COLOFONThis publication is an initiative of the youth administrations of the three Communities of Belgiumas part of the Belgian EU Presidency 2010Editorial team: Lieve Caluwaerts, Tony Geudens, Natalie CoelmontPhoto’s: Erik Van Cauter, Chris Van der BurghtLay-out: Holoncom (www.holoncom.be) and Rob MarcelisDepot number: D/2010/3241/258
Belgium in a nutshell:Introductionto the State structuresBelgium: a federal state Belgium is a federal state, consisting of 3Communities (the Flemish Community, the 3French Community and the German-SpeakingCommunity) and 3 Regions (the FlemishRegion, the Walloon Region and the Brus-sels Capital Region)1. There is NO hierarchybetween the federal, the Community and theRegional levels.This division into three Communities andthree Regions is for a unique characteristicof Belgian federalism. Both types of entitieshave their own exclusive competences. Theirterritories overlap geographically, since in factthey correspond to different combinations 3 Communities of Belgiumof Belgium’s four linguistic areas (the Dutch Orange: Flemish Communiitylanguage area, the French language area, the Green: French CommunityGerman language area and the French-Dutch Purple: German-Speakingbilingual area). • Surface: 32.545 km² • Population: 10.666.866 (2008) • Federal capital: Brussels • Head of State: King Albert II (Belgium is a kingdom) • Prime minister federal government: Yves Leterme (resigning) • Official languages: Dutch, French and GermanEach entity has its specific area of responsibil-ity. The federal level has the competence onimportant policy fields such as justice, socialsecurity, employment and tax legislation.The responsibilities of the Region are linked toits “territory” and include environment, agricul- 3 Regions of Belgiumture, urban planning, housing,… Yellow: Flemish RegionThe competences of the Communities are Red: Walloon Region“person-related” matters such as Education, Black: Brussels Capital RegionHealth care, Culture, Youth,…1 Art. 1, 2 and 3 of the Constitution
Three Ministers for Youth The federal ‘Belgian’ level of government The Communities have a minister responsible only has limited competence in youth mat- for Youth, a parliamentary commission and ters (e.g. some aspects of judicial youth a number of administrative departments with protection), but there is no youth policy at the ‘youth’ in their title and a large number of Belgian level. The Communities are competent specific youth-related budget items. Given the for youth and youth policy, so it is on this level fact that every Community has its own Minis- that most explicit ‘youth policy instruments’ ter for Youth, this means Belgium has three. can be found. Citizen participation4 Belgium has compulsory voting for all citi- zens of Belgian nationality from the age of 18. They elect members of: - the European parliament - the federal parliament - the different parliaments on Regional and Community level - the provincial councils - the municipal councils
1. The Flemish Community: some facts and figures The Flemish Community comprises the in- In the frame of a programme for ‘Better habitants of Flanders and the Dutch-speaking Administrative Policy’, the Flemish public inhabitants of the bilingual Brussels Capital administration has been subjected to a reform Region. In 2008, there were 6.161.600 inhabit- in 2006. This programme was designed to ants populating a surface area of 13.522 km². make the public administration more efficient, to make Flanders a place where people enjoy The Flemish youth population (under 30 years working and living. of age) amounted to 2.104.372 persons. The tasks of the Flemish public administration are now organised on the basis of 13 policy 0-4 325,972 areas. Each policy area is supported by a civil 5-9 322,626 service department and a number of autono-6 mous agencies. The departments support 10 - 14 345,065 and advice the Government on policy-making, 15 - 19 366,566 whereas the agencies apply the policy through services to citizens, companies and organi- 20 - 24 357,942 sations. These agencies operate with a big degree of autonomy depending on their terms 25 - 29 386,421 of reference. One of these policy areas is “Culture, Youth, Sports and Media”. A Flemish ministry was cre- ated for each of these policy units, one of them being the Flemish Ministry for Culture, Youth, Sports and Media, which has a department and several agencies within its remit. The agencies are assigned a clearly defined mandate and have substantial autonomy in putting it into practice. The ‘Agency for Socio-Cultural Work for Youth and Adults’ is part of the ‘Culture, Youth, Sports and Media’ policy unit. The Agency for Socio-Cultural Work for Youth and Adults con- sists of a ‘Youth Division’ and a ‘Division for Adult Education and Local Cultural Policy’. Together, Flemish politicians decided in 1980 to merge these two divisions promote a rich and diverse the Flemish Community and the Flemish offer of non-commercial socio-cultural activi- Region. As a result, Flanders has one Flemish ties to improve their general development and Parliament and one Flemish Government with to improve social and cultural participation of competence over Community matters as well all citizens, regardless their age. as over Regional matters. - The parliament is directly elected by the Flemish population by way of five-yearly elections. The parliament has 124 mem- bers. - The Flemish Government has 9 ministers. Pascal Smet is currently the Flemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Op- portunities and Brussels.
