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In the implementation of the youth development policies in Bulgaria a multi-sectoral approach is applied. Youth policy cannot make progress without the successful cooperation with other sectors. In turn, youth policies can contribute to delivering results in areas such as education, employment, overcoming social exclusion, providing equal opportunities for professional and personal fulfillment, enhancing the health status of the population, etc.
Municipal councils and mayors of municipalities cooperate with the local structures of central governmental authorities according to the Youth Law, as there is not a legal framework such as working group on the matter.
The main themes of the youth policy are described by the nine aspects of the National Youth Strategy (2010-2020). They are: Economic activity and career development; Improving access to information and quality services; Promoting a healthy lifestyle; Prevention of social exclusion; Youth volunteering; Participation; Rural development; Intercultural and international dialogue; Crime prevention. Every policy theme is worked on accordingly to the responsible authorities.
There is no National Agency for Youth. The Ministry of Youth and Sports has a department dedicated to Youth Policies. The Youth Policies Directorate within the Ministry of Youth and Sports (дирекция “Младежки политики“ в Министерство на младежта и спорта) is responsible for the implementation of the national youth policy and youth programs.
Public council on youth matters
The Youth Public Council is an advisory unit to the Minister of Youth and Sports for forming positions, opinions and initiatives for solving problems within the competence of the Minister of Youth and Sports. It consists of representatives of organisations registered under the Non-Profit Legal Entities Act for the purpose of carrying out activities in the public interest and aiming at the implementation of youth activities. The Council started operations in 2017. In 2019 12 new organisations joined the Council members to the previous 27 and currently there are 39 members. Their involvement in the decision making process is consultative. They are able to discuss topics of importance to them and to actively participate in debates regarding the process of policy making. Within their responsibilities is to propose concrete initiatives in the field of youth policy in the country. In addition to the Youth Public Council, Municipality Youth Councils and Children’s Parliaments are established. They are subsidiary and advisory bodies to the local authorities in the field of youth policy.
A special committee consisting of nineteen MPs is responsible for the matters related to youth, children and sports within the Parliament of the Republic of Bulgaria. The Committee is responsible for the draft laws that Parliament is considering in the Youth sector. It discusses, debates and gives an opinion on youth issues in the Parliament. The Committee also communicates with and cooperates with the other parliamentary committees when deciding on draft laws and other documents within the competence of the National Assembly in the field of youth.
According to the Governing Program (2017-2021), the Bulgarian government requires report in the end of every year. The report should state the tasks that were accomplished in the previous year by the Ministry in charge for every topic. In the case of youth polices the evaluation and the monitoring of the Youth Policy priorities is declared to the Council of Ministers by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The Council of Ministers collects the reports,evaluates and the monitoresthe implementation of every policy, including youth policies. Annually, the Ministry of Youth and Sports prepares an Annual Youth Report. The Annual Youth Report provides a summary of policies, measures and actions aimed at young people in the country implemented by the responsible institutions in pursuance of the objectives of the national youth policy. This report further contains detailed analysis of the status of the Bulgarian young people in terms of economic activity and career development, access to information and quality services, healthy lifestyle, prevention of social exclusion of young people with fewer opportunities, youth volunteering, active citizenship, young people in rural areas, international and intercultural dialogue and role of young people in crime prevention.
For more details, see section 1.6