2.5 Cross-Border Mobility Programmes
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The EU programmes available to young people who wish to participate in volunteering abroad, are the Erasmus+ programme and the European Solidarity Corps programme. Both programmes are administered by the Human Resources Development Center. The Human Resources Development Center is a unit of the Ministry of Education and Science and is the Bulgarian National Agency for Erasmus+ and ESC.
In terms of statistics, the National Agency uses the EU tools and monitoring mechanisms, such as Mobility Tool, Beneficiary Module, Dashboard, etc.
Bulgaria does not participate in other cross-border programs funded at least 50% by the state.
Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers
The Youth Act provides for as follows: young volunteers – citizens of any EU member state, EEA country and the Swiss Confederation, carry out voluntary activity under the conditions for Bulgarian citizens. Young volunteers – citizens of third countries, may obtain residence permit for the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria for carrying out voluntary activities within the frames of the European Voluntary Service in accordance with the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act (Закон за чужденците в Република България). In the case of young volunteers – citizens of third countries, the volunteer and the host organization on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria enter into agreement. Such agreement sets out as follows: summary of the voluntary activity, duration, place of the activity, control over the activity, the terms and conditions for covering the volunteer’s subsistence and accommodation costs, preliminary training the volunteer must participate in.
According to article 24(1)(21) of the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act, foreigners who have long-term stay visa and wish to carry out voluntary activities within the frames of the European Voluntary Service within the meaning of the Youth Act are eligible to obtain long-term residence permit.