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EACEA National Policies Platform


1. Youth Policy Governance

1.5 Cross-sectoral approach with other ministries

Last update: 30 March 2024
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  1. Mechanisms and actors

Mechanisms and actors

Youth policy in Flanders is at a unique crossroads: it is a categorical policy theme, focused on one category of the population: children and young people. But it also cross-cuts sectoral policy domains such as sports, culture, social policy, education, spatial planning, health, housing etc. So, youth policy in Flanders is based on the assumption that it is possible to implement a group policy. This is not self-evident, because the government apllies a sectoral approach in most other domains. A group policy is a different way of implimenting policy: instead of focusing on one sector, the starting point is young people's lives accross the board, with all their needs and acquirements. 

It is envisaged that each ministry takes its own responsibilities and defines tasks linked to the implementation of specific goals within the Youth and Children's Right Policy Plan 2020-2024, while the Minister for Youth is in charge of coordinating the process and reporting on the Plan’s implementation to the government. 

Besides the Flemish Youth and Children's Rights Policy Plan 2020-2024, the new Youth Decree of 23 November 2023 envisages the following instruments to implement the Flemish policy on youth and children's rights:

  • The Kind-en-jongereneffectrapport (JoKER) – Child and youth impact report – of Flanders is the first youth check introduced in Europe. Following the establishment of the Child Impact Report in 1997, in 2008 its scope was extended to include young people up to 25 years of age. JoKER is applied to the ex-ante assessment of legislation in order to gauge the consequences that this would have on children and young people. The process is initiated by the Ministry responsible for the proposed legislation. When legislation is liable to have effects on young people (whether specified or not as a particular target group) the application of JoKER is mandatory. The JoKER report is composed of three parts: a description of the intended effects of the draft legislation on the situation of young people; a description of the situation of young people in the absence of the proposed legislation; alternatives to the legislative proposal in the form of mitigating measures in case critical effects are identified.

  • Contact points for youth and children’s rights and an increased coordination: all Departments and Agencies of the Flemish Authorities should appoint one member of staff to be the contact point for the policy on youth and children’s rights. They will be asked to contribute to future Flemish Youth and Children’s Rights Policy Plans. They will also be involved in the monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Flemish Youth and Children’s Rights Policy Plan 2020-2024. They will be responsible to estimate the impact of the policy prepared or implemented by their department or agency on children and young people and their rights.

  • A ‘State of the Youth’ report to monitor the situation of youth based on the JOP-monitor: this is a scientific report concerning youth developments in Flanders. The report will appear at least every five years.

  • The Flemish Youth Council advises the Flemish Government or the Flemish Parliament, at its own initiative or at request, on all areas related to children, young people and their organisations in Flanders. It ensures that the voice of children, young people, youth organisations and youth advisory bodies (youth councils and pupil councils) is heard by policymakers.