2. Youth Policy: concept and boundaries Youth policy and related government meas- Youth policy is based on the assumption that itures are based on a planned, comprehensive is possible to implement a group policy. Thisand integrated vision of youth. The various is not self-evident, because the governmentelements in this definition are significant. applies a sectorial approach in most otherYouth policy refers to an interrelated body of domains. A group policy is a different way ofelements set in a time perspective. It covers implementing policy: instead of focussing onelements from every sphere of life deemed one sector, the starting point is young peo-important for young people, in a coherent ple’s lives across the board, their needs andway. Youth policy is embedded in a model of requirements. That is why youth policy perme-society which expresses the desirable situ- ates every almost every other policy sector.ation for young people (as individuals and interms of their group development), how they A group-oriented implementation of policyare expected to grow up and develop and the creates a number of policy cross roads, where 7place they have in society. it encounters sectorial policies. Youth policy is based on an interactive, participatory style ofYouth policy is implemented through explicit government and a comprehensive or inclusivemeasures: the specific actions undertaken approach to policy. This makes youth policy aby the government focusing on a particular special and supplementary policy. It providescategory of the population: ‘youth’. For the many opportunities for a more democratic andFlemish Community, this means approximately democratising policy implementation.the age group between 0 and 30 years old,although different definitions are used in spe-cific contexts.3. Main orientations of policies for children and young people in the Flemish Community The Flemish Parliament Act of 18 July 2008 The key instrument of the Flemish Governmentdefines the policy for youth and children’s in the implementation of its youth policy is therights, as follows: Flemish Youth Policy Plan. It describes the“the integral and integrated vision of children aims of the Flemish government within theseand young people and the systematic planned areas of competence and embeds them inmeasures of a government based thereon, a general vision on youth, youth policy andaiming to produce an explicit effect on youth, children’s rights. The 2008 Act requires thewith special attention to the International Con- Flemish Government to submit a Flemishvention on the Rights of the Child”. Youth Policy Plan to the Flemish Parliament noThe Act also specifies basic instruments to later than 18 months after the start of the termimplement this policy on youth and children’s in office. Currently, this means that the Flemishrights. Youth Policy Plan 2011-2014 is to be submitted by the end of 2010. Various stakeholders willThis Act led the Flemish Government to imple- be consulted and involved, such as the Flem-ment this categorical policy for children and ish Youth Council, experts on youth affairs,young people up to and including the age of the associations mentioned in the Act, as well30. This policy covers several policy areas. as of local and provincial authorities and the Flemish Community Commission in Brussels2.Since 2004, the Flemish Government has allo-cated the ‘coordination of the children’s rightspolicy’ and responsibility for ‘youth’ to thesame Minister. The current Flemish Ministerfor Youth is Pascal Smet. 2 A body representing the Flemish in Brus- sels Region
This strategic youth policy plan should formu- These fields of action bare lots of resemblance late the desired social effects deemed crucial to the renewed framework for European for children and young people within the policy cooperation in the youth field for 2010-2018. period. The following four objectives have Not a surprise if you know that this European been established for the period 2011-2014: framework was used as a basis for the Flemish - Creating equal opportunities for all chil- analysis. dren and young people. Incentives must be given for interculturalism and there Other instruments created in order to should be permanent attention to exclu- implement the Flemish policy on youth and sion and deprivation. children’s rights, are: - Increasing opportunities for young people - Impact study of new legislation on to develop their talents and competences. children and youth: any draft Act submit- - Providing space to children and young ted to the Flemish Parliament has to be people to be young. ’Space’ in this context accompanied by a report regarding its refers to three dimensions: policy space impact on children and youth, whenever (attention by authorities for youth), mental the proposal directly affects people under space (respect for young people’s per- the age of 25. sonality and culture) and physical space - Contact points for youth and children’s8 (literally the space to be young together). rights and an increased coordination: Young people are part of the public space all Departments and Agencies of the where they play, hang out, live and move Flemish Authorities should appoint one around, but they also need mental space member of staff to be the contact point to be creative, take risks and cherish posi- for the policy on youth and children’s tive feelings. rights. They will be asked to contribute to - Empowering young people to participate future Flemish Youth Policy Plans. They as full members of society. Giving them will also be involved in the monitoring and the opportunity to help shape society, reporting on the implementation of the whether it is in school, at work, in their International Convention on the Rights of area, in organisations, in municipalities… the Child and the Flemish Youth Policy This implies they should be well informed Plan. They will be responsible to estimate about possibilities. the impact of the policy prepared or im- plemented by their department or agency The International Convention on the Rights of on children and young people and their the Child serves as an ethical framework for rights. this youth policy plan. - A ‘Youth Progress Report’ to monitor the situation of youth: this is a scientific An inventory was made of the big challenges report concerning youth developments in that young people are facing nowadays, based Flanders. The report will appear at least on an analysis of the life circumstances of every five years. children and young people. They could be clustered around eight topics: - organisations and voluntary activities - health, identity, sexual- ity and well-being - education and training - employment and entre- preneurship - creativity, culture and media - space for young people and care for the world - participation and infor- mation - social inclusion and diversity
