9.3 Exchanges between young people and policy-makers on global issues
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In the German-speaking Community of Belgium, the Council of the German-speaking Youth (Rat der Deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ) is the responsible institution for exchanging views and opinions between young people and policy-makers. Enabling and ensuring this exchange is part of its mission as defined in Art. 46 of the Decree on the Promotion of Youth Work of 6 December 2011 (Dekret zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit vom 06. Dezember 2011). It is also mentioned both in the mission statement of the Youth Council (Leitbild des RDJ) and in its Statute (Satzung). To this end, the Youth Council can prepare statements and opinion reports and present them to the Parliament of the German-speaking Community (Parlament der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft, PDG) or to the Government of the German-speaking Community (Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft) on its own initiative or can be asked by Parliament or Government to provide its opinion, as long as it is a topic concerning youth policy matters. Specifically concerning the Decree on the Promotion of Youth Work, the Youth Council must be asked for an opinion report before changing the Decree. In addition to these measures to ensure a regular exchange between young people and policy-makers, the Youth Council meets at least once a year with the Minister for Youth.
Apart from this structured dialogue, there are no top-level policies, programmes, projects or initiatives which allow young people to exchange views with policy-makers on global issues.
The Youth Council is an observing member in the European Youth Forum (Europäisches Jugendforum). A representative of the Youth Council who is elected for two years takes part in the meetings of the Youth Forum, but has no voting rights. However, the Youth Council closely collaborates with the Youth Councils of Wallonia (Forum des jeunes, FJ) and Flanders (Vlaamse Jeugdraad, VJR), both of whom are full members.
The members of the Youth Forum meet at least twice a year for the so-called Council of Members. In addition, every second year the General Assembly elects the new Board.
The European Youth Forum is officially recognised by the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations.