In 2008 the typical Bulgarian form of civil dialogue as initiated by the Economic and Social Council - public consultation - was both regularised and further approved to be a new approach for seeking consensus among the major stakeholders. This conclusion is among the main summaries as made in the Report on the ESC’s Activity in 2008 - the first year of its second term.

The document was adopted by the ESC's plenary session and as per the legal requirements it was tabled in the National Assembly by 31st March. It was presented at a press conference held on 8th April 2009.

The ESC’s second term started in May 2008. Within the 8 months till the end of the year the ESC adopted 3 opinions and resolutions, held 4 public consultations, organised 2 conferences and participated in 5 international conferences held in EU Member States.

In 2008 there grew the interest to the ESC's activity as a steady institutional form for dialogue and for consultations on key issues of the economic and social policy in Bulgaria. Evidence of this can be found both in the consultations at the initiative of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria and representatives of the Executive, which were organised by the ESC, and in the stepping up communication with other branch organisations.

In 2008 the practice for active elaboration and adoption of own initiative opinions and resolutions by the ESC continued. The documents covered important for the country problems, related to its EU membership, adopted national strategies in respect to the implementation of the Renewed Lisbon Strategy, under national programmes and strategies for development of the priority domains for the country.

The international cooperation of the ESC with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the national economic and social councils of the EU Member States, some similar institutions in third countries and with other international organisations was also successful. At key international fora there was presented the experience of the Bulgarian ESC in the functioning and new forms of activity. In 2008 the ESC was commended by the EESC and the other national ESCs of the EU Member States as well as by the European institutions. Evidence of this can also be found in the decision for the Bulgarian ESC to chair the Network of the National Economic and Social Councils of the EU Member States in 2009 as well as to host the annual meetings of the Secretaries-General and the Presidents of the ESCs.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the EESC last year, the Bulgarian ESC adopted a Declaration to proclaim 19th May the Day of the Organised Civil Society in Bulgaria. By this decision Bulgaria became the first European country to mark a special day of the organised civil society.



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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