4. The tasks of the ministry: the ‘Division for Youth’ of the ‘Agency for Socio-Cultural Work for Youth and Adults’ – ‘Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports and Media’(www.sociaal-cultureel.be) accommodation centres, as well as mu- nicipal and provincial youth (work) policy The ‘Division for Youth’ of the ‘Agency for - Providing material support for youthSocio-Cultural Work for Youth and Adults’ work: e.g. the lending service for campingensures the administrative follow-up of the equipment for youth associationsFlemish policy on youth and children’s rights. - Providing information on youth (work)Furthermore, the Division implements youth policy (e.g. via the website and an e-zine) 9policy as a socio-cultural matter. It stimulates - Representing Flanders at internationaland supports a rich and varied offer of non- forums. On the one hand, the Division forcommercial socio-cultural activities for young Youth is involved in bilateral cooperationpeople, mainly through subsidies to associa- projects that Flanders established withtions and local authorities. other countries or regions in the context of cultural or partnership agreements. ThisIn short, the tasks of the Division for Youth are cooperation mainly consists of exchangeas follows: programmes. On the other hand, the Divi- - Preparation, follow-up, evaluation and sion for Youth participates in multilateral implementation of legislation (e.g. the forums, which have a youth agenda, such Flemish Youth Policy Plan) as the Benelux, the European Union, the - Funding support structures, youth organi- Council of Europe and the United Nations. sations, youth projects, youth hostels and5. Child and youth related legislation in the Flemish Community The Flemish Parliament Act of 18 July cifically for youth work – or a combination2008 on ‘conducting a Flemish policy on of the above. Recognised National Youthyouth and children’s rights’, on the one hand Associations receive funding for theirdescribes the basic instruments to implement operational costs and can apply for ad-this policy, and on the other hand it specifies ditional project subsidies.the conditions for accreditation and funding of - Experimental Initiatives: these area large number of private organisation, youth- initiatives set up in response to new de-related associations and young people. It is velopments and needs that arise in youthworth noting that these entities generally work work or among young people themselves.for/with children and young people throughout Experimental Initiatives are grantedthe whole of Flanders, as opposed to purely project subsidies based on their methodi-focusing on local or regional initiatives. cal approach or innovative content, but for a maximum period of 36 consecutive - National Youth Associations: these months. are associations engaged in youth work - Initiatives for Participation and Infor- covering the entire Flemish Community. mation: these projects aims to involve An association can be recognised as a young people more closely in policy- National Youth Association if it offers a making, whether it be of authorities, of sufficiently large range of activities: such private organisations or other institutions. as support for local youth associations, an These Initiatives stimulate a positive im- own range of activities for young people, age of young people, they favour positive training for youth workers, products spe- communication with them and meet their
information needs. Associations that work The Flemish Parliament Act of 14 Febru- structurally on participation and informa- ary 2003 on ‘supporting and stimulating the tion can apply for an operational subsidy municipal, inter-municipal and provincial based on a policy paper, possible comple- youth policy and youth work policy’, deter- mented by project subsidies. mines the funding conditions applicable to - Youth Culture Initiatives: these projects local authorities, provincial authorities and the stimulate young people’s artistic creativity. Flemish Community Commission (in Brussels) Young people who carry out an artistic with respect to designing and implementing a project or produce art, or associations youth policy plan. Municipal authorities should who implement and support such projects develop a youth policy plan that covers a or products for young people, can apply three-year period if they want to receive subsi- for funding. Art Education Associations dies. For the Flemish Community Commission working with young people also receive this period is five years. Provincial authorities support through this type of subsidy. establish a plan for the full six-year legislature. These organisations primarily organise Communicative planning is at the centre of activities to develop children or young these policy plans: they should be developed, people’s artistic expression or aware- implemented and evaluated in consultation ness of cultural heritage, individually or in with local youth work initiatives as well as with10 groups. child and youth experts, with the youth coun- - International Youth Projects: these cils and with the children and young people projects aim is to stimulate international themselves. solidarity. The Flemish Parliament Act of 3 March 2004 on ‘the accreditation and funding of youth hostels, youth residences, support structures and the ‘Awlgemene Dienst voor Jeugdtoerisme’ (General Service for Youth Tourism)’, determines the funding conditions for hostels and youth residences and their activities. 6. The budget In 2010, the Division for Youth has a budget ture, International Youth Projects: 5,044,904 of 62,279,000 euro to achieve its objectives. euro, Flemish Youth Council: 639,000 euro, Most of the money is allocated to the Act on Youth Support Centre: 1,001,000 euro, JINT: local and provincial youth policy (21,869,000 890,000 euro, VIP: 625,000 euro, VVJ: 327,000 euro) and the Act on the Flemish policy on euro). youth and children’s rights (National Youth As- sociations: 23,261,00 euro, Experimental Initia- tives, Participation and Information, Youth Cul-
7. The role of youth organisations in implementing youth policy Youth organisations play an important role - VIP (Flemish Information Point) coordi-in the implementation of Flanders’ youth poli- nates youth information within the Flemishcy. Dozens of accredited youth organisations Community: www.vipjeugd.be.are active at Flemish level dedicated to youth - Knowledge Centre on Children’s Rightswork and young people in many different ways aims to increase knowledge of children’sin a leisure time setting. rights at national and international level. The Knowledge Centre on Children’sYouth organisations or youth associations Rights takes an interdisciplinary approachusually receive funding based on specific to children’s rights based on scientificfunding regulations or grant schemes. The research: www.keki.be.legislator has assigned some specific tasks to - ADJ (General Service for Youth Tourism)the following organisations: manages two youth facilities of the Divi- - JINT (coordinating body for international sion for Youth. It develops a policy paper 11 youth work) was established to implement to obtain an annual operating grant from the European Youth programmes within the Division. The centres in question are: the Flemish Community: www.jint.be. Training Centre Destelheide in Dworp fo- - Steunpunt Jeugd (Youth Support Centre) cuses on management training initiatives supports all partners involved in working for accredited youth associations and for with children, young people and their consultation relating to young people and organisations. Steunpunt Jeugd develops youth work: www.destelheide.be. knowledge, expertise and networks to Youth Centre Hoge Rielen in Lichtaart hosts analyse and strengthen the position of young people and associations for camp- children and young people as well as ing and bivouac activities and educational of youth work in society: www.steun- initiatives. It is also suitable for nature puntjeugd.be. classes, reflection or training sessions and - VVJ (Association for Local Youth Services seminars: www.hogerielen.be. and Youth Coordinators) is an organisa- tion, whose members are local authorities The Flemish Youth Council is another impor- from the Dutch language area of Belgium tant body. It advises the Flemish Government and the bilingual Brussels Capital Region, or the Flemish Parliament, at its own initiative the Flemish provincial authorities as well or at request, on all areas related to children, as the Flemish Community Commission in young people and their organisations in Brussels. Most of the municipal authorities Flanders. It ensures that the voice of children, are members of this support organisation: young people, youth organisations and youth www.vvj.be. advisory bodies (youth councils and pupil councils) is heard by policymakers. The general assembly of the Youth Council is composed of at least 16 and at most 24 mem- bers, of whom at least one-third are under the age of 25 at the start of the general assembly’s mandate. A maximum two-thirds of members shall be of the same sex. Membership of the Youth Council is incompatible with a political mandate. The general assembly is elected every three years through a public call for can- didates. At least half and at the most 60 per cent of members are selected from recognised youth associations and youth organisations: www.vlaamsejeugdraad.be. Author: Lieve Caluwaerts Assistant to the Director Agency for Socio-Cultural Work for Youth and Adults Division for Youth/international youth policy
