Definition of Youth

The 2006 youth law defines young people as belonging to ages 14-35.  It also identifies the different age groups 14/15-19, 20-24, 25-29 and 30-34/35, to better target different policies.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 18
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 18
  • XX

  • Minimum age for opposite sex marriage is the same with or without parental consent. No specific legislation for same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Criminal Code of Romania

Majority Age


Source: Civil Code(2004)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 99.29% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.29% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 79.35%Male %
  • 80.70% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 18.40% Male (13-15) %
  • 10.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Romania has a 2006 youth law and a draft 2014-2020 youth strategy. Studies from 2001, 2012 & 2013 provide some background.

The 2006 youth law first created a legal framework for youth policy in Romania. A draft National Youth Strategy 2014-2020 was launched for public debate in the summer of 2013, however it is unclear whether it has been finalised and approved.   The draft National Youth Strategy focuses on four key pillars:

  • Culture and informal education;
  • Employment and entrepreneurship;
  • Participation and volunteering;
  • Health, sport and recreation;
  Programmes to reduce youth unemployment, particularly across rural areas, and promoting healthy lifestyles are key objectives of the policy. A section dedicated to socially marginalised youth acknowledges the need for a better understanding of the conditions that influence social exclusion.  

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
In 2013 the government founded the Ministry for Youth and Sports. The Directorate for Youth Programmes and Projects is in charge of working with actors in the youth field to organize, implement and monitor government policies. It includes a Department for Camps and Recreation, which coordinates activities of leisure centres and youth tourism, and a Department of Programmes and Activities for Students,  promoting students’ participation in cultural and civic activities as well as combating the marginalization of students.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The Romanian Youth Council (CTR) is the government’s main partner in the youth field. It advised the drafting of the youth strategy and provides training and support to its members. However, the CTR’s governance structure is unclear. Two other representative structures are the Consultative Council on Youth Issues(CCPT), a government consultative body which includes representatives from youth NGOs, unions, local student councils, and the Youth Participation in Local Government (PAL-TIN), a network of local youth organisations.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
The 2014  budget allocates RON 273,23 million(USD 85,15 million) to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, however it does not provide a separate expenditure for the youth department According to the World Bank, Romania spent 4.24% of its GDP on education provision in 2009, however does not calculate what this translates to in terms of government expenditure.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

Young people in Romania still face a number of challenging issues. The 2013 UNICEF study on the State of Adolescents highlights:
According to a European recommendation, 49.1% of children in Romania were at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2011 (exceeding the rate for the whole population, which was 40.3%). As the first European Youth Trends report commissioned by the Youth Directorate at the Council of Europe pointed out in 1998, it is currently largely accepted that early exposure to welfare deficit is the main risk factor of exclusion whose effects can hardly be repaired at later stages in life.

According to the 2012 briefing, the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Protection carries out policies specifically addressing youth, such as “An inclusive labour market in the rural area”, targeting young people in rural areas where unemployment and education dropout levels are high.  The labour policy report remarks:
Almost 20% of the school-aged young people (16-19 years old) from rural areas have dropped out of higher secondary school. One of the main dropout causes is the difficult access to educational institutions (15 km – the average distance to their high-school or school complex).

The government’s 2013 National Plan to Boost Youth Employment, includes measures and programs such as Youth Guarantee (mobility bonuses, financial incentives, professional and carrier guidance and entrepreneurship counseling, business simulation, internships, apprenticeships,  partnerships between schools, universities, and companies and other organizations  and startups created by young persons).

According to the 2012-2020 government Strategy for the Inclusion of Romanian citizens belonging to the Roma minority:
The Government of Romania considers Roma social inclusion an issue that should be reflected in all the fields of activity on the agenda of each central and local institution. The governmental institutions through their sectoral policies and the civil society play a determined role in the process of social development of Romanian citizens belonging to Roma minority and can influence, through the planning of their intervention, the social change in general and can especially contribute to improving the situation of the Roma. [...]
Moreover, the annual state budget allocates, having Roma students as beneficiaries, about 3,000 special places for admission to high school and approximately 500 special places for admission to university.