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Parliament adopts at first reading draft bill regulating youth matters proposed by Council of Ministers

The National Assembly has passed at first reading the draft bill on youth matters submitted by the Council of Ministers. The draft envisions the National Advisory Council on Youth Matters to help the minister of education in defining the national policies in respect to young people. The law defines what are “youth activities” and “youth organization”. It rules that as “national youth” organization should be considered the one having no less than 900 individuals as members and which is active in no less than 30% of the municipalities in the country. The draft bill regulates youth volunteerism and legalizes the statute of “young worker”. According to its provisions “young” are all persons in the age group between 15 and 29 years.

The parliament decided to set up ad-hoc inquiry committee to shed light on the facts and circumstances, circulated in the media, around the lobbyist scandal involving the former three-way coalition government and the paid EURO 1, 5 M to Austrian lobbyist Peter Hochegger. The committee will consist of 13 MPs, six from the ruling party GERB, two from the Coalition for Bulgaria, two from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party, one from the Blue Coalition, one from party Ataka and one independent MP. The committee will be chaired by Dimitar Glavchev from GERB. It has the task to analyze the available, in and outside of the country, facts and circumstances surrounding the scandal with Peter Hochegger. The committee has to report to the parliament the reason for the money transfer to the lobbyist Hochegger, on what the money were spent on and how were accounted for. The task of the committee includes also the revelation of the persons involved in the campaign and the signing of the contract with the Austrian lobbyist Peter Hochegger, as well as the subcontractors involved and to clarify what was the benefit for the state and why the money were not used to increase the well-being of Bulgarian citizens instead.

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