The French Community of Belgium is a Within the internal organisation of the Min- federate entity with its own parliament and its istry of the French Community of Belgium, own government. youth policies are part of Culture. The Youth Department, which is the central public ad- The area inhabited by the French Community ministration of the youth sector, is part of the coincides with the area of Wallonia excluding General Department of Permanent Education the German-Speaking Community and the for Adults and Young People. Therefore, youth Brussels Capital Region. It has 4.3 million policy should be seen to empower young peo- inhabitants living in an area of 17,005 km². The ple and developing their active and creative population density is 253 inhabitants per km². citizenship. Minister Huytebroeck is also responsible for In 2008, the youth population (under 30 years Youth Care. Within the ministry, these compe- of age) in the French Community consisted of tences are structurally related to Health and 1.649.243 persons3: Sports. - 962,115 young people aged 0-17 years - 391,204 young people aged 18-24 years The Minister is also assisted by the Observa- - 295,924 young people aged 25-29 years tory for Children, for Youth and for Youth Care (OEJAJ). This body is directly placed under the14 The French Community manages the matters authority of the Secretary General of the min- allocated to it by the Constitution and the istry. Its mission is to inform public authorities institutional reform laws. In short, these are and citizens about policies aimed at children competences related to the individual and and young people in the French Community. the use of the French language, for example: - It supports and promotes these policies Culture, Education, Research and Training, through analysis and research. Health (exclusively preventive medicine), Youth - It promotes policy initiatives in line with Care, Children, Youth, Infrastructures, Sports, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child Intra-Belgian Co-operation and International and which promote the welfare of children Relations. and young people. The Parliament of the French Community ex- The French Community has an international ercises its legislative powers by adopting de- agency, the ‘Bureau International Jeunesse- crees. Its Government is composed of seven BIJ’ (International Youth Office). ‘BIJ’ manages ministers. Currently, Minister Huytebroeck is and promotes a range of exchange programs responsible for Youth. and works on both European and transconti- nental levels. The funds available to support these international activities are under the The structures related to Youth in the responsibility of both the Minister for Youth and French Community: the Prime Minister of the French Community. Observatory for Children, Secretary for Youth and for Youth Care (OEJAJ) General General Administration General General General General Administration for Youth Care, Administration Administration Administration for for Education and Health and Sports for Equipment for Culture Educational Staff Scientific Research Directorate General for Culture General General Departement of General General General Department Inspectorate Permanent Education for Department of Department for of Cultural Heritage of Culture Adults and Young People Performing Arts Literature and Books and Plastic Arts Centres for Expression Adult Education YOUTH and Creativity 3 (Source : SPF Economie - Direction générale Statistique et Information économique, Données démographiques de base - 1/01/2008)
There are two main types of youth structures “Ecoles de devoirs” working on the local levelapproved by decree: the Youth Centres and fall under the authority of the Minister forthe Youth Organisations. Youth Centres are Children.active at local level and Youth Organisationsfocus their activities at Community-wide level. Finally, the youth sector also includes allWe will detail their tasks and the procedure for young people from the French Community.approval and funding further on. The Youth Council of the French Community represent all young people towards societyYouth also includes the structures of the and government, the same way as the Flemish‘Ecoles de devoirs’ (homework support initia- and German Youth Councils do in the othertives), active at regional or Community level. parts of Belgium.It should be noted that all structures of thea. Youth Centres 15 The sector of Youth Centres is ruled by the 8 associations of Youth Centres are also ap-decree of 20 July 2000, which defines the gen- proved in the decree on youth organisationseral mission and the specific procedures to as Federations of Youth Centres.approve and fund associations that are activeon the local level. In 2010, a budget of 12,032,000 euro is dedi- cated to support the sector of Youth Centres.In 2010, there were 193 approved Youth This budget provides each centre with a grantCentres spread over the entire territory of the to cover the costs of activities and projects,French Community. They are recognised for a plus a part of the staff. This grant depends onfour-year term, currently until 2012. All these the category in which the centre is recognized.associations are dedicated to promoting the This category is determined by the numberdevelopment of critical, active and responsible and size of activities.citizenship (CRAC), especially among youngpeople aged 12-26. They do so by raising About 2,000,000 euro are dedicated to theawareness about social realities and by pro- implementation of different mechanisms tomoting responsible attitudes, through social, support the qualitative and quantitative de-economic, cultural and political participation velopment of the youth sector. These mecha-and socio-cultural practices. nisms include employment support, training of coordinators and the promotion of qualityAmong these 193 associations: practices. One of the four special measures - 146 are approved ‘Youth Centres’. of the decree can be called upon for specific These associations host young people projects. These measures are: during out-of-school or non-work-related - ‘Equal Opportunities’ is destined for activities. They implement activities in a Youth Centres developing specific educa- democratic way, co-decided by and for tional methods to allow young people with young people. Hence the presence of one fewer opportunities to participate in their third of persons aged less than 26 in its projects. decision-making bodies. - ‘Cooperation for youth information’ is - 22 are approved as ‘Youth Hostels’. They geared towards Youth Information Centres have the facilities to provide full accom- investing in partnerships with associations modation for a minimum of 50 young peo- or local public authorities to facilitate ple. They also organise short residential access and ownership of information by activities for individuals or groups. young people. - 25 associations are approved as ‘Youth - ‘Decentralisation’ is granted to Youth Hos- Information Centres’. They reply directly tels and Youth Centres trying to facilitate to questions raised by young people and the access to activities for young people they analyse and raise awareness about facing geographical or socio-cultural dis- the issues and conditions of young peo- advantages. ple’s life. - ‘Support for creation’ is granted to Youth Hostels and Youth Centres which specifi- cally focus their activities on developing socio-artistic expression.
