The first public hearing on „Bulgaria in the European Single Market – Civil Society Findings” took place on 18th September 2009 in Sofia. It has been organised by the EESC (European Economic and Social Committee) Single Market Observatory, in cooperation with the Bulgarian Economic and Social Council (ESC).

During the public hearing there was discussed the experience of Bulgaria in adapting to the European Single Market requirements and the impact of the enlargement on the Bulgarian economy and social life. There were presented the views of the civil society in Bulgaria on how much the Bulgarian citizens profit by the advantages provided by this market. The hearing included also a presentation of the on-going Observatory's work on the European Single Market policies. The aim is to establish a fruitful dialogue while focusing on the problems experienced by the Bulgarian socio-economic players.

The fundamental speeches during the public hearing were delivered by Totyu Mladenov, Minister of Labour and Social Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria and Associate Professor Lalko Dulevski, Ph.D., President of the Bulgarian ESC. The views of the civil society on how to reduce the administrative barriers to businesses and to improve the business environment constituted the subject of the speech of Vasil Velev, Bulgarian ESC Member from Group I - employers' organisations. The rights of the workers in Bulgaria according to the four freedoms in the EU were addressed by Plamen Dimitrov, Bulgarian ESC Member from Group II - trade union organisations, and EESC Member. Prof. Neno Pavlov, Bulgarian ESC Member from Group III - other civil organisations, tabled the problems related to the equivalence and recognition of the university diplomas issued in Bulgaria.

Jorge Pegado Liz, President of the EESC Observatory, EESC Members, and representatives of the European Commission and of some civil structures from other EU Member States took part in the debate.

The Single Market Observatory to the European Economic and Social Committee was set up in 1994 with the support of the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The Observatory acts as a practice-oriented instrument designed to feel the pulse of the organised civil society in the EU Member States, to identify the sectors, in which the market functioning can be improved or in which some obstacles hinder the citizens from utmost profiting by the advantages of the market.

The hearing on the Single Market problems is the first one to take place in Bulgaria.



is the “bridge” between citizens and the national government. Its mission is to support such “bridging” so as to facilitate the communication between the society and the national government. It is the new and modern institution of the civil dialogue.

The ESC's mission is to promote civil society organisations access to and involvement in the process of decision-making on strategic economic and social issues.

The main goal of ESC's operation is to enable different representatives of organised civil society to feel free to state their views whereas unanimity on matters of common interest is encouraged. The Council expresses and protects civil society interests by communicating agreed statements and proposals submitted by its members to the executive and legislative authorities.

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