In order to support the newly-established National Youth Council of Bulgaria (Naciolen Mladezki Forum, or NMF) the European Youth Forum organised a capacity building and sustainability training event in Stara Zagora on 28-30th April. The principle aim of the event was to develop the capacities of NFM's board and Member Organisations in the area of organisational development.
Following the support of a wide-range of National Youth Councils and International Youth Organisations, as well as the tireless efforts of Bulgarian activists, Bulgaria's national youth council was founded in November of last year, bringing together more than 20 youth organisations from throughout the country.
The training event that took place in Stara Zagora is part of a wider effort to further the development of NMF as a strong, representative, inclusive and democratic nation-wide platform of youth organisations. The event also saw a thematic assembly of NMF, in which Bulgarian youth adopted strategic priorities and statutory changes to the organisation. Among the challenges for the newly created platform will be to to convince the Bulgarian Government and institutions that the National Youth Council is a reliable partner in the implementation of an effective youth policy in Bulgaria.
In March 2010, the European Youth Forum organised networking days in Bulgaria in order to foster the creation of a national youth council. In recent years, such networking events have contributed to the development of National Youth Councils in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Turkey and Bulgaria. A proactive approach in assisting the creation of new member organisations is important since each new youth council increases and widens youth involvement and participation, opening up new opportunities for voicing the concerns young people on the national and European level.