b. Youth Organisations The sector of Youth Organisations is struc- In 2010, a budget of 13,711,000 euro is dedi- tured by the decree of 26 March 2009. This cated to funding the sector of Youth Organisa- decree defines the general tasks and specific tions. procedures to approve and subsidise associa- tions active at Community level. Those asso- For each approved Youth Organisation, this ciations should develop their activities at least budget provides a grant which covers the throughout three of the six areas of the French costs of activities, structural expenses and Community. Those six areas correspond to a part of staff costs. Similar to the Youth the five provinces of Wallonia and the Brussels Centres, this grant is determined by the size Capital Region. and volume of activities and the number of members or local groups for each type of as- At the moment, 91 Youth Organisations, sociation mentioned above. spread over the entire territory of the French Community, are approved for four-year term, A similar amount a for the Youth Centres, ap-16 currently until 2012. All these associations proximately 3,500,000 euro, is dedicated to are dedicated to promoting the development the implementation of different mechanisms of critical, active and responsible citizenship that ensure the development of the sector of (CRAC) among people between 3-30 years Youth Organisations, beyond the activities ap- old. proved in their work plans. These mechanisms focus on financial support for staff and quality All of them develop a variety of actions rang- care. One of the eight special mechanisms ing from entertainment to training, media of the decree can be granted on the basis of education, artistic creativity, social aware- specific activities. These mechanisms are: ness, activism, discovery of culture heritage, - ‘Decentralised Youth Movement’ supports promotion of positive human relationship, etc. Youth Organisations to create and coach All these modes of action are decided “by local groups and for networking amongst and for” young people. Similar to the Youth them. Centres, Youth Organisations have to mobilise - ‘Training and Educational Expertise’ sup- two thirds of people under 35 in their decision- ports Youth Organisations specialised in making bodies. training or those developing many training activities. These 91 Youth Organisations have been - ’Animation in Schools’ supports partner- grouped into 6 categories: ships between Youth Organisations and - 15 Thematic Movements with volunteers, schools that develop educational and analysing social issues and raising aware- socio-cultural activities for young people ness of citizens’ questions. as well as learning tools adapted to the - 6 Youth Movements composed of local needs of young people within their envi- groups of children and young people en- ronment. gaged in activities and animation projects - ‘Political Awareness and Student Partici- such as camps, supervised by voluntary pation’ focuses on Thematic Movements youth leaders. to support their awareness-raising actions - 51 Youth Services contributing to the throughout the French Community. development of young people’s sense - ‘Combating Extremist Movements’ sup- of responsibility, through several actions ports actions and the educational tools such as animation, socio-cultural expres- combating all forms of extremism. sion, awareness, training, information, - ‘Specific Target Audiences’ supports meetings and residential activities or Youth Organisations that mainly develop international mobility. activities for a special target groups, such - 8 Federations of Youth Centres and five as young people from working-class Federations of Youth Organisations, which background, young people with disabili- provide technical and educational support ties or victims of discriminations. such as training, coordination, networking, - ‘Media Education’ is aimed at Youth Or- information and representation of their ganisations developing activities for media members. education with young people and which - 5 Youth Groups developing activities are involved as an expert towards different mentioned in the decree on Youth Or- partners. ganisations but which still do not meet - ‘Linking Youth Centres & Youth Organisa- all formal conditions of approval, such as tions’ encourages cooperation between geographical deployment, for example. youth clubs and local groups of youth movements.
c. ‘Ecoles de Devoirs’ (homework support initiatives) The sector of the ‘Ecoles de Devoirs’ falls 5 Regional Coordination bodies support theunder the joint authority of the Minister for local structures of the ‘Ecoles de Devoirs’.Children and the Minister for Youth. The They are spread over the whole territory of theMinister for Children is competent for local French Community. They support the lead-‘Ecoles de Devoirs’ structures and the Minister ers and coordinators of local structures withfor Youth is responsible for their regional training and information, they develop andcoordination and for the Federation of ‘Ecoles disseminate educational tools and help settingde Devoirs’ at Community level. ‘Ecoles de up new local structures.Devoirs’ are dedicated to children and young-sters aged 6–15. They provide after-school The Federation of ‘Ecoles de Devoirs’ providesspace and activities to support school work, additional support through a publication, abut also to promote social integration and carry permanent phone line and a resources centreout socio-cultural projects. available to the whole sector. The Federation 17 also represents local ‘Ecoles de Devoirs’ towards others sectors and the government. A budget of 333,000 euro is dedicated to support staff costs, activities and structural expenses of the 6 associations (5 Regional Coordination bod- ies and the Federation).d. Advisory Bodies In order to ensure democratic consultation to approve and support the Youth Council.and youth participation in these structures,each of the sectors above is officially repre- The Youth Council is a unique association.sented by an Advisory Body: Its General Assembly is composed of 30 to - Advisory Committee of Youth Clubs and 50 young people between 18 and 30 years Youth Centres (CCMCJ) old. They are elected by young people over - Advisory Committee of Youth Organisa- 16 from the whole Community. 60% of its tions (CCOJ) members come from Youth Organisations or - Advisory Committee of ’Ecoles de Devoirs’ Youth Centres. The other members come from - under the authority of the Minister for the local councils of youth welfare and from Children representative bodies for students. At least 10% of its members should come from groupsThe Youth Council of the French Community of young people which are not related to Youthensures the participation and representation Organisations or Youth Clubs. All membersof all young people of the French Community. of the Youth Council’s General Assembly areIt is officially defined in the decree of 14 No- elected for a two-year term and can be re-vember 2008 which lays down the conditions elected only twice.
The aims of the Youth Council are the follow- - Twice a year, the Youth Council organises ing: collective reflections at local level (so- - expressing opinions on matters affecting called ‘Forums’) which allow young people youth and to represent those in all relevant to explore and to appropriate different consultation structures thematic approaches. - informing its members, civil society and - Six months before Regional or Community decision-makers on issues, analyses, ac- elections, the Youth Council initiates dis- tions and studies on youth cussions all over the French Community - promoting networking between associa- in order to form a youth position on the tions active in the field of youth issues of the next legislative term. This - promoting youth participation in civic life process is called ‘Caucus’. The Youth Council organises decentralised The Youth Council of the French Community activities to reach this last aim: is approved for a five-year term based on - Once a year, the Youth Council organises the aims set out and the membership criteria a so-called ‘Agora’ event at Community described above. In 2010, a budget of 152,000 level. This reflection day allows young euro has been dedicated to cover part of the people to explore and to re-appropriate staff costs, activities and structural expenses.18 different topics. e. Non-Decree Policy Perspectives The French Community also supports several other dimensions of youth policy which Within the youth policy, special support is are not ruled by the decrees mentioned above. given to initiatives with a cultural scope. Here is an overview. Therefore, a budget of 1,113,000 euro was earmarked for projects focusing on “living One of the key priorities of the youth policy for together”, artistic creation, broadcast produc- the period 2009-2014 is the training of youth tion and change management within organisa- leaders, whether they are volunteers or paid tions. Those projects are implemented by staff. Training young volunteers or professional Youth Organisations, Youth Centres but also staff responsible for activities with young peo- not officially recognised associations or inde- ple contributes to the development of ‘Critical, pendent groups of young people. Responsible and Active Citizens’ (CRACs). In 2010, a sum of 1,385,000 euro has been dedi- Special attention is also given to youth facili- cated to this purpose. ties and their equipment. A special sum of 350,000 euro is earmarked for that purpose. Finally, since the beginning of 2010 a special credit line of 100,000 euro has been cre- ated to support trans-sectorial initiatives for youth. This budget supports associations to develop projects at the crossroads with socio-cultural youth policies from other fields, such as the support to young people in dif- ficult situations or the integration of persons with disabilities. Author: Cabinet of Minister Huytebroeck Minister for Youth and Youth Care
