The Regional Policy, Sustainable Development and Environment Commission of the Economic and Social Council held a meeting and discussed with experts a draft opinion on the “Mountainous and semi-mountainous regions in Bulgaria - problems and opportunities for development”.

The discussion was led by Valentina Zartova, Chairperson of the Commission. Besides its members also participated Pavlin Velchev from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Juliyan Gochev from the Ministry of Education and Science, Ljuba Klenova - Deputy Mayor of the city of Samokov, Dilyan Georgiev from the Mountain Stock-Farming and Agriculture Institute in the city of Troyan, Chavdar Rusev from the Association for Development of Mountain Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria.

The external experts on the opinion Prof. Ginka Chavdarova and Donka Mihaylova, Mayor of the city of Troyan, introduced to the Committee the main points of the opinion. They highlighted the key problems of the mountain municipalities such as depopulation, poor infrastructure, residual economy, overexploitation of the forest fund, lack of access to quality services, especially health services, etc. In Mrs. Mihaylova and Prof. Chavdarova’s opinion urgent measures are needed for these regions. The experts noted that the delay of these measures is measured with decades. They also underlined the need for integrated policies and measures to develop the mountain municipalities, the need to "meet" the sectors one another, to bring production processes to the final product and to promote family business. The idea of ​​creating a “mountain product” as a quality standard was thoroughly discussed. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced that there is already a developed regulation in this direction.

In the discussion were suggested ideas that could also enrich the opinion. The Commission decided to complement the draft opinion and then present it to the ESC Plenary Session.

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