Volunteering has deep historical roots in Denmark and is a shared cultural foundation between the Danes. For more than 150 years, the volunteer culture has played a crucial role in forming the current Danish society. Volunteering is closely linked with the Danish citizens' influence on society and the political agenda. Danes practice democracy in volunteer associations which is an instrumental part of becoming a participating member of the democratic society in general.
The great value of associations lies in the fact that people from different backgrounds meet up and work or spend time together - then the unknown becomes known. Volunteering has become an advanced and organised way of socialising and might be one of the reasons why 98 % of all Danes feel safe in general - volunteering makes people less hostile towards each other (as the historian Tocqueville pointed out already in 1835).
Source: Preben Astrup's "Frivillighed" - Aarhus University