Second Stakeholder Meeting in Bulgaria within the Coop4RURALGov Project

On Wednesday, January 10, 2024, the Second Stakeholders’ group meeting in Bulgaria within the frame of Coop4RURALGov project „Rural Proofing. Cooperation for better sparsely populated rural, coastal and mountain focused governance“ took place. Organizers were the two Bulgarian partners, Association Center for Sustainability and Economic Growth /CSEG/ and the Municipality of Bratsigovo, partners in Coop4RURALGov project, co-funded by the Interreg Europe Programme 2021-2027 within Contract № 01C0297.

Mrs. Petya Tsarkova, an expert in Association CSEG, presented the project to the participants – its main objectives and the upcoming activities on interregional study visits, exchanges of experience and best practices which need to be identified. Mrs. Tsarkova presented also several good practices for a sustainable rural development coming from the region of Navarra, Spain. Representatives of the Municipality of Bratsigovo made a brief summary of the priorities of the Local municipal integrated plan 2021-2027 with accent on potential improvements which could be initiated due to projects interregional study visits and exchange of experience activities, and also mentioned that soon this policy document will undergo an evaluation process.

The participants were also discussing topics like the challenges related to improving the capacity of local governments to jointly develop sustainable policies and making regional impact assessment a routine part of decision-making process of officials as well as for policies, programmes and initiatives approved by legislatures in sparsely populated rural, coastal and mountainous areas were discussed, along with the development and marketing of local resources and the participation of local people in these processes.

Within this second stakeholder meeting, the Bulgarian partners also initiated a debate on potential good practices for a sustainable development of rural regions in Bulgaria. Interesting suggestions were given by the participants, and these suggestions are yet to be analysed and proposed as good practices to the rest of the project partners.

The event was attended by various stakeholders such as representatives of public administrations and educational authorities, social workers, representatives of NGOs, energy agencies, and SMEs association. Most of these organizations comprise high-quality experts in specific sectors like education, environment protection, sustainable energy, entrepreneurship, and policy making.