Minister Krasen Kralev (right) and the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics (left) will take part in the European Youth Conferene in Sofia
The foundations of the next European Youth Strategy will be laid during the European Youth Conference organised in the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the European Commission (EC). The event will take place on 17-19 April 2018 in the National Palace of Culture (NDK).
Following consultations carried out among about 50 000 young Europeans, the conference will summarise 11 thematic areas that will become European Youth Goals and will be used as a tangible recommendation to the European Commission with regard to the next European Youth Strategy. Based on this, the Bulgarian Ministry of Youth and Sports plans to update the National Youth Strategy on the model of the European one, with the aim to respond to the current needs of young people in Bulgaria.
The Sofia European Youth Conference is the most important event of the sixth cycle of the Structured Dialogue, a consultative process that aims to increase cooperation with civil society and get first-hand input from young people. The future of young people in Europe is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The conference will be attended by more than 250 participants – young people, public figures and representatives of institutions engaged in the field of youth issues. It will also be attended by young people from the Western Balkan region and the Eastern Partnership countries, as part of Bulgaria’s efforts aimed at the integration of the Western Balkans to the European Union. For the first time ever, the Youth Conference will have Bulgarian and international sign language translation for young people with hearing disorders.
The conference aims at becoming a platform for efficient collaboration between young people and the representatives of the institutions in charge of the implementation of the youth policies in Europe. It intends to demonstrate the good partnership between young people and decision-makers and to explain what empowerment of young people means. The problems, hopes and challenges affecting the development of young people at national, European and world level will be discussed.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is working on two main documents within the framework of the Youth Working Party of the Council of the EU, namely, “the role of young people in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe” and “the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union”. For the first time the Youth Working Party works in partnership with the UN Working Party. Currently, a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the regional offices of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is in the process of preparation and will be signed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Krasen Kralev.
Mr Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr Tomislav Donchev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr Krasen Kralev, Minister of Youth and Sports, Ms Kate Gilmore, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations, Ms Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Ms Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN youth envoy, Ms Alanna Armitage, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Ms Eva Maydell, Member of the European Parliament (EPP), Ms Vanya Koleva, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports in charge of youth affairs, and representatives of the National Youth Forum will be among the official guests of the European Youth Conference. 18 volunteers will be involved in the organisation of the event.