The Bulgarian Economic and Social Council /ESC/ is one of the most active national councils in the EU Member States, which makes many interesting and important proposals for common actions of the European civil society. This high appreciation for the ESC was given by Mr. Staffan Nilsson, President-elect of the European Economic and Social Committee /EESC/ to Mrs. Tsetska Tsacheva, President of the 41st National Assembly and Mr. Totyu Mladenov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy, which he and his team met consecutively today.
The ESC is a partner of the Bulgarian Parliament which is aware of our activity and whose proposals we use in our legislative work, said Mrs. Tsetska Tsacheva, President of the 41st National Assembly, who also expressed her satisfaction with the good cooperation and work with the ESC.
The ESC has a very high expert capacity that we strive to use the most and thus by the Council to hear the civil society in Bulgaria, highlighted Mr. Totyu Mladenov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy during his meeting with the President of the EESC.
Opportunities for strengthening the civil dialogue at national and European level and for more active participation of the civil society in solving the exceptionally serious challenges facing not only Bulgaria, but all the EU Member States were discussed during the talks.
The civil society has an increasing place in solving the serious issues arising on the background of the global crisis in the field of social policy, employment, unemployment, pension security and healthcare, said Mr. Staffan Nilsson. In his opinion all civil society organisations in Europe, including Bulgaria, should play an increasing role in the future as proposing own solutions to these issues. He stated that his main goal as President of the EESC until April 2013 was to engage people in long-term vision for Europe, building sustainable and competitive Europe.
The ESC in Bulgaria could greatly contribute in this direction was the unanimous opinion of Mrs. Tsetska Tsacheva and Mr. Staffan Nilsson.
The effective operation of the ESC was taken into consideration by Minister Mladenov, who also said that the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy examines very carefully any opinions, assessments and proposals of the ESC and many of them have already been included in the National Plan for Employment and anti-crisis measures package.
The idea of the ESC to hold an international conference in Bulgaria in 2011 on the labour market issues in the EU, organised jointly with the EESC, received high appreciation in the conversation of Mrs. Tsacheva with the President of the EESC. She highlighted that such a forum of the European civil society will be really useful and she gave her guarantee that it will have the support and cooperation of the National Assembly.
The good results achieved by the Economic and Social Council to a great extent are due to the optimal cooperation established between the Council and the institutions of the legislature and executive, to the constructive and honest dialogue between them, to the existing in our country political support for this European model, said Prof. Lalko Dulevski, President of the ESC during the two Mr. Nilsson’s meetings.
During his visit in Bulgaria, Mr. Nilsson met with the ESC members and participated in the ESC Plenary Session. On it the Council adopted an opinion on “Social dimensions of the Lisbon Treaty”.
A number of key measures are proposed by the ESC in the adopted document which the state should undertake together with the social partners and the civil society to improve the implementation of the EU Fundamental Rights.
The ESC expects Bulgaria to present clearer and more reasoned positions in decision-making process in the social field at the EU level as well as to be involved in initiatives for enhanced cooperation in the social field between Member States. The opinion proposes that the government should entitle ESC representatives to participate in various consultative bodies which define the country's position on EU policies.