Implementing the European Child Guarantee in Bulgaria: What's needed
Eurochild member National Network for Children (NNC) releases report on the Child Guarantee featuring measures and policies that needs be incorporated for a successful implementation.
At the beginning of 2022, NNC organised 6 webinars on Healthcare, Nutrition, Early Childhood Development, Adequate Housing, Education, and High-risk Communities to allow experts from state institutions and the NGO sector to discuss good practices and proposals for the implementation of the European Child Guarantee in Bulgaria. These discussions were translated into a report.
Over 400,000 children in Bulgaria live at risk of poverty and social exclusion and this is a persistent trend. Every third child lives in material deprivation, and 25% of children live in households with severe material deprivation.
The European Child Guarantee focuses on breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty leading to early school leaving and adverse impacts on health and education, thus perpetuating the issue. The Member States that are affected most, Bulgaria included, are required to spend at least 5% of the funds provided under the European Social Fund Plus to address child poverty and social exclusion.
According to NNC, the National Action Plan must be a dynamic, living document; a document that is amended and adjusted to reflect accordingly the actual needs of the children. The Plan must formulate, in concrete terms, the cross-sectoral policies and interactions between state institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGO) to implement the European Child Guarantee in an effective way. An important part of the Plan should be the monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness of envisioned measures.