The President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov: “I believe in the future that the ESC will contribute to a new comprehension of the mechanisms of coordination, dialogue and transparency in Bulgaria.”
On 10 December 2011 the Economic and Social Council /ESC/ of Bulgaria marked its 8th anniversary since establishment under the heading of “8 years European model of civil dialogue in Bulgaria”.
Official guest of the anniversary was the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Georgi Parvanov. In Sofia, the event was attended by all the European Economic and Social Committee /EESC/ Presidents during the period 2002-2008, the current EESC President Mr. Staffan Nilsson as well as the Presidents of the three Committee groups - Mr. Henri Malosse, Mr. George Dassis and Mr. Luca Jahier. The guests were more than 200 among which were representatives of the main institutions in the country who have been involved in the ESC activities over the years, ministers, Mps, MEPs, representatives of NGOs and academics.
The Economic and Social Council kept up with the challenges of the decade, it was recognised both at national and international scene and with reason was called the “civil parliament”. This was statement of the President Parvanov in his welcome speech to the ESC members and guests. As an assessment of the successful Council’s work during these eight years, the President of the ESC Prof. Lalko Dulevski received the Honorary Sign of the President of the Republic due to the significant contribution of the Council for the organisation and confirmation of the civil dialogue in Bulgaria and for the development of key social and economic policies and strategies.
In the ceremony, Prof. Dulevski thanked for the high opinion of the ESC work and pointed out that the reasons for the Council’s success are at least three, namely the pro-European oriented Bulgarian social partners, the presence of the necessary political will and support as well as the unreserved and constructive support from the main partner of the ESC - the EESC. It was an exciting ceremony on conferring the honorary award of the ESC for contribution to the development of civil society in Bulgaria. The President of the EESC Staffan Nilsson, Henri Malosse, co-chairman of the Joint Consultative Committee “European Union – Bulgaria” in 2004-2007, Roger Brish, President of the EESC as from 2002 to 2004, and Dimitris Dimitriadis , President of the EESC as from 2006 to 2008 were conferred.
The event provoked great media interest due to the presence of high-standing figures, EESC Presidents and even more because of the discussion topic “The organised civil society in response to the challenges facing Europe”.
Europe has to listen to the voice of its citizens and European civil society to cope with the challenges, this was the main argument in all the statements in the public discussion as well as in the speech of the Head of State Mr. Parvanov. We need “more Europe, not less Europe” - a more complete integration between nations and their economic systems, said the EESC President Mr. Staffan Nilsson.