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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

Last update: 8 January 2021
On this page
  1. Young people as voters
  2. Young people as political representatives

Young people as voters

The Bulgarian legislation (The Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria)  gives the right to vote at elections upon attaining one’s majority (18 years) in all elections and referendums. There are not imminent plans to lower the voting age limit, or if the age limit has been lowered recently or any special provisions for young people in the electoral law or rules.Despite the increased levels of lack of interest as regards political life, the research used in the Годишен доклад за младежта за 2017 (Annual Report on youth 2017) shows that nearly 46% of young Bulgarians vote always or frequently. As their no specific devotion in the type of elections they participate in. The fact that makes an impression are the higher declarative levels of participation of girls in the process of voting in contrast to boys. Data show that young people possessing a higher level of education show higher levels of engagement in the process of exercising one’s right to vote.

Young people as political representatives

The age limit for standing as a candidate, for the assembly is 18 years old. For president of the republic is 40 years of age. There is not any quota of seats reserved for young people and there is not an existing provisions aiming at facilitating young people standing as political candidates; the average age of the members of the representative assembly in the current term is 47 years old.

The assembly has 240 representative, 5 of them are in the age group 25-29 years old. They represent different political parties. There are not any functions within the representative assembly reserved for young people.

The study on the youth activity in the country reports a low level of engagement of the young Bulgarians in such a type of activity 

  • 1% are members of a political party;
  • 2% are members of an association, a non-governmental organization (NGO) or another type of organization;
  • 2% are members of a professional association;
  • 4% have taken part in international exchanges, meetings and initiatives;
  • 5% have taken part in projects under international programs;
  • 4% have taken part in a debate club;
  • 2% have been a part of a youth council at the Municipality/region;
  • 8% have taken part in school or university councils;
  • 1% in a youth/children’s parliament.