8.3 National strategy on creativity and culture for young people
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In the German-speaking Community, there is no specific strategy on creativity and culture for young people. The main policy document of the German-speaking Community, the so-called Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK), however, does provide for some measures in this area. Another document which needs to be mentioned in this context is the main youth policy document in the German-speaking Community, the Strategic Plan on Youth (Jugendstrategieplan).
Regional Development Concept
The Regional Development Concept has been initiated in 2008. It is made up of a total of five volumes. The first volume contains a detailed regional analysis, while the second one deals with the development strategy and defines fields of action. Volumes three, four and five each represent one phase of the implementation of the Regional Development Concept, each implementation phase being equal to a legislative period. The third volume, phase one, corresponds to the legislative period 2009-2014, the fourth volume, phase two, corresponds to the legislative period 2014-2019 and the fith volume corresponds to the third implementation phase and legislative period 2019-2024. The whole process is labelled Living East Belgium 2025 (Ostbelgien leben 2025). This process has been set out for a period of 15 years, the implementation phase will be terminated on 30 June 2024. As has been declared by the Government in the Government Declaration (Regierungserklärung) of September 2020, a follow-up future vision labelled Living East Belgium 2040 (Ostbelgien Leben 2040) is currently being prepared.
Strategic Plan on Youth
Article 4 of the Decree of 06 December 2011 on the Promotion of Youth Work (Dekret vom 06. Dezember 2011 zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit) states:
For each legislative period, the government adopts and implements a multidisciplinary strategic plan consisting of thematic priorities, an evaluation and an action plan. It covers the living spaces of young people at the level of the German-speaking Community and defines more detailed objectives and tasks that contribute to improving the situation of young people.
This is the legal basis of the Strategic Plan on Youth. The first Strategic Plan on Youth 2013-2015 (Jugendstrategieplan 2013-2015) was called Future for all young People – Disadvantaged young People into the Focus (Zukunft für alle jungen Menschen – Benachteiligte junge Menschen in den Fokus) and had two focus topics:
- Targeted measures for young people with multiple problem load
- Dealing with violence among young people
The second Strategic Plan on Youth 2016-2022 (Jugendstrategieplan 2016-2022) originally had a period of 2016-2020, but was extended until 2022 in 2020. This Strategic Plan on Youth is called Respectful Interaction With Each Other And With Oneself (Respektvoller Umgang miteinander und mit sich selbst) and has four focus topics:
- Strong Against Addiction (Stark gegen Abhängigkeit)
- Promoting Diversity (Vielfalt fördern)
- Political Education (Politische Bildung)
- Emotions and Self-Image (Emotionen und Selbstbild)
While the first Strategic Plan on Youth did not deal with the topics of creativity or culture, the second Strategic Plan on Youth deals at least indirectly with them.
Regional Development Concept
As part of the third implementation phase of the Regional Development Concept, there is a project called Future Competence Creativity (Zukunftskompetenz Kreativität). This project is a follow-up project of the implementation phase one project Living Borders (Grenzen leben) and of the implementation phase two projects Culture in Focus (Kultur im Fokus) and Creative Industry as Economic Opportunity (Kreativindustrie als Wirtschaftschance). Future Competence Creativity is being carried out by the Department for Culture and Youth of the Ministry of the German-speaking Community.
The project targets cultural education in school as well as out of school and for creative professions. As part of the project, the programme Culture Makes The School (Kultur macht Schule) is being both evaluated, where necessary adjusted and continued. Culture Makes The School is a programme by which culture education providers can offer their courses. Participating schools can apply for having the costs for these courses reimbursed by the government. There is an annual catalogue of projects which can be reimbursed this way.
Additionally, it is planned to produce a detailed concept for extracurricular cultural education in the German-speaking Community.
Strategic Plan on Youth 2016-2022
Since 2012 the Kulturbeutel has been promoting youth culture in the German-speaking Community. Support is provided to projects by children and young people between 14 and 30 from all fields: music, film, dance, theatre, literature, visual arts, events etc. The young people are both given advice on their projects and financially supported. As part of the focus topic of Promoting Diversity of the Second Strategic Plan on Youth, the possibility of combining the Kulturbeutel with youth integration projects.
The Ministry of the German-speaking Community, specifically the Department for Culture and Youth, is responsible for implement the culture promotion projects.
As mentioned above, the Future Competence Creativity project was preceded other projects of previous implementation phases of the Regional Development Concept, most notably Culture in Focus, which was a project of the implementation phase 2014-2019.
The project Culture in Focus covered three areas: cultural education, mobility and creative leisure provision.
- Cultural education: inventory on cultural education in the German-speaking Community, organisation of a conference, development of "Culture Makes the School", concept of cultural education in the German-speaking Community
- Creative leisure provision: survey of the existing creative leisure provision for children and young people
- Mobility of artists: provision for cultural and creative economists, creation of an artist-in-residence concept, mobility of artists (here this not only involves young artists but also artists in general).