Working group on Draft Law on Social Economics
On February 29, 2016, at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, a meeting of the working group preparing a Draft Law on Social Economics / Social Entrepreneurship took place, in which Georgi Georgiev, President of National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO), participated as well. The agenda was presented by Teodora Todorova, State Expert at the Living Standards, Demographic Trends, Policies and Strategies Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, and namely, a discussion on the social economics plan for 2016-2017, the adoption of a working plan of the interdepartmental working group for 2016, including regarding the development of a Draft Law on Social Economics, and other related activities during the year.
The Action Plan on Social Economics 2016-2017 foresees the implementation of a series of information campaigns and forums for raising the awareness on social entrepreneurship in Bulgaria as well as presentations of good practices in this field and the development of a methodology on the assessment of the impact of social enterprises on increasing the living standards. During the meeting, it was pointed out that the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy was supposed to keep on organising the Annual National Awards on Social Innovation, and additionally, the introduction of an Academy for Social Entrepreneurs was envisioned. Furthermore, study programmes on social economics are planned to be developed within training companies. These and other activities were included in the 2016 agenda of the working group, which NASO will inform you about further on.
Within the meeting, Mr. Georgiev shared NASO’s opinion on the development of social economics and entrepreneurship. He stated that social enterprises should not refer to the specialised enterprises only and that the normative documents which were to be drafted needed to address the opportunity for social service providers and local authorities to develop and perform social entrepreneurship activities themselves. In support of this argument it was pointed out that the specialised enterprises provided employment to approximately 2000 persons with disabilities, whereby the social service sector was supporting the social inclusion of more than 60 000 people throughout the whole country. This argument was given to stress the potential of the social service sector for having a leading role in the social entrepreneurship development, through which employment opportunities for disadvantaged people were to be provided as well as support for their social inclusion, and hence, for increasing the quality of their living standards. Other crucial comments made by Mr. Georgiev were on the necessity to introduce an equality standard among the different stakeholders, including among local authorities and external social service providers, to improve the mechanisms and opportunities for financial support provided for the establishment and development of social enterprises as well as to introduce additional non-financial methods for the development of social economics.
At the end of the meeting it was clarified that the Draft Law on Social Economics was being developed by experts of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and that the first draft version of it was to be looked through soon, which NASO will keep you updated about. The topic of the development of social economics as an instrument for achieving a better quality of life is included in the programme of the forthcoming 11th National Forum of Social Service Providers as well, which will take place on April, 13th and 14th 2016, in the city of Veliko Tarnovo.