1.2 National Youth Law
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The Youth Act (Закон за младежта) is promulgated in State Gazette (SG) no. 31/20.04.2012, effective 20.04.2012 and was last amended in SG no. 21/13.03.2020, effective 13.03.2020.
The adoption of the Youth Act sets out the basic principles for the planning and management of the national youth development policy through: management of the national youth policy, clear definition of the powers of the governmental authorities, representation and participation of young people in the social and public life of the country, promotion of youth volunteering, defining the concept of "youth" and defining the concept of "youth organization".
It defines the basic principles, governance and funding of the activities carried out in pursuance of the national policy on youth. It tackles topics such as development of youth policy, youth activities, youth organisations, youth volunteering, youth workers and information provision.
Furthermore, the Youth act sets out clear definition of the powers of the governmental authorities, representation and participation of young people in the social and public life of the country, promotion of youth volunteering, defining the concept of "youth" and defining the concept of "youth organization".
The Youth Act defines the basic principles, management and funding of the activities carried out in pursuance of the state policy on youth. It tackles topics such as development of youth policy, youth activities, youth organisations, youth volunteering, youth workers and information.
According to the Youth Act, the national youth policy is a purposeful and consistent activity of the state, municipalities, youth organizations and society, which aims to create favorable conditions for the full personal development of young people and their participation in the social and economic life, as well as their involvement in the management at local, regional and national level through activities encouraging the development of young people in the country.
The Youth Act defines the main principles of the national youth policy, and namely:
- legality, transparency, relevance, system, and consistency of policies of the government, municipalities and youth development society;
- coordination of youth policies in the field of education, social policy, healthcare, culture, sports, justice, interior and defence;
- coordination of the national youth policy with the youth polices implemented by and within the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations;
- integration of child and youth policies;
- ensuring dialogue and participation of youth in the formation youth policy;
- freedom of association foryoung people, freedom of youth initiatives, self-governance of youth organisations;
- decentralization of youth polices.
The national youth policy is governed by the Council of Ministers through the minister of youth and sports and in accordance with the National Youth Strategy. The National Assembly adopts the National Youth Strategy upon proposal of the Council of Ministers.
In 2021, the Ministry of Youth and Sports started a procedure for adoption of a Bill for Amendment and Supplement to the Youth Act (Проект на Закон за допълнение и изменение на Закона за младежта).
The Bill for Amendment and Supplement to the Youth Act provides for the following amendments and supplements:
- changes to the content of the National Youth Strategy: vision for the youth policy development, leading principles for the strategy implementation and expected results;
- changes to the youth report period (the Ministry of Youth and Sports should prepare the youth report every three years instead of annually) and to the youth report content: it should summarize the changes and trends in the socio-economic position of young people during the three-years’ reporting period and should cover at least the following thematic areas: education, employment, health and wellbeing; participation and youth spaces; youth organisations; belonging to the European Union; inclusion and equality; young people from rural and remote areas; awareness;
- inclusion of provision to the Public Council on Youth Issues in addition to the National Advisory Council of Youth as bodies supporting the minister of youth and sports in the implementation of the national youth policy.
The Bill for Amendment and Supplement to the Youth Act is currently in process of review by the National Assembly between the first and the second reading.