Study visit to Ghent “Youth policies for better local democracies”


The Study visit to Ghent “Youth policies for better local democracies”, organised by DYPALL Network in cooperation with Bataljong and the Youth Department of the City of Ghent, took place from 27th May – 1st June 2024 in Ghent, Belgium. 

During the activity, the participants learned about youth participation in Ghent, the European Youth Capital 2024, and got to know other European organisations working in the field of youth participation in decision-making processes at the local level.

The study visit’s programme offered participants the opportunity to learn from Bataljong‘s best practices. With a focus on enhancing democratic processes, Bataljong provides ongoing support to local governments in Flanders, Belgium, in establishing and maintaining platforms for youth engagement in decision-making. Participants were introduced to initiatives such as Debattle, Jonge Wegweters, and Roadmap. They also engaged with the Ghent Local Youth Council. This Council, consisting of 20 members aged 16-30, advises on policy, holds elections, and develops a memorandum of youth priorities to be included in political programmes for local elections, presenting it to political parties.

Visits to the LARF! and BROEI allowed participants to discover youth involvement practices first-hand. LARF! is a non-profit organization and a cultural educational organization where children and young people are at the center, regardless of their origin, background or talent and  BROEI is a creative space supporting the EYC with activities, where 25 youth-oriented organisations make use of the space and program. The BROEI lab consists of 60 people who give workshops to each other and learn collaboratively.

Furthermore, participation in the final conference of Platform C, organised by Bataljong, further enriched the visit with successful models of local youth participation in decision-making. Platform C emphasizes making local policy together with young people, seeing them as part of an ecosystem. Key discussions highlighted the importance of young people’s voices in policy-making, the need for better information on how policy works, and strategies for engaging both young people and politicians in dialogue.

The Study visit was funded under the Erasmus+ programme through the JINT National Agency.

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