Definition of Youth
According to a report drafted by the Belgian EU Presidency in 2010, the Flemish and French Communities define youth as 0 to 30 years old. The German-Speaking Community refers to an age group between 12 and 26 years old in its youth work legislation.
- Opposite Sex
- Same Sex
- Without parental consent
- with parental consent
Situation of Young People
- -- Male (15-24) %
- -- Female (15-24) %
- Year: No data.
- Source: UNESCO
Net Enrolment RateSecondary School
- 87.13%Male %
- 84.14% Female %
- Year: 2005
- Source: UNESCO
Situation of Young People
Policy & Legislation
As described in the report drafted by the Belgian EU Presidency in 2010, Belgium has three youth policies (Flemish Community, French Community and German-speaking Community). The 3rd Flemish Youth Policy Plan includes strategic goals connected to the European Youth Strategy 2010-2018, grouped in areas such as participation & information, education and employment. According to a 2012 Council of Europe report, the French Community is undergoing a reform of youth policy and preparing an integrated “Youth Plan”. Currently it has decrees for the implementation of youth policy at the local level, such as youth centres and youth organisations. The approach of youth policy in the German-speaking community is also cross-sectoral, with a large focus on youth work, rather than a singular comprehensive policy.
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
Youth and Representation
Budget & Spending
- % of GDP
- % of gov. expenditure
Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).
Belgium is a federal state, consisting of 3 Communities (the Flemish Community, the French Community and the German-Speaking Community) and 3 Regions (the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital Region). There is NO hierarchy between the federal, the Community and the Regional levels [...]
Each entity has its specific area of responsibility. The federal level has the competence on important policy fields such as justice, social security, employment and tax legislation. The responsibilities of the Region are linked to its “territory” and include environment, agriculture, urban planning, housing,... The competences of the Communities are “person-related” matters such as Education, Health care, Culture, Youth [...]
The federal ‘Belgian’ level of government only has limited competence in youth matters (e.g. some aspects of judicial youth protection), but there is no youth policy at the Belgian level. The Communities are competent for youth and youth policy, so it is on this level that most explicit ‘youth policy instruments’ can be found.
The Communities have a minister responsible for Youth, a parliamentary commission and a number of administrative departments with ‘youth’ in their title and a large number of specific youth-related budget items. Given the fact that every Community has its own Minister for Youth, this means Belgium has three.From ‘C’est plus compliqué que ça’: A review of youth policy in Belgium by the international team of the Council of Europe (2012):
In the case of Belgium, the internal priorities identified were as follows:
In the Flemish Community:
- The divide in the level of schooling which causes a political and socio-economic dichotomy
- The ideological and cultural divide which makes that (still) some target groups are not reached: does multiculturalism work?
- The role of the government/public authorities: up to what extend [sic] should it be steering; what is it the citizen can and/or should expect? The positioning of Youth Work in society?
In the French-speaking Community:
- The Youth Policy Plan is currently in preparation in the French-speaking Community. The process is already engaged and will continue during 2011 at least. The Cabinet of the Minister for Youth would like to get feedback, comments and suggestions on the methodology, the content, the process on the way.
In the German-speaking Community:
- Development of flexible instruments and methods, enabling a comprehensive and quality youth policy, based on knowledge and information - therefore:
- Two main projects of the actual youth policy: a) reform of formation and training (in youth work) of young people, youth workers, youth leaders and b) creation of a new framework for/of youth policy.
Both should be reached by:
- The new funding decree for youth work. This decree will start in 2012. It will allow a better transversal approach in order to respect in a more holistic way young people’s life, enhance participation of young people and participation of the youth sector in the design and in the implementation of youth work, allow evaluation on the basis of quality and not only on the basis of quantity, reinforce the participation of the municipalities in design and implementation of youth policy.