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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 28 November 2023

Forthcoming policy developments

There are no forthcoming policy developments regarding participation of young people. 

Ongoing debates

In 2015, there was a proposal to lower the voting age limit to 16 instead of 18 for the municipality’s elections. The political group ecolo-groen (ecologist parties in the French-speaking Community and in the Flemish part) was at the initiative.
According to a Youth Council’s consultation among young people between 16 and 30 years old (1046 interrogated, they (8 out of the 10 consulted youngsters from 16 to 30) are against this proposition.  

The consultation took place in July and August 2015. 

The 3 main arguments were;

  1. the lack of maturity and the fact that young people aged between 16 and 18 would be easily influenced (53 %) 
  2. the lack of knowledge regarding the Belgian political system (30%) 
  3. the lack of interest regarding political issues (17%). 

No legal framework for youth councils at local level

At the moment, no legal framework exists to organise youth councils at the local level. In its Action Plan 2014-2015, the Youth Council wanted to support the creation of youth councils at local level and to support widely every initiatives aimed at stimulating youth participation. 

Articulation of Youth policies at local and Community levels

See section 1.9 Current debates and reforms.