The Economic and Social Council has traditionally surveyed the opinions of secondary school graduates, understanding and knowledge about the EU. The most recent discussion was held in the No 35 Dobri Voinikov School. It was attended by about 40 students from in their final years of schooling. Their presentations on "Young People for the EU" showed basic knowledge of the structure of the Union and the benefits and challenges for Bulgaria as an EU Member State.

It was remarkable that in the unanimous opinion of all students the greatest benefits for their generation from Bulgaria's EU membership are the free movement of people, capital, goods and the single market. Secondly, they set out the opportunities offered by the EU funds for the development of our infrastructure and in general for improving the quality of life in our country. In the course of the discussion, however, they noted that each of the benefits for Bulgaria could also bring relevant challenges and supported this claim with arguments and examples of the double food standard or the misappropriation of EU funds. As for the insufficient equality of Bulgaria with the other Member States, they expressed the opinion that Bulgaria should have been admitted to the Schengen Area a long time ago because it had fulfilled all requirements, but this has not happened yet. The students also commented on the role of organized civil society institutions such as the Economic and Social Council of Bulgaria and the European Economic and Social Council.

In conclusion, Prof. Lalko Dulevski, PhD - President of ESC and Yanka Takeva - Head of the Bulgarian Union of Teachers and ESC member, highly appreciated the students' knowledge and their critical thinking regarding the benefits and challenges facing Bulgaria as an EU Member State.



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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