Building strategic cooperation: The implementation of cross-sectoral youth policy in Luxembourg

Caroline Residori, Claudine Reichert, Helmut Willems, Sandra Biewers Grimm

The evaluation of the Youth Pact focused on the question whether the Youth Pact has had a fostering effect on the implementation of a cross‐sectoral youth policy in Luxembourg and identifies factors that have contributed to this aim.
The legal basis of the Youth Pact is considered very important, because the legitimacy and binding nature of actions is intensified by their incorporation in cross‐sectoral action plans like the Youth Pact. The combination of the legal basis of the Youth Pact and its introduction by the government in the context of its official briefings were considered as strong signs of the political support for the Youth Pact and cross‐sectoral youth policy.
The interdepartmental cooperative compilation of the Youth Pact has had a lasting impact on the perception of the involved actors of the Youth Pact and on cross‐sectoral collaboration. Bilateral talks between the governmental departments and divisions also developed and strengthened the interdepartmental collaboration in the context of cross‐sectoral youth policy.
One of the major challenges of cross‐sectoral youth policy is to respect the heterogeneity of interests and the intentions of the many different actors who are involved. The willingness of departments to invest time and money into a cooperation is influenced by the existence of shared current priority topics or practical joint projects.
Cross‐sectoral youth policy is implemented by means of formal instruments, bodies and processes to build up strategic collaborations such as the interdepartmental committee “Youth”, strategic partnerships and communication structures. These instruments offer the possibility to enhance the viability and efficiency of cross‐sectoral youth policy in a situation of heterogeneous interests and scarce (time) resources.
The results of the analysis show that an interdepartmental understanding of different policy areas and informal and interpersonal relationships are very important for a successful cross‐sectoral youth policy. Challenging for the implementation of cross‐sectoral youth policy is the balancing of formal instruments and processes on one hand and the informal aspects of interdepartmental collaboration on the other.

Suggested Citation

Residori, C., Reichert, C., Biewers Grimm, S. & Willems, H. (2015). Building strategic cooperation: The implementation of cross-sectoral youth policy in Luxembourg. Findings from an evaluation study. Luxembourg. Ministère de l’Éducation nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse (MENJE); Integrative Research Unit on Social and Individual Development (INSIDE).