City of Ghent presents priorities for international policy

A new policy note of the city of Ghent on internationalisation focusses on 4 toppriorities and includes more than 40 actions

The City of Ghent intends to focus more on internationalisation in the years to come. Within this context, Ghent aims to be European Youth Capital in 2024 and European Capital of Culture in 2030. The local authorities are examining the possibility of an international secondary school in Ghent.

Ambitious plans

The new policy note on internationalisation includes 40 actions concerning Ghent’s international cooperation and positioning. The City of Ghent will focus on 4 top priorities: becoming European Youth Capital in 2024 and European Capital of Culture in 2030, developing into Europe’s technology capital and being climate neutral by 2050. In addition to these 4 top priorities, Ghent has quite a few other ambitious plans. For instance, the City is making efforts to attract and retain international talent. Within this scope, the possibility of an international secondary school in Ghent is under consideration.



Ghent is a city with an open mind to the world. International cooperation helps us address urban challenges. In these past few months of coronavirus crisis, we have felt more connected with other cities than ever in Ghent.

Mathias De Clercq , Mayor of Ghent


International image

Ghent attaches great importance to its international image. The City will support activities that reinforce Ghent’s international ambitions and image by means of a dedicated urban marketing fund.

Ghent stakeholders, including the city administration, have already received numerous international awards. Examples include several recognitions for Ghent’s food policy which is called 'Gent en Garde'. Ghent is developing a new strategic framework to compete for international awards so as to make optimum use of the advantages of such awards.

International visits and conferences also contribute to the city’s image. Ghent will therefore host the diplomatic event of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs. The City is also putting itself forward to host the Flemish government’s homecoming event for foreign diplomats and ministerial conferences during Belgium’s presidency of the EU Council in 2024.

Cross-border networking

The City of Ghent is active in several international and European networks. This way, the City continues to play an active part in the executive committee of the Eurocities network and is furthermore committed to the Global Parliament of Mayors. The cooperation agreement with its sister city Kanazawa is renewed and agreements with other cities are under review. In addition, the City of Ghent is developing an HR policy that promotes international working methods among its staff. The City of Ghent also continues to make use of European subsidies to implement innovative urban projects and initiatives.

Finally, the inhabitants and partners of Ghent are actively involved in the international policy. Annually, the City of Ghent organises small-scale public events which give citizens a say in the local international policy or in other governments’ international plans such as de green deal, the EU climate plan and the conference on Europe’s future. The City of Ghent is planning a major international event for Ghentians and organisations in 2023.