Youth policy in the 19German-SpeakingCommunity
The German-Speaking Community is the and the French Community and is only a smallest of the three Belgian Communities and stone’s throw away from the Netherlands and the smallest constituent state in Europe. It is Flanders. It covers 854 km2 and consists legally recognized by article 2 of the Belgian of 9 municipalities with 74,169 inhabitants constitution. (01.01.2008). The German-Speaking Community is situated The official language of the Community, as in the east of Belgium. It is a predominantly well as in schools and in court, is German. rural area. It borders Germany, Luxembourg20 Competences of the German-Speaking Community Culture, Social Policy, Education and Em- - Education and Training. This Policy con- ployment are - in general terms - the areas of cerns kindergartens, primary and sec- responsibility of the German-Speaking Com- ondary schools, special needs schools, munity. It also has the competence to draw up training and vocational schools as well as treaties and agreements with other Communi- an independent higher education college. ties, Regions or States. It also includes the educational content and curricula, language, transport for The following list of competences gives a more pupils, financial assistance to families, detailed overview of the policy domains within staff salaries, maintenance of infrastruc- the remit of the German-Speaking Community: ture, facilities and buildings. - Cultural policy, including language sup- - Regional competency: Article 139 of the port and promotion, fine arts, cultural Belgian constitution allows by mutual heritage and museums, arts and crafts agreement the transfer of competences education, media (radio, television, librar- from the Walloon Region to the German- ies and media centres), youth policy, Speaking Community. Within this context adult and popular education, sports, landscape and monument conservation leisure time and cultural activities, tourism (1994), archaeology (2000), employment and socio-historical tourism. and vocational guidance (2000) as well as - Person-related policy, including youth the supervision of local authorities (2005) welfare, family, social affairs, care and became part of the jurisdiction of the health, coordination and integration of im- German-Speaking Community. migrants, reintegration support for former prisoners, care for people with disabilities.
The German-Speaking Communityin political terms The German-Speaking Community has a Moreover the German-Speaking Communitydirectly elected parliament with 25 members. has its own ministry with three departmentsIt has a government with 4 ministers elected (Youth affairs are treated by the Department by the parliament. for Cultural and Social affairs) and some public The German- services like ‘BRF’ public radio and television, Speaking Community ‘ADG’ employment office, ‘IAWM’ institution is represented in the for training in the small and medium-sized Belgian Senate by enterprises, ‘DPB’ agency for persons with a a co-opted Senator disability, ‘WFG’ East-Belgian business pro- who is elected by motion agency and ‘VAO’ tourist board. the parliament of the German-Speaking The German-Speaking Community is not Community. It also allowed to collect taxes. The budget of the 21 has one directly Community is therefore exclusively fed by the elected member of endowment of the federal state and the money the European Parlia- transfer of the Walloon Region linked to the ment. competencies transferred under article 139 of the constitution.Youth policyin the German-Speaking Community In 2008, statistics showed that of a total the table below provides information aboutBelgian population of 10,666,866 inhabitants, the total Belgian population, the total German-74,169 were living in the German-Speaking Speaking Community population and theCommunity. number of young people between 12 and 30To frame the specific situation of the German- years old. The data also show the relevantSpeaking Community and their young people, percentages and the gender balance. Population Men Women Total Belgium 12-30 years 1.254.577 1.228.123 2.482.700 Belgium Total 5.224.309 5.442.557 10.666.866 % 12-30 24,01% 22,57% 23,27% DG 12-30 years 8.628 8.136 16.764 DG Total 36.889 37.280 74.169 % 12-30 23,39% 21,82% 22,60%
Legal basis of Youth Policy in the German-Speaking Community Article 4 of the special law of 8 of August centres, is young people between 12 and 26 1980 refers to terminology of youth policy years old. Moreover, the legislation also con- in Belgium. The actual youth policy in the cerns youth workers and youth leaders. German-Speaking Community is in line with this overall interpretation: SUBSIDIES AND FUNDING “Youth policy doesn’t apply to school but to Basically, the subsidies supporting youth education, both of organized and non-organ- policy in the German-Speaking Community ized young people, excluding the legislation on are related to structural funding. Most of the youth welfare (penal, social and civil law). This available budget goes towards subsidising policy encompasses the procedures to fund youth work structures and personnel costs. socio-cultural education for young people and 22 to subsidise the social promotion of young - The decree of 23 March 1992 regulates people.4” the funding of personnel costs of profes- sional youth workers in the German- However, recently the German-Speaking Speaking Community. Following this regu- Community developed more cross-sectorial lation, youth workers can get subsidies approaches. This is outlined in the chapter for their salaries up to 75% of the allowed ‘Political priorities and a forecast on a future maximum amount. youth policy in the German-Speaking Com- - The decree of 14 December 1998 regu- munity’ below. lates the subsidies towards operating costs for accredited youth associations, CURRENT YOUTH POlICY youth services and youth centres. This AND ITS lEGAl BASIS system provides funding on a quantita- tive basis, which means that calculation The legislation of the German-Speaking Com- is made upon the number of admissible munity on youth work doesn’t define a specific activities conducted by the concerned target age group. However, the main age association, service or centre. group mentioned in the decree on the financial - The decree of 18 March 2002 regulates support for operating costs of accredited the funding of youth infrastructure. youth associations, youth services and youth - The enactment of 04 February 1980 regu- lates the funding of material. - Training of youth workers and youth lead- ers is regulated by the ministerial circular of 22 April 2002. - The funding of special or innovative projects in aid of the German-Speaking Community is regulated by the ministerial circular of 22 April 2002. - Funding of projects with the other Belgian Communities and international projects are regulated by the ministerial circular of July 1994. - Furthermore, legislation also foresees structural funding for the Youth Office (Jugendbüro der Deutschsprachigen Ge- meinschaft). This funding is regulated by a convention between the Government and the Youth Office. - The Council of the German-Speaking Youth, established by royal enactment of 30 December 1983, can obtain funding for projects and fees for attendance. Operat- ing is guaranteed by secondment of a person working for the Youth Office (see 4 Roger Blanpain, Bevoegdheden van duties of the Youth Office below). Moreo- Gemeenschappen en Gewesten, 1988, ver the Youth Council can also count on a Brügge, S.146 lot of volunteers within its members.
