In 2018, a new draft youth law (no. 716/2018) passed the Senate stage. While it has not been fully adopted to date, the government lists the law’s approval as a goal in its Programme for 2021-2024. Currently, the 2006 youth law (no. 350/2006) therefore remains the authoritative legal framework for youth policy.

Published on October 4, 2023
Updated on February 20, 2024

Definition of youth

The 2006 youth law defines young people as "citizens aged between 14 and 35." The former National Youth Strategy 2015-2020 uses the same definition.

The extract of proposed interventions of the planned youth strategy 2021-2027 suggests a revision of this age bracket.

Definition 1
14 - 35 years

Source: [Youth Law](ța socială/14-L 350-2006-Legea tinerilor.pdf) 2006

Definition 2

Voting Rights

Majority age
18 years
Voting age
18 years
Criminal responsibility
15 years

Candidacy age

Lower House
23 years
Upper House
33 years
--- (tbc)

Marriage & Gender

Without parental consent
18 years
18 years
With parental consent
16 years
16 years


Is same-sex marriage legalized?


Are other genders recognised?
compulsory medical diagnosis

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
In process

In 2018, a new draft youth law (no. 716/2018) passed the Senate stage. While it has not been fully adopted to date, the government lists the law's approval as a goal in its Programme for 2021-2024. Currently, the 2006 youth law (no. 350/2006) therefore remains the authoritative legal framework for youth policy.

In 2015, the government adopted a National Youth Strategy for the years 2015-2020. The strategy focused on five main areas of intervention:

  • Culture and non-formal education;
  • Health, sports, and recreation;
  • Participation and volunteering;
  • Employment and entrepreneurship;
  • The social inclusion of young people.

No evaluation or monitoring of the youth strategy took place. According to a government response to a parliamentary question, this was due to an absence of any mechanisms supporting that, such as an action or implementation plan.

In December 2020, the then-Ministry of Youth and Sports published an extract of proposed interventions under a new National Youth Strategy 2021-2025 for public consultation, including suggested legislative and institutional changes.

While an adoption of the new strategy was announced by the government both in the years 2021 and 2022, to date, no policy has been approved. According to the EU Youth Wiki, the development is still ongoing.

Although there is currently no official national youth policy in place, the Institutional Strategic Plan 2021-2024 of the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities (then still the Ministry of Youth and Sports), drafted in cooperation with the World Bank, nevertheless provides insight on the government's strategic priorities regarding youth.

The plan includes programmes and associated objectives in the field of youth, such as the strengthening of youth centres to support active participation of youth; an improved evidence-based policymaking as part of the Youth Social Research Programme; and the development and diversification of services and programmes for young people.

Importantly, the plan also allocates outcome indicators and a budget to the objectives. The degree to which the plan has so far been executed is unclear.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority that is primarily responsible for youth?

Since January 2022, the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities has been the primary government authority responsible for youth. Its responsibilities in the field are listed in the Government decision 22/2022 regarding the organisation and operation of the Ministry (2022), and include�among others�the application of the government policy for youth; the coordination and funding of youth programmes; and the initiation as well as implementation and monitoring of legislation pertaining to youth.

According to the Ministry's organisational chart, a Directorate-General for Youth Policy and Housing exists within the ministry.

Until January 2022, the Ministry of Youth and Sports was the authority responsible for youth. In the former National Youth Strategy 2015-2020, the ministry was named responsible for the coordination of the plan's implementation.

Youth & Representation

Does the country have a national youth organization or association?

The Romanian Youth Council (CTR) is "the main non-governmental partner on youth issues in relation to central public authorities and institutions empowered in the field of youth policies."

CTR brings together a number of regional, national, and international youth associations that together represent over 500 organisations of and for youth. Currently, according to its list of members, CTR is made up of 22 such associations.

In 2020, CTR and a number of other organisations published the 2020-2027 Romanian Youth Resolution and an accompanying 190-page Action Plan. The resolution describes itself as "the most comprehensive policy document for improving the quality of life of young people in Romania."

