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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Belgium-German-Speaking-Community

Belgium-German-Speaking-Community

1. Youth Policy Governance

1.3 National youth strategy

On this page
  1. Existence of a National Youth Strategy
  2. Scope and contents
  3. Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy
  4. Revisions/updates

Existence of a National Youth Strategy

The decree foresees the adoption and implementation of a cross-sectorial youth strategy by the government for each legislative period. It is explicitly mentioned in the Decree on the Promotion of Youth Work (Dekret zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit) that the government engages funded youth NGO’s, the Youth Council (Rat der deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ) and young people in drawing up the strategy. Article 4 of the Decree reads:

“For each legislative period the Government will adopt and implement a multidisciplinary Strategy Plan. It will document the environment of young people in the German-speaking Community and lay down targets and tasks which will contribute to improving the situation of young people. [...] The Government will involve the supported youth centres and the Youth Council of the German-speaking Community as well as young people in drawing up the Strategy Plan. This will also include the results of the analysis of the current situation and evaluation of the previous Strategy Plan to be carried out once in each legislative period by the Government as well as the social space analyses to be drawn up by the Open Youth Work agencies [...].”

The Strategic Plan on Youth (Jugendstrategieplan) provides the framework in which, thanks to the cooperation with strong partners from the youth and social sector, practicable, future-oriented and sustainable projects can be developed. Nevertheless, it is open enough to enable interested organisations to develop relevant projects. The strategic plan not only involves creating new approaches but also continuing already existing measures or directing them to the youth sector.

Decisive for the successful implementation of the strategic plan continues, however, to be thinking holistically and keeping an eye on the multidisciplinary approach for all projects. The political environment has committed itself to creating appropriate general conditions for the best possible implementation of the strategic plan. For this, however, it needs the support of all organisations and people involved in the development of the strategic plan. They should be deliberate in their authorship and breathe life into the strategic plan jointly with the Government.

Scope and contents

The Strategic plan on Youth aims to identify actual need, in order to improve the situation of young people in the German-speaking Community. Here concrete action is to be taken in four stages:

  • 1st stage: Analysis of the current life situation of young people in the German-speaking Community.
  • 2nd stage: Identifying the need for improving the life situation of young people and planning appropriate measures.
  • 3rd stage: Implementing measures.
  • 4th stage: Evaluation.

The first Strategic Plan on Youth bore the title “The Future for all Children and Young People – with the Focus on Disadvantaged Children and Young People” (Jugendstrategieplan 2013-2015 – Zukunft für alle jungen Menschen - Benachteiligte junge Menschen in den Fokus) and was devoted to two central themes:

  • Planning actions aimed at the target groups for children and young people with a range of problems
  • Propensity to violence among children and young people.

The target group of the first Strategic Plan were young people with multiple psychological and mental health problems as well as being in a precarious social and financial situation. These young people usually don't take part in organised youth work and are mostly reached through outreach youth work.

On these two central themes an action plan with seven concrete projects has been drawn up.

In 2014 the 2nd Strategic Plan on Youth covering the period 2016-2020 was drawn up. Bearing the title "Acting respectful" (Jugendstrategieplan 2016-2020 – Respektvoller Umgang miteinander und mit sich selbst) it foresees 11 actions in 4 categories:

  • "Strong against Addiction",
  • "Promoting diversity",
  • "Political education",
  • "Emotions and self-perception".

These actions include cross-border action days, developing networking, promoting projects, building awareness, offer trainings and supporting mechanisms for young people and youth workers in order to develop e.g. new approaches for drug-prevention, for social inclusion, democracy, political education and participation in the youth field.

Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy

The Youth Department of the Ministry of the German-speaking Community has the responsibility for the coordination of the strategic plan.

A steering group has taken the lead in supporting the implementation process (selection of the topics, specification of the measures and editing). This steering group is composed of representatives of the youth sector, the Government and the Ministry. The composition of the steering group is as follows:

  • one member of the staff of the Prime Minister, responsible for external relations, finances and budget, administrative organisation,
  • one member of the staff the Minister responsible for culture, employment, local authorities and tourism,
  • one member of the staff of the Minister responsible for family, health and social policy,
  • one member of the staff of the Minister responsible for education and scientific research,
  • two representatives of the Ministry of the German-speaking Community (Youth Department),
  • two representatives of the Youth Council (one for the youth organisations and one for open youth work),
  • one representative of the Youth Office (Jugendbüro),
  • one representative of each of the two youth information centres of the German-speaking Community.

If there is a need, additional personnel may be included, for instance if they are relevant for a specific topic.

Revisions/updates

The decree sets the time frame of the Strategic plan to coincide with the legislative period. The strategic plan is renewed with each new legislative period, i.e. every five years, the first four years of each legislative period being foreseen for the implementation of the Strategic plan and the last year of the legislative period being used for evaluation purposes and preparing the next Strategic plan.

Furthermore, the strategic plan is an ongoing process. Not least for this reason good communication between the participating partners is important. The steering group supervises the implementation of the 2016-2020 action plan and supports with the implementation. Individual topics, actions and procedures will be regularly evaluated and may if necessary be adjusted.