The youth sectorof the German-Speaking Communityand its main actors THE POlITICAl FRAMEwORK This text will not go into detail concerning youth organisations, youth centres not workingWithin the Parliament of the German-Speaking under the umbrella of a Performance ContractCommunity, Youth Affairs are treated by the and the youth information centres, as theyCommittee for Culture. don’t differ that much from the general Euro-Within the current government of the German- pean understanding. However useful links willSpeaking Community, the Minister for Culture, be mentioned under the useful links section.Media and Tourism is also responsible forYouth Affairs. At the moment, this is Ms. Isa- We will go into more detail about two specificbelle Weykmans. structures of youth work in the German- Speaking Community: the Youth Council and 23 THE ADMINISTRATIVE FRAMEwORK the Youth Office (including the Performance Contracts).At the ministry of the German-Speaking Com-munity, Youth Affairs are settled in the Depart- THE COUNCIl OF THE GERMAN-ment of Cultural and Social Affairs. The head SPEAKING YOUTH (RDJ)of the Department is Mr. Leonhard Neycken.By delegation of the minister, this Department The Youth Council was established by royalis also the National Authority for the European enactment on 30 December 1983. It is theYouth in Action programme in the German- independent federation of individual youngSpeaking Community. people, youth centres, local youth councils,(See contact details and links below) youth organisations of the political parties, youth organisations and youth services in the THE YOUTH SECTOR IN FACTS German-Speaking Community. The general aim of the Youth Council is toGenerally, youth work in the German-Speaking promote all activities which are useful to en-Community has the aim to provide socio- able the participation of young people in thecultural out-of-school activities for children German-Speaking Community on decisionsand young people on a voluntary basis. They and measures which concern them. The Youthdo so using non-formal education methods to Council considers itself as a platform thatenable the beneficiaries of these activities to gives young people the opportunity for activebecome active and confident citizens. They do participation in the design of youth policy,so by fostering their skills and enhancing their for developing projects and for experiencingknowledge, their participation in society and (European) democracy.their autonomy. The Youth Council is steered by a Steering Committee and a General Assembly. MembersYouth work in the German-Speaking Commu- must not be older than 35 years by the timenity addresses those taking part in the activi- that they are nominated. Different workingties as well as those providing these activities, groups develop projects and contribute to thesuch as youth workers and youth leaders. overall work of the Youth Council. To fulfil its tasks, the Youth Council receivesTherefore, there are some key actors in the attendance fees and the secretarial andfield of youth work in the German-Speaking organisational work is done by a person work-Community: ing for the Youth Office. Moreover the Youth - There are 7 approved youth organisa- Council can get funding for specific projects. tions, - in total 19 youth centres/clubs (locations) THE YOUTH OFFICE out of which 11 covered by a Perform- (JUGENDBüRO DER DEUTSCH- ance Contract (more details below), SPRACHIGEN GEMEINSCHAFT) - 2 information centres, - the Youth Council and Besides the above mentioned youth organisa- - the Youth Office tions, youth centres, information centres and the Youth Council, the Youth Office is one of the most important support structures for Youth Work in the German-Speaking Com- munity.
The Youth Office is in some way the “techni- THE SYSTEM cal bureau” for youth work in the German- OF PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS Speaking Community. It is an NGO steered AND OPEN YOUTH wORK by a General Assembly and an Administrative Board, in which the majority is held by youth The system of Performance Contracts exists organisations and youth centres. The Govern- for several years now, next to the regular ment and the Ministry represent one single funding system described above. It has been voice within this Administrative Board. a step forward in the German-Speaking Com- The collaboration with the Government of munity’s youth work. This system applies to the German-Speaking Community and the open youth work and seeks for a strong in- funding received are regulated by a conven- volvement of the municipalities. Furthermore it tion between the Government and the Youth allows funding on the basis of work plans and Office. This convention runs over 2 years and quality management. At the moment, all youth foresees amongst other things the principle of workers under Performance Contract are funding by donation, the allocated amount and employees of the Youth Office which is also the mission of the office. responsible for the management and guidance of the contracted staff. This mission implies:24 - assistance to the Youth Council; Within this system, a professional youth - practical guidance/monitoring for youth worker is responsible for the overall work organisations; and the coordination of several locations of - coordination and development of open a main youth centre. These locations (up to youth work and street work (street work a maximum defined in the contract) should is regulated by a Performance Contract respect the ‘meeting reality’ of young people between the government, the Youth Office and cover the territory of the whole municipal- and an accompanying committee); ity. The professional youth worker is meant to - promotion of national and international establish good functioning teams of volunteers cooperation in the youth field (for instance to guarantee minimum opening hours and the programmes Youth in Action , Bel’J, the self-management, participation and self- ASA and Quebec-Wallonie-Bruxelles) - the responsibility of the youth club visitors. Youth Office is also the National Agency of the German-Speaking Community for the The following outlines some guiding principles European Youth in Action programme; of the Performance Contracts: - promotion of EURO <26; - IT-services; Performance Contracts constitute a partner- - services concerning financial manage- ship between the Government, the municipal- ment. ity, the Youth Office and a local NGO. The Contracts regulate the duties and services, the financial support, the available means as well as the staff. Their implementation is monitored and supervised by a mixed com- mittee representing all partners and delegates of the concerned youth centres (local NGO). Within this sys- tem of Performance Contracts the German-Speaking Community con- tributes up to 87,5 % to the salary costs of a professional youth worker. The remaining 12,5 % are covered by the municipalities.
