Report on the study visit to Bulgaria

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On 4-7 April 2005, the European Youth Forum conducted a Youth Work Development study visit to Bulgaria. The study visit aimed at collecting information about the situation of youth work and youth policy development in Bulgaria, and the relations between youth organisations with public authorities from local to regional and national levels. Therefore, this report is based only on the information collected during the study visit and does not aim at presenting a comprehensive picture of the youth work in Bulgaria. In 2002, the membership of the Bulgarian National Youth Council (NMS) was terminated due to inactivity of the organisation. This lead to renewed interest among Bulgarian YNGOs to consolidate their efforts and cooperate on youth policy development, as well as on cooperation with public authorities. Two attempts to establish a national youth council with the partial involvement of the state failed. Furthermore, at the moment of the study visit, the European Youth Forum was contacted by two different initiatives - one coming from political youth parties, and one from non-political, mostly regional and local YNGOs. To renew the direct contact with YNGOs in Bulgaria, and to determine the kind of support the European Youth Forum could provide to the development of youth work and youth policy, a Youth Work Development visit was conducted. The study visit was conducted by Mariana Turcan and Peter Torp Madsen, bureau members and Tanya Basarab, staff member, all responsible for Youth Work Development. Due to the existence of two parallel initiatives, the European Youth Forum chose an impartial coordinator in Bulgaria, to ensure openness and credibility at the national level of the objectives of the study visit. Youth Society for Peace and Development in the Balkans (YSPDB), member of European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) offered the necessary support.

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