8.10 Current debates and reforms
The National Youth Strategy (2010-2020) expired at the end of 2020. The consultations for the new National Youth Strategy 2021-2030 have begun in late 2018. At the end of 2019 representatives of the Ministry held meetings with young people and NGOs in various cities and regions of the country. These meetings were aimed at discussing challenges as identified by young people themselves and at seeking possible solutions. In this process 13 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, Kardzhali and Sofia. More than 2000 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 the implementation of the National Youth Strategy 2021-2030.
The first official draft document was presented at a closing conference held in Sofia. The closing conference gave the participants in the meetings across the country the opportunity to meet and have discussions 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 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.
As at the end of 2020, the draft National Youth Strategy 2021-2030 is in process of public discussion and subject to other statutory procedures for approval.