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Youth policies in Bulgaria are financed by the state budget and by the European funds. The Youth Policies Directorate (Дирекция „Младежки политики“) within the Ministry of Youth and Sports organizes, coordinates, controls and implements the management of tools to finance youth activities from the state budget through the budget of the Ministry and from European and international financial sources. There are two national youth programs that are administered by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
There is a specific budget allocated for youth policy, as part of the public budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The recipients of the two national youth programs are responsible for the use of the public fund to the MYS after implementing their projects and after submitting final report of the projects which were funded.
National Program for the Implementation of Youth Activities under Article 10a of the Gambling Act (Национална програма за изпълнение на младежки дейности по чл. 10а от Закона за хазарта)
The National Program for the Implementation of Youth Activities under Article 10a of the Gambling Act was prepared in relation to the reported negative trends regarding the risk behavior of young people related to different forms of addictions and aggressive behavior as well as the identified needs of the young people in the country by providing more opportunities for participation in activities leading to the formation of socially responsible behavior. The program started in 2017. Through the project activities under the Program, which include discussions, campaigns and initiatives, training, broadcasting of information films and videos, sports initiatives, etc., more than 200 000 young people from all over the country have been reached, including young people with different disabilities.
The Program is implemented in three directions and the funds provided for its implementation were BGN 2 000 000 (two million Bulgarian levs) per year until 2020. In 2021 the allocated budget is BGN 5 405 000. Each priority area having a certain estimated budget, which can be changed within the specified amount upon the necessity and according to the available financial resource.
Few procedures for applying under the Program were opened in 2020, and after receiving project proposals and on the proposal of an expert commission at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, forty-one of them were funded and are in the process of implementation throughout the whole country.
• National Youth Program (2016-2020) (Национална програма за младежта (2016-2020))
The Program is one of the tools to implement the priorities of the national policy for young people set up in the National Youth Strategy. It is based on the reported needs of young people in the country and is in line with the priorities of European youth policy. The National Youth Programme provides financial support for youth initiatives, as well as for informational, counselling and educational services for young people. The programme’s direct target groups are young people aged 15 to 29 and youth workers and other specialists who organize and carry out activities in support of youth development. Implemented projects are in the areas of active citizenship, volunteering, personal and professional realization, career orientation of young people, social inclusion, healthy lifestyle, and entrepreneurship. Special attention is dedicated to raising opportunities for the young people in the smaller towns and remote areas. The yearly budget for the National Programme for Youth is 800 000 lv.
The Program has two sub-programs. Sub-program 2 focuses on funding the implementation of project proposals from non-governmental organizations working in the youth field as well as from informal youth groups in six thematic areas (described below) covering the main directions of promoting civic engagement and participation in campaigns and initiatives of young people and youth workers in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Under Sub-program 2 is for financed and implemented project proposals in the following thematic areas:
• Thematic area 1. Youth volunteering and participation in volunteer initiatives;
• Thematic area 2. Development and recognition of youth work;
• Thematic area 3. Promoting young people's healthy lifestyle;
• Thematic area 4. Activation of young people in small settlements;
• Thematic area 5. Youth entrepreneurship;
• Thematic area 6. European policies and the presidency of Bulgaria of the Council of the EU.
There were two open procedures in 2020 and 46 projects were funded
The National Audit Office continues the budgetary control traditions of the Supreme Chamber of Control, which was established by law in 1880 and was operating until 1947. Art. 91 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria says as follows: (1) The National Assembly shall establish a National Audit Office to supervise the implementation of the budget. (2) The organization, authority and procedures by which the National Audit Office shall act shall be established by law. It is the public body to control the spending of public funds. In this number the funds for youth programs.
The main source of EU funds dedicated to youth policy are the Erasmus+ program and the European Solidarity Corps. For 20 years, the Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC), which is the Bulgarian Erasmus+ National Agency, has been recognized as a successful national structure for managing European educational programmes. Since 1999, the HRDC is actively involved in the management and implementation of European educational programmes and initiatives.
Another EU fund used for youth policy is the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development” administrated by the the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP). The Ministry of Youth and Sports implements two projects funded under Operational Programme "Human resources development" (2014-2020) through the European Social Fund that have a direct impact over the field of youth policies. The projects are “National System for Planning, Monitoring and Reporting of the Implementation of Youth Policies” and “Development and Implementation of Quality Standards for Provision of Youth Services”.