There are many ways in which young people in the Netherlands can participate and let their voice be heard in political and governance structures. Government aims to stimulate active citizenship of all youth. Young people have to be 18 years old to vote or become political representatives. The National Youth Council (Nationale Jeugdraad NJR) is a youth advisory board in which young people participate. There are youth councils at local level and youth councils in residential youth care institutions (Paragraph 5.3). The National Youth Council is subsidized by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and cooperates with them.
Participation and active citizenship of young people is stimulated through formal, non-formal and informal learning. Some municipalities have a youth mayor or a youth council in which children of 12 to 18 years can voice their ideas and wishes. Social and civic competences are being stimulated. The action committee LAKS voices the opinions of high school students. All vocational education institutes, universities of applied sciences and universities have student councils. There are partnerships between formal education providers, youth organizations and youth work providers. The central objective of the Foundation Weekendschool is to inform and motivate young people to help them broaden their perspective, increase their confidence and strengthen their ties with Dutch society (Paragraph 5.7).