Demographic policies of Bulgaria





The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in the Republic of Bulgaria is responsible for the elaboration, conduction, monitoring and progress reporting in the field of the horizontal integrated policy for demographic development.


The low levels of birth-rate, the high levels of mortality, the increased migration flows, the rapid decrease and ageing of the population and the work force, the strengthened demographic imbalances lead to a threat of holding and decrease in the economic development and growth in perspective. Therefore the measures that Bulgaria is undertaking to face the demographic challenges in the context of achieving the goals of “Europe 2020” Strategy are comprehensive and in the long run refer to proper reforming and adapting of all sectoral policies and social systems to the demographic changes that are common for the European countries.


Bulgaria is the first member-state of the European union that has got developed and adopted by the Council of Ministers long-term comprehensive strategic documents in response to the demographic challenges, namely two editions of the National Strategy for Demographic Development of the Population of the Republic of Bulgaria: the first one from 2006 and the second one – the Updated National Strategy for Demographic Development of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2030).


The trends about the future work up to the year 2030 are formulated in 5 strategic priorities, 12 operational directions and 87 general measures with many concrete tasks to each of them. An integrated approach is implemented in order to fully encompass the demographic problems and to limit the negative effects of the demographic imbalances on the public finance and the social systems.


The basic elements of the National Strategy for Demographic Development are formulated in accordance with the common understanding about demographic policy at the EU level, taking account of the national characteristics. The directions for work in the Action Programme, adopted by the International Conference about Population and Development, held in Cairo from 5th to 13th September 1994, as well as in the UNECE Madrid 2002 International Plan of Action on Ageing and its Regional Implementation Strategy have also been taken into account.


A System of indicators for monitoring and analysis of the implementation of the Demographic strategy has been implemented.


A specific focus on facing the demographic challenges from population ageing is put also through the National Concept for Promotion of Active Ageing in Bulgaria (2012 – 2030).


The adopted official strategic documents of Bulgaria on a governmental level for meeting the demographic challenges have been developed with the cooperation of the United Nations Population Fund and have been mentioned as a good practice in international context. 


In 2016 with the support of the European Commission was prepared a draft of a   National comprehensive strategy for active ageing in Bulgaria, containing assessment of the possibilities to implement and use the Active Ageing Index – a tool that was created by experts of the European Commission and of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for future peer reviews. The draft Strategy is to be adopted by the Council of Ministers.


The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy coordinates and manages the Interdepartmental Working Group on Demographic Issues to the minister of labour and social policy, which contains more than 80 representatives of key state institutions, ministries, state agencies, the National Statistical Institute, the National Social Security Institute, the National Health Insurance Fund, the Bulgarian Red Cross, the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences,  as well as non-governmental organisations and social partners.


From 2006 onwards the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy prepares annual monitoring plans and annual information and analytical reports, adopted with decisions by the Council of Ministers, where official data and trends of the National Statistical Institute, EUROSTAT, the United Nations Organization, the World Bank are integrated, as well as administrative information and data from scientific sociological or interdisciplinary researches. 


The national mechanism for coordination and monitoring of the implementation of the horizontal, interinstitutional and intersectoral demographic policy has been improved through the establishment of a National Council on demographic policy to the Council of Ministers.   


Due to the strongly inertial character that is difficult to reverse of the demographic changes and trends, the official prognoses concerning population development in the coming decades are unfavorable. Therefore it is extremely important to achieve long-term political consent in order to implement the planned measures which mitigate the negative demographic impact on all areas and fields of social life. 


On 12th and 13th May 2016 in Sofia was held an international Ministerial Conference entitled “Facing the demographic challenges in the South-East European Cooperation Process /SEECP/ participants”.


The Conference was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy in the framework of the Programme of the Bulgarian Chairmanship-in-office of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).