The budget The overall budget of the German- to own projects (street work, EURO<26,Speaking Community in 2009 was IT-services, co-funding of Youth in Action,188,686,000 euro. Of this sum, 1,333,000 etc.) and for the assistance to the Youtheuro was allocated to the budget of the Council. This means that the Youth Officeyouth programme (0,7% of the overall budg- in total obtains 38% of the budget avail-et). This sum was split up in the following way: able in the youth programme. - 46% of this budget was dedicated to sal- Additionally, there was also 8,000 euro avail- ary costs of youth organisations, youth able in the youth programme dedicated to centres and youth services (street work- specified credits and 113,000 euro dedicated ers, Youth Council and Youth Office not to credits for expenditure for facilities and included); infrastructure. - 23% was dedicated to the operating costs of youth organisations, youth services and To get a complete picture of all youth related youth centres; posts within the overall budget of the German- 25 - a part of these funds mentioned in the Speaking Community, we add the 2009 bullet-points above was transferred to the budgets for Education and for Youth Welfare Youth Office, because the Youth Office (excluding budgets available for specified manages some youth centres under the credits and credits for expenditure): umbrella of a Performance Contract. Fur- thermore, the Youth Office received funds - Education: 100,383,000 euro for salary costs and operating costs linked - Youth Welfare: 3,529,000 euroPolitical priorities and forecastof a future youth policyin the German-Speaking Community CONSIDERING THE PAST, INClUDING THE PRESENT That is why policy-makers in the German- AND PREPARING THE FUTURE Speaking Community decided to work on a new integrated youth decree. This newThe current developments and youth policy decree will put the young person in the centredesign in the German-Speaking Community and focus on their specific capacities. It willare based on the structured youth consulta- start from the current situation and evolutiontions which took place in 2005/2006, as well while maintaining flexibility and sustainability.as on the concept for regional development Moreover, this new decree will also reorganisefor 2009-2025, which were incorporated in the training for youth workers and youth leaders. Itpolicy statements of the government in Sep- will allow for evaluation which will be the basistember 2007 and 2009. for the Government to establish a strategic youth policy plan. This decree should be readyThe main priority is the development of instru- by 2012.ments and methods to come to a comprehen-sive and high quality youth policy based on Compared to the current situation, this newknowledge and information. integrated decree would allow:Due to the complexity and variety of young - a more transversal and a better cross-sec-individuals and their personal situations, youth torial approach, which puts young peoplework is a very complex field of work. Conse- in the centre (of all efforts) and deals withquently, the function of a youth worker and them more holistically;the actions of those active in youth work are - increased participation of young peoplereflecting this complexity too. For that reason, and the youth sector (also in the designthe quality of youth work is closely linked to of youth policy and in other decision-the quality of its youth workers. making);
- funding based on quality and not only National quantity - this comes with quality criteria In the context of European cooperation, the and quality standards for training and three Belgian Communities work closely to- for the evaluation of concepts and work gether in order to coordinate a single Belgian plans, etc.; position regarding the competences under the - reorganisation of youth information; responsibility of the Communities. The leading - contribution of municipalities to the impact role and the role as Belgian spokesperson in of youth policy. the European Council are carried out in turn by all three Communities. This close cooperation will be even more intense during the Belgian INTERNATIONAl Presidency of the European Council in 2010. AND NATIONAl COOPERATION Flanders will lead the presidency in the field of youth policy, while the German-Speaking It goes without saying that international and Community will have the role as Belgian national cooperation are essential for the spokesman. German-Speaking Community. On the one hand, this is linked to the geographical situa- This interaction between the three Belgian tion of the German-Speaking Community: in Communities in the field of youth policy26 the middle of two European regions and at the also exists in its own right at Community border of several language areas. On the other level. The German-Speaking Community has hand, it also has to do with the wide range cooperation agreements with the French Com- of competences and the small size of the munity and with Flanders. The Communities German-Speaking Community. frequently share information regarding new developments, transfer knowledge or invitate To allow young citizens to benefit most of this each other to participate in events. autonomy, the German-Speaking Community can not be self-centred. It has to look for The three Communities also have a common national and international cooperation in the programme for youth exchanges and projects field of youth policy in order to open up and to for creative and active citizenship. This pro- maximise its possibilities. gramme is called ‘Bel’J’ and was initiated in march 2009 by the three Ministers for Youth. It International gives young people between 14 and 20 the op- Therefore, the German-Speaking Community portunity to discover the other Communities. is very active in international initiatives and Bel’J is managed by the Youth Office in the networks such as the new European frame- German-Speaking Community. . work for cooperation in the youth field, the Benelux cooperation, the cooperation in the framework of the Greater-Region, as well as some bilateral treaties. In this context, being part of the European Youth in Action programme and having an own National Agency for this programme is a pre- cious added value for youth policy and young people in the German-Speaking Community. The National Agency is managed by the Youth Office, as well as several other youth exchange programmes, such as Quebec-Wallonie-Brux- elles (a programme of the French Community), ASA (a German programme on sustainable development) and Bel’J (a programme of the three Belgian Communities). The German-Speaking Community benefits greatly from the cooperation on European youth policy design and has close contacts with its national partners, the partners in the Benelux and the Greater-Region as well as other partner countries.
Useful links and addresses• The Parliament of the German-Speaking Author: Community: www.dgparlament.be Armand Meys• The internet portal of the German- Policy Officer Speaking Community: www.dglive.be Youth Unit - International• Specific information about the youth Ministry of the German-Speaking Community sector: www.dglive.be/jugend Department of Cultural and Social Affairs• Government of the German-Speaking Community, Ms. Isabelle Weykmans, Minister for Culture, Media and Tourism (also responsible for Youth), Klötzerbahn 32, B-4700 Eupen Tel. ++32 87 596 400 Fax. ++32 87 557 021 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 27• Ministry of the German-Speaking Community, Department of Cultural and Social affairs, Head of department, Mr. Leonhard Neycken, Gospertstraße 1, B-4700 Eupen Tel. ++32 87 596 300 Fax. ++32 556 476 Email: email@example.com (also the National Authority for the European Youth in Action programme)• The Youth Council: www.rdj.be• The Youth Office (Jugendbüro) which is also the National Agency for the European Youth in Action Programme: www.jugendbuero.be• Youth information in the German-Speaking Community: www.jugendinfo.be• Street work in the German-Speaking Community: www.streetwork.be
DEUTSCHSPR ACHIGE GEMEINSCHAF T BElGIENSwww.youth-eutrio.be