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The Second Forum of service providers for people with disabilities in Bulgaria under the patronage of Mayor of Varna Mr. Kiril Yordanov was held on 6th – 8th October 2008, at the Hotel Admiral, Varna.

The forum was organized by the Agency for Social Development Vision with the support and partnership of the Municipality of Varna, the European association of service providers for people with disabilities and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

This was the second edition of the first event of this kind for Bulgaria and the meeting was part of the social agenda of the Municipality of Varna. The forum was implemented within the six-year membership and partnership of the Agency for Social Development Vision in the European association of service providers for people with disabilities.

In the Forum participated over 120 representatives of municipalities, organizations, service providers for people with disabilities in Bulgaria, employers’ organizations and institutions related to the problems of disabled people, journalists, citizens etc. In its second edition the Forum also had international participation by representatives of the Organization of service providers from Macedonia.

Guests of the Forum were Mr. Kiril Yordanov, the mayor of Varna, Mr Luke Zelderlo, Secretary General of the European association of service providers for people with disability, M.P. Miss Denitza Dimitrova, Mrs. Ivanka Hristova from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Mr. Boyan Dimitrov, Deputy governor, Prof. Hristo Bozov, Deputy Mayor of Varna, Mr. Nedelcho Mihailov, Deputy Chairman of the Municipal Council - Varna, Prof. Lidia Petkova, chairman of the standing committee on social activities to the City Council - Varna, mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities in Bulgaria and the regions of Varna, municipal councilors of the Municipal Council - Varna.

In the Forum also participated representatives of the Agency for Social Assistance, the Employment Agency, the State Agency for Child Protection, and Agency for people with disabilities, the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria etc..

Besides welcoming, served by the guests, congratulatory letters were read by Mrs. Emilia Maslarova, Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Adm. Hristo Kontrov, governor of Varna region, Mr. Mincho Koralski, Executive Director of the Agency for people with disabilities, Mr. Krassimir Kotsev, Chairman of the National Council of Disabled People in Bulgaria and other organizations working in the social sphere in Bulgaria.

The prepared program and secured conditions created an opportunity for active discussion among participants. Several major topics were discussed:

  1. New emphasis in the European social policies and innovative practices.
  2. Reforms and rapid development of social services in Bulgaria.
  3. Quality and coverage of social services for people with disabilities.
  4. The role of municipalities in the development of social services in Bulgaria. Partnership and delegating of activities for other suppliers.

A distinctive new moment in the second Forum was the involvement and highlighting of two new topics, included into the discussion, future activities and national partnership.

The first was about attracting representatives from the corporate and administrative sector working out of the social partnership, the social commitment and contribution to the development of social responsibility in Bulgaria.

With this theme presentation was made by Mr. Dennis Samson, Executive Director of Solvay Sodi AD, on the work of the corporation. Prof. Dr. Sasho Nunev represented the work of Varna Free University.

The second topic was the role and responsibilities of the Municipalities for the implementation of local social policies and providing services for a better quality of life.

The main presentation was made by Dr. Zdravko Markov, Director of the Directorate of Social Affairs in Varna Municipality, on the development of unique social agenda of Varna Municipality. The presentations were also made by the representatives of the Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, municipalities in Shumen, Pazardzhik, Lovech, Byala Slatina etc.

The goals and results can be formulated in three points:

  1. The achievements in various fields of activities and settlements were successfully identified and presented.
  2. With open tone, competently and professionally were formulated a wide range of unresolved problems and needs of all participants in the process of implementation of services.
  3. The main directions of future work were identified.

As main direction for future business success was also defined one of the objectives of the Forum - providing national and European partnership.

For that purpose, participants confirmed their future participation in the national network of service providers in Bulgaria, retaining established by the Forum 2007 Working Group.

Within the Forum, a protocol was signed for establishing of a new national organization.

Upon completion of the procedure of its court registration it will be able to it to be included new members.

Two new European projects, in which the Agency Vision and the national network will participate next year, were presented before the participants.

Within the loaded and dynamic program, the participants in the Varna Forum 2008 had the opportunity to step aboard a Bulgarian ship to see the photo exhibition to visit renovated Vision Hall Club to receive the latest edition of Vision Art Violina Peykova’s poetry book to see the exhibition of the artist Veselin Smokov from Vision Art to hear songs and words of authors from Vision Art etc.


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