More than 400 participants and guests worked together in Varna from the 13th to the 16th June in the framework of the European Conference and the accompanying events of EASPD and NASO.
Luk Zelderloo and Georgi Georgiev met with NSSI Governor Ivaylo Ivanov
A meeting was held between NSSI Governor Ivaylo Ivanov, EASPD Secretary General Luk Zelderloo, and NASO President Georgi Georgiev at the National Social Security Institute on 10 October 2017. The meeting, initiated by NASO, was part of the two-day official visit of Mr Zelderloo to Bulgaria.
Mr Zelderloo and Mr Georgiev congratulated Mr Ivanov on taking up the post of NSSI Governor and on the confidence in him expressed through the great parliamentary support because of which he was elected to the post. On the behalf of their organisations they expressed their satisfaction with the fact that a post of a key importance to people with disabilities and other citizens in need of support was taken by an expert with considerable experience and contribution to the social services sector.
Mr Ivanov also stressed his effective cooperation with EASPD and NASO while he had held his previous responsible positions in the social sector. He expressed his readiness and willingness to continue the partnership and joint work with EASPD and NASO in his current role and responsibility.
Mr Georgiev and Mr Zelderloo upheld their conviction that the NSSI activities and strategies benefiting people with disabilities would be implemented, reformed and optimized taking the interest and needs of these people into account. They drew attention to the forthcoming changes in the National Expert Medical Commission system and how important it was to prevent these changes from having a negative impact on people with disabilities. Mr Ivanov assured the guests that the envisaged reform, which included support payments and conducting of a medical expertise, was aimed at improving the system not at the expense of people with disabilities but in their favour. As an expert in the social sector, he stressed his firm stance that the changes would seek for both preventing violations and negative practices and avoiding reduction in support resources for people with disabilities. Even if some resources can be released, they will not be redirected, but exclusively directed to support disabled people in an appropriate and effective way.
Discussion took place about the possible misuse of the different types of assistance and means of support, which are within the NSSI’s competence, and the measures envisaged by the new governor. The meeting’s participants came to the understanding that work should be done to transform passive support measures into active ones that would lead to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the open labour market and their full social inclusion.
Mr Georgiev accepted the proposal for a future partnership with NSSI concerning their implementation of active measures in support of people with disabilities. For his part, Mr Ivanov accepted the invitation to participate in the European Conference of EASPD, NASO, and MLSP in 2018.