In 2009 the Bulgarian Economic and Social Council was elected to chair the Network of the Economic and Social Councils of the EU Member States. The ESC is the first one among the 12 newly acceded EU Member States to enter into one year's presidency. This is a high appreciation of the ESC’s activity regarding promotion of civil dialogue.

Three significant international fora will take place under the chairmanship of the Bulgarian ESC. In June Sofia will host the meeting of the Secretaries-General of the national ESCs of the EU Member States. On 5th and 6th October a conference on the challenges facing the labour markets will take place; the conference will be organised by the Bulgarian ESC, in cooperation with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). In November the Presidents and the Secretaries-General of the EU Member States’ national ESCs and the President of the EESC will gather in Bulgaria for their annual meeting.

On a proposal from the Bulgarian ESC the joint work in the network of the national ESCs in 2009 will be related to the issues set in the Lisbon Strategy and the development of the labour markets. The ESC notes that this subject is of particular importance for the EESC and national ESCs' Members at the current stage of the EU development. This year a lot of challenges face the economic development and employment and adequate solutions and concrete national policies and measures should be sought to overcome the negative impact of the global economic crisis on the development of the labour markets in Europe. The discussion on these issues at the three fora as mentioned above will contribute to the enrichment with concrete ideas and proposals of the common European platform of the civil society in this key domain.

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