Youth in the 25+ NEETs group (i.e., youth between the ages of 25-35 who are not in employment, education and training) are often less present in social policy interventions in Bulgaria than their younger counterparts. Even though this sub-group constitutes a marked portion of the overall NEET category in Bulgaria, there are scant national legislative or policy instruments which specifically aim to address the situation of 25+ NEETs.
The overall policy context in Bulgaria shapes up the character of policymaking related to 25+ NEETs. Currently, Bulgaria lacks a national strategy or legislation exclusively focused on the situation of NEETs as a whole and 25+ NEETs in particular. Rather, issues related to NEETs are addressed in the National Youth Strategy (2021 – 2030) and the National Employment Strategy (2021 – 2030), both of which are more generally about the larger group than about the specific sub-group of 25+ NEETs.
Since 2014, the primary policy solely tackling the situation of NEETs up to the age of 24 has been the Youth Guarantee, which since 2021 has covered 25+ NEETs in its reinforced version. From an institutional perspective, strategies, policies and laws pertaining to Bulgarian NEETs are shaped by the central government even though the impetus for the design of such instruments initially came from the EU. Major policies targeting NEETs (in this sense, also 25+ NEETs) are designed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP). Still, the MLSP receives the support of other national institutions (e.g., the National Employment Agency, the Ministry of Education and Science), social partners and NGOs to design and implement policies.
Overall, the policy context regarding 25+ NEETs in Bulgaria presents a number of challenges. Despite some positive policy developments, there is still a shortage of policy measures specifically tailored to this sub-group. Policies set many goals with more limited practical policy actions. A further challenge is the need to renew and update some strategic policy documents.
Find the Bulgarian country report on the policy context for 25+ NEETS on the following link: