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City of Messines

Messines is the smallest city of Belgium, smallest in surface (358 hectares) and smallest of inhabitants (980 approximately). Messines has a special language constitution - a West Flemish town with facilities for French speaking people. The town is situated 10 km from the city of Ypres and 6 km from the French border.
37 % of the population is younger than 30. The city is situated in a socially and economically vulnerable region. Because of its rural environment, there is no industry. There are high number of unemployed and low skilled young people compared to the national percentage. Projects involving local and regional youthwork try to encourge those young people to participate in social activities.
Messines has several monuments remembring and honouring the souls who lost their lives in the dreadful First World War. The message of peace is still very important in the town.
Messines is a haven of peace and tranquillity set between the hills and pastures. Together with its "war past" this landscape attracts a lot of tourism. Tourism is therefore a vital part of the local economy.
The International School for Peace Studies is housed in a former school building. It's equipped with modern standard educational material and can easily be used for classes up to 30 scholars. The city council supports the Peace School project fully and is one of the main promoters behind the project.

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