Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

European Union

Citizen Service established in Belgium

The federal Parliament has formally adopted the law establishing the Citizen Service in Belgium. This institutional recognition, the culmination of advocacy efforts led for over 15 years by the Platform for the Citizen Service, allows young people to benefit from a legal status – as symbolically powerful as it is legally protective – and a fair compensation.  

Since the beginning of the century, civil services have been gaining momentum in Europe. Among the six founding countries of the European Union, Belgium has lagged behind in this regard. On Wednesday, May 8, under the impetus of the Platform for the Citizen Service, a federation bringing together more than 1500 civil society organisations, the Belgian Parliament passed a law “establishing a Citizen Service” proposed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Employment, Pierre-Yves Dermagne.

The Belgian civil service system, now formalised, has an annual budget of 7.5 million euros, allowing the participation of nearly a thousand young people each year. However, this figure is still modest compared to the number of participants in other European programs. These programs (Service Civique in France, Bundesfreiwilligendienst in Germany, Maatschappelijke Diensttijd in the Netherlands, Servizio Civile in Italy and Service national de la jeunesse in Luxembourg) offer civil services to more than 300,000 young people each year through strong legal frameworks and budgets that invest in their youth.


A public policy of citizen mobilisation The Citizen Service programme offers young people the opportunity to voluntarily commit for a period of 6 months to one year with a host organisation working for the general interest, in areas such as social action, environment, culture, education, health, heritage, or civil protection. Young people receive modules of civic awareness on topics such as democratic values and institutions, environmental and climate issues, living together, and first aid, for 15 to 25 days per year.  A particular feature of the Belgian model is that the Citizen Service is organised in groups of 20 young people from all backgrounds, thus promoting social and cultural diversity. The allowances amount to €550 per month and can be combined with other social benefits. Based on equal access opportunities and ensuring social and cultural diversity, the Citizen Service allows young people to better find their place in society while contributing to its construction.


Thanks to this law and the allocated budget, Belgium finally establishes a genuine public policy of citizen mobilisation, allowing citizens aged 18 to 25 to commit over the long term to serving society.



Latest Tweets


You May Also Like

United Kingdom

Film director Ridley Scott has recalled the death of actor Oliver Reed while making the Oscar winning blockbuster Gladiator. Scott said hard-drinking Reed “just...


The controversial Russian businessman Viktor Baturin, well-known for his years-long counterstanding with his wealthy sister Elena, widow of Moscow ex-mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is likely...

United Kingdom

The Tremeloes. Dave Munden centre Dave Munden the Tremeloes drummer – and often lead singer – with the 60s chart toppers has died. He...

United Kingdom

The Watneys Party Seven is making a comeback. The ubiquitous 70s beer was a bland fizzing bitter ridiculed by many. The drink’s insipidness helped...