry. The ministries responsible for education and their responsibilities related to education are:

The Ministry of Children and Education

  • Early childhood education and care (ECEC), primary and lower secondary education (Folkeskolen), upper secondary education, vocational education and training, adult education at ISCED level 2-3 and non-formal adult education.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science 

  • Business academies, university colleges, maritime education institutions, certain higher education institutions within fine arts, universities, research programmes and adult education at ISCED level 5-8.

The Ministry of Culture 

  • Higher education within the areas of fine and performing arts.

The Ministry of Defence 

  • Military education.

The Ministry of Justice 

  • Police education.

Regional and Local Level

Denmark is divided into:

  • Five regions (regioner)
  • 98 municipalities (kommuner)

The regions

Denmark’s five regions each have an elected regional council and a council chairperson. The regions are responsible for coordinating the general and vocational upper secondary education activities in the region. The regions’ responsibilities also include hospital service and regional development regarding employment, education, nature etc. The regions are organised in the interest organisation Danish Regions.

The municipalities

Denmark’s 98 municipalities are the local governments. The municipalities have a city or a district council, each with an elected council and mayor. The municipalities are responsible for securing early childhood education and care (ECEC) and municipal primary and lower secondary education (Folkeskolen). They also employ teachers and school heads. The municipalities are organised in the interest organisation Local Government Denmark (KL).