Youth work

Is youth work a formally recognised profession?

The National Youth Law (2006) provides a definition of activitate de tineret, which can be translated as both youth work or youth activity. According to the definition, youth activity is "any form of action organised with the aim of improving the conditions necessary for the socio-professional integration of young people, according to their needs and aspirations."

The law highlights that funding for public activities in the field is allocated annually by the state budget law.

Besides the Youth Law, National Occupational Standards for youth workers were developed in 2012, which define a total of 17 professional competences for youth workers.

According to the EU Youth Wiki,

"Romania does not have a long-standing tradition when it comes to what is formally defined as youth work. Child-care instruments, together with informal education and elements of formal education, were constantly combined into different forms of what could be defined as youth work."

Budget & Spending

Does the national youth policy have a dedicated budget?

A definitive budget for youth cannot be determined. However, in the government's 2022 budget, RON 17.1 million (USD 3.8 million) were allocated to "Youth" under the "Recreational and Sport Services" category.

According to the 2022 budget's Annex for the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities, the ministry received a total budget of RON 183.0 million (USD 40.0 million). Of this, RON 10.8 million (USD 2.4 million) are allocated to the ministry's five youth programmes:

  • RON 600,000 (USD 131,000) for the Youth Centre Programme;
  • RON 200,000 (USD 44,000) for the Youth Social Research Programme;
  • RON 4.8 million (USD 1.0 million) for the Programme Supporting Youth Projects;
  • RON 2.4 million (USD 523,000) for "developing and diversifying the offer of services and programmes for young people, especially students";
  • RON 2.8 million (USD 610,000) for a newly established Camp Programme.

2022 was the first year the Camp Programme received a budget. Prior to this, there were only four youth programmes within the ministry.

The budget for youth programmes has decreased by RON 2.1 million (USD 458,000) in 2022 as compared to the 2021 budget, which amounted to RON 12.9 million (USD 2.8 million). The programme supporting youth projects suffered the highest cut of RON 5 million (USD 1 million).

In its Institutional Strategic Plan 2021-2024, the ministry allocates RON 54.4 million (USD 11.9 million) over four years towards its strategic objective for youth: "Support the active participation of young people in community life."

According to the EU Youth Wiki, the budget of the four framework programmes implemented by the Ministry of Family, Youth and Equal Opportunities was RON 8 million in 2022. Those framework programmes are:

  • a programme supporting youth centres;
  • a programme supporting youth projects;
  • a programme supporting student projects;
  • a programme for youth research.

Contextual Figures

Liberal Democracy Index
Youth Progress Index

Economic Indicators

GDP per capita
Human Development Index
Gini coefficient

Additional background

According to the Organisation for Youth Education & Development (OYED):

"The first attempt to strategically plan the youth policies in Romania was done in 2001 with the adoption of a document called National Action Plan for Youth - Romania; it mentioned 8 objectives�4 about youth participation in the economic, civic and political, cultural and educational fields and another 4 about social inclusion, stimulating creativity, promoting mobility in the European area and optimising the institutional framework.

This attempt came in the context of the Council of Europe starting in 1997 with the monitoring of the national youth policies and the White Paper published by the European Commission in 2001 with the purpose of including youth issues on the public policies agenda."

"The political background for all these measures is represented by a set of legal acts, adopted mainly in the last 14 years. The reason for the legislative void before 2000 is the historical and political context of the communist and the post-communist Romania. Youth legislation before 1989 was mainly focused on creating a new communist youth and the means were mainly propagandistic and party-related."

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung's Youth Study Romania 2018/2019 finds that the percentage of 14-to-29-year-old Romanians thinking about moving away for at least 6 months dropped abruptly from almost 60 percent in 2014 to about 30 percent in 2018/2019. It highlights that "most of the desire to leave and plans to do so are connected to feelings of poverty and lack of access to consumer goods."

In 2022, Romania's National Youth Council (CTR) published an article entitled "Youth, irrelevant to the Government of Romania!" in which it accuses the Romanian government of inactivity and a lack of care regarding the country's youth sector.


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