The Danish Welfare System
All citizens shall be guarantied certain fundamental rights in case they encounter social problems such as unemployment, sickness or dependency.
Actors in the social welfare system
The social welfare system of Denmark extends beyond the realm of the Ministry of the Interior and Social Affairs, some of the other important actors are:
The Ministry of Employment has the overall responsibility for measures in relation to all groups of unemployed persons. Furthermore the Ministry of Employment is responsible for the framework and rules regarding employment and working conditions, safety and health at work and industrial injuries, financial support and allowances to all persons with full or partial working capacity as well as placement activities, services in relation to enterprises and active employment measures.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention is in charge of the administrative functions in relation to the organisation and financing of the health care system in Denmark.
The Municipalities and Regions are also fundamental, as the social welfare system of Denmark is very decentralised, and the municipalities and regions are responsible for implementing and administrating the legislation and provisions issued on the state level.
Overall principles of the social welfare system
The Danish welfare system is based on the principle that all citizens shall be guarantied certain fundamental rights in case they encounter social problems such as unemployment, sickness or dependency.
Some of the overall characteristics of the social welfare system are:
- Universalism: All citizens in need are entitled to receive social security benefits and social services, regardless of factors such as their attachment to the labour market.
- Tax financing: Social security benefits and social services are chiefly financed form general taxation.
- Active social measures: Social protection measures must be active and provide self-help support, rather than merely passive support and maintenance.
- Possibilities of labour market attachment: Improved services for children, dependent elderly and people with disabilities contribute to interconnecting family life with working life.
- Free choice: This purpose is to give citizens more alternatives and thus more possibilities of influencing their own lives.
- Decentralisation: The social sector is organised with a high degree of decentralisation of social responsibilities to municipalities and regions. And the local authorities have a high degree of autonomy when implementing the social protections scheme.