NAMRB and municipalities set the pace ahead




 Photo: First discussion in Plovdiv city.

NAMRB organizes throughout the country inter municipal discussions on the future of Local Self-governance in Bulgaria. They go under the motto ‘BG MUNICIPALITIES 2030. Local leaders speak’.

The aim of discussions is solutions funding on basic issues as: new legal powers and resources the municipalities needed, necessary national policies for support of the balanced regional development and the cease of the negative demographic and economic trends.

Mayors, chairs of municipal councils and municipal high rank officials are invited to participate. Together they outline the changes needed, in the scope of municipal powers, in the financial sources and resources, as well in responsibilities distribution amongst the different governance levels.

Two crucial topics are on the discussions agenda. The first one is ‘The Role of municipalities in the public structure 2030’. It guidelines the upgrading of competences and responsibilities in Local Self-governance, public services, scope of sectoral municipal responsibilities: social services, education and health cares. The discussion is focused on the contribution for the local economic development and on models of effective municipal activities organization. The 10 years look ahead will outline, as well the vision for the creation of "smart cities" and e- Governance.

The second major theme is the reform of local finances through real fiscal decentralization and financial independence of local authorities. It includes discussions on the need for restructuring of the tax system, improving the distribution of state transfers, funding for uninherent activities and creation of mechanism for small municipalities protection.

Separate discussion is devoted to the „outside perceptions” of the local democracy development in Bulgaria – what representatives of business, analysts, media and general public expect from municipalities.

Another objective of the discussions is the elaboration of Municipal message for the future of Local Self-government in the next 10 years. It will form the base for mayors and municipal councilors from the next local mandate on which to debate and seek consensus with central authorities.

The formulation of decisions for future action by local leaders and prominent public figures is particularly important, because in the next 10 years, local authorities have to deal with great number of Global and European challenges - waste reduction, clean air and water; building safe and sustainable cities and settlements; improving people's quality of life; fight against poverty and exclusion; creating jobs. All this future engagement could only take place if integrated planning and management of public finances are ensured. Modern and adequate legal and political frameworks are needed, to promote municipalities’ access to public and private investment.

The first discussion with the participation of more than 70 mayors, municipal councilors, representatives of business, analysts, media, ect. was held on April 16th  and 17th in Plovdiv, the European capital of culture. The next one is scheduled for April 23rd and 24th in the Old Bulgarian capital of Veliko Tarnovo. The final discussion is to be organized in the beginning of June in the capital city of Sofia