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Youths stand against youth unemployment
Start date: Feb 1, 2015, End date: Mar 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Youth unemployment remains one of the most serious socio-economic challenges, which Bulgaria and the whole Europe are facing at the end of 2014. Despite the registered slight decrease compared to the first half of 2013, the percentage of the unemployed youths in Bulgaria still remains high and at the end of June 2014 it is 18.8. At European and national level a great number of measures in the framework of the Youth Employment Initiative and the Youth Guarantee have been implemented to overcome the threatening levels of the youth unemployment Their positive effect is undeniable, but the emergency manner of their planning, programming and implementation inevitably set a number of risks for achieving the maximum effectiveness and efficiency. The necessity of the implementation of the current project is determined by the real need of an actual overview, analysis and evaluation of the undertaken activities by engaging in this process also the young people to whom these policies are actually directed. After getting in-depth review of formal parameters behind the programs and the possible ways of reforming them, together with the practical direct experience they have had with these programs, the young people will be able to conduct a constructive dialogue with the respective policy makers from the public institutions. Besides the main project objectives directed at reforming the policies tackling the youth unemployment and encouraging the youth entrepreneurship, the project activities will contribute to the development of civil self-consciousness of the young people and will help them to obtain confidence, attitude and the sense of active participation in the policy making process in the different spheres of the social life in the future. The concrete efforts in terms of the policies tackling the youth unemployment will be directed on the one hand on ensuring more considerable engagement of the business and on the other hand on decreasing the risk of the fictitious participation in the different initiatives, as well as further enlargement of their scope. One of the underestimated solutions for the youth unemployment is the self-employment and the entrepreneurship amongst youths - a problem registered also in other European countries in all age groups. The project will create conducive environment for constructive dialogue between a minimum 185 young people from all over the country aged between 19 and 30 years and minimum 30 representatives of the public institutions responsible for the youth policies in the field of tackling the youth unemployment. Within the first project phase it is envisaged a selection and formation of youth groups in five cities of Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv and Sofia). During the planned five Inaugural Meetings the young people will receive the necessary formal training on the current youth policies in order to become more confident in their abilities to influence suggest reforms on them. It is also envisaged the establishment of a Main body of 15 Mediators, who will execute coordination activities within the project and will work in close interaction with the team of the Economic Policy Institute, providing constant information and also receiving feedbacks from the youth groups from the five cities, they are representing. Within the second phase the accumulated energy and the proposed recommendations for reforms will be incorporated in a Working Document, which will include also an Evaluation of the implementation of the Youth Guarantee in Bulgaria. These documents will serve as a basis for organizing and moderating five Forums for Dialogue, during which the concrete proposals for reforms will be discussed with the representatives of the public institutions. The final version of the Working Document will be presented to the responsible Parliamentary Committees of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria and will be sent to the responsible Committees in the European Parliament. A special Strategy for Publicity is also developed within the project, through which the information on the project initiatives will be communicated with the general public. For achieving this goal the website of the Economic Policy Institute, a blog of the project and a page of the project in Facebook will be used. Holding a special campaign “Ambassador” is also envisaged during the European Youth Week. The medium and long-term objectives and value added of the project is to advocate amendments in the legislative framework of the policies aimed at tackling the youth unemployment, which could lead to higher effectiveness of the measures applied through the optimization of the used public resources, limiting the risk of abuses and widening their scope to youths, who are not registered in the Labour offices.
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