2.8 Current Debates and Reforms
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Discussion with the National Alliance for Volunteer Action (NAVA), which has developed an online system for validating the volunteer skills, with the aim of possible future partnership and popularization of the platform is expected to be held together with the Ministry of youth and sports. In addition to that the overall youth policies are under development in 2019.
A key working method in the Ministry is to involve young people and their representatives in the processes of youth policy development and implementation. To implement youth policies in Bulgaria the Ministry works on the basis of the 2012 Youth Act and the 2010-2020 National Youth Strategy. With the current strategy coming to an end, the Ministry is currently drawing up a new Strategy for the period 2021-2030. It uses innovative methods focused on the direct involvement of young people in the process, engaging them in a dialogue in order to identify together the most relevant priorities and objectives of the draft document.
At present the management of the Ministry holds meetings with young people and NGOs in various cities and regions of the country. These meetings are aimed at discussing challenges as identified by young people themselves and at seeking possible solutions. So far 12 field consultations with young people and youth organisations have been held in the following cities: Vidin, Vratsa, Montana, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo, Blagoevgrad, Sandanski, Stara Zagora, Sliven, and Kardzhali. About 2200 young people at the age of 15-29 years have taken part in the consultations.
With view of the cross-sectoral approach of youth policies and the need to consult on specific thematic fields with experts in different areas, in March 2020 the Ministry of Youth and Sports established an interministerial working group to develop the operational goals and measures for implementation of the National Youth Strategy 2021-2030.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports plans a closing conference to be held in Sofia when the first official draft document will be presented. The closing conference will be an opportunity for the participants in the meetings across the country to meet and discuss with young people from the rest of the country, representatives of all national institutions responsible for the creation and implementation of policies targeted at young people in Bulgaria, the business and NGOs.
Good practices at European and international level serve as an inspiration for the new National Youth Strategy. The EU Youth Strategy (2019-2027) is the actual starting point for the work of the dedicated team at the Ministry. Observations show that many of the priorities suggested by young people in Bulgaria coincide with the priorities set out in the EU Youth Strategy.