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EACEA National Policies Platform


10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Policy legal framework
  2. Funding
  3. Cooperation

Policy legal framework

There is no youth strategy. The main top level policies and regulations on youth work are the following 5 decrees: 

1.    Decree of 26 March 2009 related to youth organisations which defines the general tasks and specific procedures to recognise and fund associations active at the Community level ; 

2.    Decree of 20 July 2000, revised in 2004 and 2008, related to youth centres which defines the general missions and the specific procedures to recognise and fund associations that are active at local level. 

3.    Decree of 28 April 2004 related to Homework Schools ;

4.    Decree of 17 May 1999 related to Holidays Centres ;

5.    Decree of 14 November 2008 implementing the Youth Council.

These 5 decrees compose the legal framework in which youth actors must refer to. 

They all share a common vision of the youth policy and its goals. The aim of the youth policy is to promote individual and collective participation of young people by developing a responsible, active and critical citizenship in a spirit of solidarity. Youth policy is a cultural policy. It focuses mainly on youth participation and expression. Non-formal learning is at the core of youth policy in the French-speaking Community. Activities undertaken are mainly volunteering activities, youth participation to citizenship projects, etc.

There are 5 main types of youth work providers: 

1.    Youth Organisations 

2.    Youth Centres 

3.    Homework schools 

4.    Holidays centres 

5.    Youth council

They all refer to their own decree and legal framework but, as said above, they all share a common vision of youth policy. 

Youth policies target all young people. There are no primary targets of youth work. 


To support youth work, decrees organise the funding of youth associations. The Youth Department is responsible for the implementation of these decrees. 

See section 1.7 Youth Policy Decision-Making for more information on the funding of youth associations. 


Cooperation between youth welfare and education: the decree of 21 November 2013 connects education and youth welfare sector to foster youth well-being in school and to prevent school dropouts. 

Cooperation between youth and childhood policies : 2 decrees are at the intersection of childhood and youth sectors: the decree of 28 April 2004 related to Homework Schools and the decree of 17 May 1999 related to Holidays Centres.

Cooperation between Youth and youth welfare policies : "histoires croisées” (Crossed stories) is a specific fund based on a cross-sectorial convention between two Ministries of the French speaking Community of Belgium: Youth and Youth welfare. The purpose is to build bridges between the organisations recognised by the two departments and other organisations, in order to promote actions with and for youngsters and to give a better picture of youth in the civil society. Through the implementation of this measure, the Minister wants to enhance networking between the two sectors and to promote cross sectorial projects.

The programme is at the moment suspended but could be implemented again.