One of the four priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU which started in January 2018 is the future of Europe and young people. Paradoxically, Bulgaria has experience in motivating young people to seek a future elsewhere and to never return home.
According to the latest population projections by the United Nations, Bulgaria has the fastest shrinking population in the world: it is expected that by 2050, it will decrease by 23%. This is regrettable, but not surprising. Bulgaria has the highest mortality rate in the EU and the number of live births in the country continues to drop.
There is also a parallel story. Recently, researchers from the Bulgarian Academy of Science warned that there are more Bulgarians working abroad than in Bulgaria: 2.5 million work abroad and 2.2 million work in Bulgaria, to be precise. Moreover, 17% of those who graduate from high school in Bulgaria choose to pursue their university education abroad. It is likely they will stay there, too.