„Bulgaria, through practical experience, has provided evidence to sustain the need for the national councils of the EU Member States and the European Economic and Social Committee to support one another at national and European levels and to find how the direct democracy acts at European level”.

This is what Mario Sepi, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), stated when assessing the work of the Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Bulgaria (ESC) in the time it chaired the Network of the Economic and Social Councils of the EU Member States in 2009. During the EESC plenary session held in Brussels on 17th December 2009, Associate Professor Lalko Dulevski, Ph.D., President of the Bulgarian ESC, stroke a balance of the national councils' joint activity and analysed the results achieved throughout the year.

In his speech Associate Professor Dulevski highlighted again the conclusion drawn by the national councils: the European labour market faces a number of challenges. Despite signs of ending the economic downturn and starting recovery in some Member States, the fall in employment in the EU will continue, although at a diminishing pace, and the unemployment will still be on the rise. Thus the national economic and social councils and the EESC face the need of strengthening and developing a new solidarity, involvement of the civil society and shared responsibility to tackle the most essential economic and social problems facing the countries. This was the common position of the national councils' Presidents highlighted by Professor Dulevski, which was expressed by them at their Annual Meeting in Sofia in the end of November.

In front of the EESC Members Associate Professor Dulevski pointed that the model of cooperation among the national councils of the EU Member States and the European Economic and Social Committee, as established in 2009, can be used also in the future joint activity of the network of the national councils, e.g. to perform the next joint analyses and assessments of any key European issues or of the expected effect of any fundamental decisions of the European institutions.

During the discussion at this meeting, speeches were delivered by the EESC President and the Presidents of the three groups to the Committee - the employers' group, the employees' group and the various interests group. All the speakers appreciated the Bulgarian ESC's work to coordinate the joint activity of the national councils on the issues of the crisis and its impact on the labour markets throughout the year. The declaration of the Presidents and Secretaries-General of the national councils and the EESC, as adopted in the end of November in Sofia on the policies and measures on the labour markets needed to reduce the negative impact of the crisis, was assessed by Mario Sepi, President of the EESC, to be a document of essential importance for the European 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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