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Romania has a Youth Law: Law no. 350/2006, adopted by the Parliament and published in the Official Journal of Romania on July 27th 2006 (Lege nr. 350 din 21/07/2006 Legea Tinerilor) The law is available online (in Romanian) on a web platform developed by the Ministry of Justice to make publicly available the most important legal documents in Romania.
The Youth Law 350/2006 is the main document that sets the youth policy framework in Romania. The document is clarifying the terminology defining the age of young people (14-35), the youth activity as well as the responsibilities of central and local authorities in the field of youth policy.
The Youth Law defines the youth non-governmental organisations in Romania: organisations having young people as members (over 50%) or organisations aiming at supporting and promoting rights of young people.
The state authorities are responsible for developing programmes that would ensure the social inclusion of young people. The law establishes rights and facilities for young people in several domains:
- Economy (facilities for young entrepreneurs)
A special section of the Youth Law is dedicated to financing the youth activities in Romania. The local and county authorities have to create a special fund for youth activities, and they have to support youth groups and youth NGOs by providing space (if the local infrastructure exists) for youth projects.
Rights and obligations of young people
According to the principles set in Article 4 of the Youth Law, youth people have the right to:
- be part of the decision-making processes, especially when the decisions affects them
- participate in public life and taking individual responsibility
- be beneficiaries of support and counselling regarding their education, their economic and cultural life
- participate in education, instruction and professional training
- access information and the information technology
- volunteer for any cause they chose or participate in mobility projects
- be beneficiaries of programmes promoting intercultural dialogue and combating racism, xenophobia and intolerance
According to the law, the state authorities are stimulating the youth entrepreneurship initiatives through offering financial support and guaranteeing their right to consultancy services to start-up a business especially to the rural youth and to youth coming from geographically isolated areas.
The law provides that any young people has the right to access the resources of the public libraries, while vulnerable youth has free access to university education. Also, the state structures have to provide opportunities for talented young researchers.
Young people enrolled in formal education are entitled to free medical services.
Young people and young families are entitled to family planning services as well as to preferential bank loans and priority to social housing. In order to reduce the risk factors, the state authorities are obliged to develop programmes aiming at preventing and reducing the consumption of alcohol and drugs and to offering medical treatment and promoting the social reinsertion of young people. The relevant stakeholders in the field of youth are to offer young offenders and young people that were part of educational and medical restorative programmes support for their social and professional reinsertion.
Key policy domains
The key policy domains relevant for the youth policy field and defined by the Youth Law are the following:
- Youth participation - all the youth policy measures, and development programmes are to be developed with the participation of young people.
- Intercultural dialogue and combating racism, xenophobia and intolerance.
- Social inclusion and employment.
- Youth participation to education and cultural life.
- Youth Volunteering.
The Youth Law targets all young people, with a special attention to vulnerable young people at risk. For this target group the law provides several rights: housing, access to free education, access to educational counselling, employment counselling, and family planning.
One article of the law targets young entrepreneurs special support for them from the state institutions.
No important revisions took place since the adoption of the law in 2006.
In March 2022 the Youth Law is under revision, with a debate in the Parliament on a new Youth Law. The debate started in 2018 but is still ongoing.