WE WORK FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE MUNICIPALITIES IN BULGARIA
National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria
WHO ARE WE?
The National Association of Municipalities is the ’voice’ of local governments. We assist and support municipalities in their efforts for the benefit of local citizens. United in their National Association, Bulgarian municipalities can jointly stand up for their common interests.
Еquality of the members is the main principle to which we adhere in our work. All mayors, municipal councilors, and experts in the various fields of municipal activity have the opportunity to contribute to the implementation of the initiatives of the various commissions, contact groups and working groups of NAMRB. A strong and independent local democracy – this is our creed.
Our organization was established in 1996 by one-third of the Bulgarian municipalities. As a result of our active work, since 1999 all Bulgarian municipalities are members of NAMRB. Thus, we have the power of being the only nationally representative local government organization. The General Assembly is our highest leadership body, which sets our work priorities. Each municipality is entitled to one vote in the General Assembly. Our Board of Directors is comprised of 23 members, elected by the General Assembly for a period of four years. The Board of Directors elects the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Board.
The Control Council is comprised of 5 members elected by the General Assembly.
The General Assembly sets up
NAMRB's Permanent Commissions
Their activities are aimed at making amendments to the existing legislation and disseminating various best practices among municipalities. Both elected local government officials and municipal administration experts can be members of these commissions. Their meetings are open to everyone who is interested in the topic of their discussions, which turns them into efficient forums.
The Association's activities are performed by a team of 40 persons and more than 300 voluntary experts from the municipalities. They are all available for rendering services, information, and consultations. NAMRB's team drafts project proposals on various topics and is granted funding under different projects for more than USD 1 million per year. Our human and material assets make us a strong, confident and reliable partner to the international donor organizations.
HOW DO WE REPRESENT AND ADVOCATE THE INTERESTS OF BULGARIAN MUNICIPALITIES?
Transparent and democratic procedures, which guarantee the equal representation of the interests of all our members, are applied in the drafting of each NAMRB position.
NAMRB's Contact groups hold negotiations with representatives of each ministry and jointly seek solutions to topical problems.
Our representatives in consultative councils and bodies (to the Council of Ministers or certain ministries) take active part in problem-solving related to regional development, demographic issues and social integration, healthcare, development of small and medium-sized enterprises, culture, tourism, protection of the environment, Monitoring Committees of the Operational Programs, child protection, as well as utilization of funding from the ISPA and SAPARD programs.
Every year we hold negotiations with the Ministry of Finance on the framework of the municipal budgets where we stand up for the interests of our members. Our association's position of the draft
State budget is based on the multitude of proposals made by the municipalities and the expert working groups.
We are lobbying the committees of the National Assembly for the proposals of our members on different legislative amendments.
We publish analytical papers in Bulgarian and English, thereby publicizing the problems related to local self-governance and seeking domestic and international support for their solution.
WHAT KINDS OF SERVICES DO WE OFFER TO OUR MEMBERS?
Consultative papers - Every year we write consultative papers with which we assist our members in the preparation and implementation of the municipalities' budgets, determining the local fees and service charges, as well as in the handling of varoius complex issues. Our legal experts are at the service of our members each and every day, ready to provide them with consultations on any relevant issue of interest to municipal experts either by phone or personally at our office. In case our members send their inquiries in writing, our reply will reach them in the shortest time possible.
Handbooks and reference books where we include topical information on all relevant key topics such as municipal property and municipal finance, concessions, civil registration, good practices of local governments in Europe, legislation, healthcare and education, lobbying, etc.
Training – our firm grasp of topical issues, our practiced experts and interactive exercises are guaranteed to improve the qualifications of our members’ personnel. The flexibility, material assets and experience of our organization allow us to organize specialized trainings on specific requests.
We issue our Information Bulletin twice a month. The circulation of each issue amounts to 1500 copies. It the Bulletin, we share all important news of the Association's life, the statements we are preparing, and diverse information about important municipal forums.
The very next day after a meeting of the Board of Directors is held, the Information Sheet with the decisions taken by the Board will be on the desks of our members. Our information database, which includes information about municipal budgets, open international calls for proposals, decisions of the municipal councils and the names of experts in various fields of municipal activity, is also at your disposal.
NAMRB's library contains more than 1000 references concerning municipalities and their activities. If you want to learn other important facts concerning local self-governance in Bulgaria and the activities of NAMRB, please visit our web site:
WHO ARE OUR PARTNERS?
Our Association's strength is rooted in its good relations with national and foreign organizations.
NAMRB is working together with more than 46 other organizations under different projects and programs. Those are the Foundation for Local Government Reform, the regional municipal associations and lots of other non-governmental organizations. Since its establishment, our association has been receiving substantial assistance and support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as by the municipal associations of Denmark, the Netherlands and other European countries. Since 1998, NAMRB is a member of the International Union of Local Authorities and its European branch, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions.
NAMRB is taking part in the work of the European Union's Committee of the Regions. Our association is also the Secretariate of the Bulgarian Delegation to the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities in Europe with the Council of Europe. NAMRB's representatives are valued participants in the activities of the commissions and the various working groups. Presently we have close contacts with local governments from more than 40 countries. We are successfully cooperating under different joint projects with the associations of Austria, the Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, the Czech Republic, France, Portugal, Germany, USA, Russia, Ukraine, etc. NAMRB has also initiated the establishment of the partnership Network of associations of local and regional authorities from South-East Europe. We promote the twinning of Bulgarian municipalities with municipalities from EU member-states by taking full advantage of the European Commission's Town Twinning Program.
Behind each and every achievement of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria is the work of the people of our towns and villages, their knowledge and experience, their hopes and strivings. Our joint efforts in the next four years will likewise ensure our position of a reliable partner and member of the United Europe's local authorities.
HOW YOU CAN CONTACT US?
23 Golash St., 1111 Sofia, Bulgaria
phone/fax: +359 2 9434 467, +359 2 9434 468
phone/fax: +359 2 9434 431
Please use these contact details.
We are looking forward to working with you!