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Survey about youth participation in Bulgaria

[ Check the survey about youth participation in Bulgaria ]

Statistics on young people

  • Number of all young people from the ages of 10 to 34 who live in the country : 7,640,238 people

Actors and Structures

Public authorities - National public authorities

Ministry in charge of youth

In Republic of Bulgaria, the State Agency for Youth and Sports is the institution responsible for youth and implements the common state policy in the field of youth activities. The agency is the state authority that prepares national strategies, national and annual programs for development of youth policy, develops and proposes to the Council of Ministers, for approval, the annual youth activities program and Annual Report on Youth, organises the interaction and supports youth organisations in the country during implementation of governmental youth policy. As a first rate distributor of budgetary credits, the State Agency for Youth and Sports allocates the national budget subsidies and all other state funds for youth activities, funds different programs and projects of youth organisations, as well as projects related to the development of disabled young people and young people with fewer opportunities.

Youth Department in the Ministry

At the beginning of 2006, a specialized administrative structure – General Directorate “Policy for Youth”, is established. This administrative action is a prerequisite for a new level of management activities on youth issues.

Main tasks of the Youth department General Directorate “Policy for Youth” supports the President in the implementation of the national youth policy; develops, implements and coordinates the national youth activities programs, and controls their implementation; implements the youth policy of the Agency at regional level through the employees responsible for the contacts with local authorities, nongovernmental organisations, and other structures carrying out youth activities. General Directorate “Policy for Youth” accepts, evaluates, coordinates and controls the implementation of projects under youth activities programs; supports the president in the implementation of the contacts and the coordination with the other authorities the activities of which refer to youth policy; supports the interaction of the Agency with the municipalities in relation to issues relevant to youth policy; takes part in the development of normative acts in the field of youth policy, collects, processes, analyses, safe keeps and provides information about youth activities and youth programs; drafts assignments for sociological and statistical studies and analysis; ensures and up-dates the information in the specialised information systems. General Directorate “Policy for Youth” takes part in the preparation of annual report on youth providing information for the realisation of the state policy for youth at national and regional level; maintains contacts and coordinates with state authorities and with nongovernmental organisations in other countries, as well as with international organisations and institutions whose activities are related to the implementation of projects and policies for youth activities.

Youth councils

There is no youth representation of National youth council in Bulgaria.

3 regional youth councils are established as non-profit legal entities at regional level. They unite youth and nongovernmental organisations from the districts of Varna, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora.

At local level, local youth councils exist. In most of the municipalities in the country there are established youth councils. Most of the municipalities have adopted the Revised Charter on Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life. There are no youth councils on other geographical levels different from the ones described above.

National Programmes on youth

In 2007, the State Agency for Youth and Sports administers two programs and one action: National Program “Youth Information Consultancy Centers”, “2006-2007 Youth Activities Program” and action “Youth Development 2007”.

This fact logically results in growth of funds invested by the Bulgarian government for the development of young people in their leisure time thus establishing additional opportunities for their development and comprehensive personality enrichment. 2006-2007 Youth Activities Program is a governmental program implemented through the administration of the State Agency for Youth and Sports. It is funded by the state budget of the Republic of Bulgaria and is a mechanism for supporting the development of young people in the country by means of funding low budget projects of civil sector organisations.

The main beneficiaries under the program are non-profit legal entities registered under the Law for Non Profit Legal Entities and working in the youth sphere. The direct consumers of this free of charge aid under the program are only the NGOs. This type of financial support is aimed at stimulating the young people and at optimizing the activeness of civil sector to work for the development of young people in Bulgaria. This program is the first financial tool that attempts to form partnership relationships between local authorities and civil sector in favor of young people. The municipalities are not direct beneficiaries of the financial aid, but in partnership with the nongovernmental organisations they have the opportunity to support different cultural, sports and educational initiatives for young people. The intangible benefits from the realisation of this financial aid pattern relates to the creation of administrative capacity in the Bulgarian municipalities and the nongovernmental sector with view to the realisation of partnership projects. The achievement of the main goal and sub-goals is related to safe keeping, development and investment in youth as a social factor. 2006-2007 Youth Activities Program provides funding of projects and ideas under four subprograms. They have different topics and duration of project activities. The priority fields of different subprograms encompass the participation of young people in public life and all aspects of their leisure time.

Action plans i.e. official strategies

  • Conceptual frameworks of the state policy for the children and youth field for the years 2007 to 2013
  • Collection of methodologic texts for the operation of the centres for free-time activities of children and youth, school clubs and after-school centres
  • State support programmes for the years 2007 to 2010 aimed at supporting non-governmental non-profit organizations working with children and youth, especially in the sphere of regular and long-term free-time activities designated for widest possible range of children and youth and supporting the development, widening of the scope and improving the quality of activities carried out by different organizations of children and youth as well as organizations working with children and youth.
  • Conceptual framework of further education of pedagogic workers in educational facilities for free-time education

Programmes and actions for specific target groups

Strategy for National Youth Policy for the period 2003 - 2007

The Strategy for National Youth Policy is aimed at young people at the age of 18 to 35 and at minor persons at the age of 16 to 18, with no difference in their social, property, educational, political, ethnical or religious background.

Strategic Goal
Establishment of sustainable mechanisms for safe keeping, development and investment in youth as a social capital of Bulgaria and United Europe.


  • High quality care for life, health and physical activeness of young people in the country;
  • Involvement of young people in public life and elimination of their social passiveness in relation to relevant decision making;
  • Optimal use of education – formal and non-formal, opportunities by the young people as a basis for professional realisation on labor market and means for development of human resources;
  • Full value realisation of young people’s personal qualities within an environment of increased requirements of the contemporary labor market. Motivation for voluntary work as an alternative form of social activeness;
  • Equal access to all sources of youth information;
  • Encouragement of youth mobility, cooperation and exchange of informal experience;
  • Joining of young people to the main democratic principles - fight against racism and xenophobia, gender equality, respecting basic human rights;
  • Young people’s responsibility about their own health, health knowledge and culture in relation to prevention of drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

(Source: Youth Partnership – Council of Europe, European Commission)