On May 29, Brussels, Belgium- the CIFAL Flanders team attended a networking event for alumni of the Flanders Trainee Programme (FTP), which also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe at the Herman Teirlinck building.
The event started with an exclusive networking session for FTP members, including a brainstorming session to discuss and propose improvements to the programme. Topics included the Alumni Programme, ambassador roles, offline and online promotion, and financial and practical support for trainees. This session allowed participants to share valuable insights and suggestions to enhance the service provided by the FTP for future interns.


Following this interactive session, Julie Bynens, Secretary-General of the Flanders Chancellery and Foreign Office, delivered a welcoming speech. The evening continued with keynote addresses by Tobias Flessenkemper, Head of the Youth Department, and Maurizio Cuttin from the Advisory Council on Youth at the Council of Europe. They highlighted the Council’s commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law, underscoring the significant role of youth and future generations in these areas.
A panel discussion featured notable speakers such as Rogelio Voges, the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN, Philippe Michiels from Stad Gent, Wouter Radeur, a UN Youth Delegate, and Jan Vanhee, a policy advisor at the Flemish Department for Culture, Youth and Media. They explored the impact of youth on international policies and the forthcoming ‘Declaration on Future Generations’ at the Summit of the Future in New York.
The event concluded with a networking reception. This finale provided a platform for current trainees and alumni to exchange experiences. During the event, we at CIFAL Flanders met with some past colleagues who also attended as FTP alumni.


Background
The Flanders Trainee Programme (FTP) is an initiative by the Flemish government that provides young global citizens with financial support for internships at multilateral organisations. This scholarship enables participants to undertake internships lasting from two to six months, allowing them to contribute to the policy-making processes of these organisations and focus on addressing future global challenges.
Find out more about FTP here.