GreenS and Sustainable Bulgarian municipality – mission in our power

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GreenS and Sustainable municipality – mission in our power

Second meeting (roundtable) of

Bulgarian Steering Committee on GPP

 Тhe forum “Green and sustainable Municipality – mission in our power” held on October 6, 2016 gathered over 90 participants. It was held within the 11th Annual meeting of the Local authorities in the summer resort Albena, Bulgaria, organized by NAMRB. The topics of sustainable development were discussed in three separate panels at the forum, reflecting fundamental aspects of sustainable community. (Program of the Forum is attached herewith)

During the first panel, issues of local economic development were discussed as well as the efforts of municipalities to encourage investment activity. Innovative measures to support investor interest share Mayor of Dimitrovgrad Ivo Dimov. Eligible incentives provided by the law for investors of class B are upgraded in municipality with additional incentives – supporting the consolidation of plot, express issuance of a building permit, support for fast connectivity to providers of basic services (electricity, water, gas) planning with schools disclosure of school specialties demanded by investors and more. The support of the Bulgarian Investment Agency for Local Economic Development was represented by its executive director Stamen Yanev. Based on the shared experience of Karnobat Municipality to support investors, the mayor Georgi Dimitrov said important generalizations about successes and problems. He summarized the experience in municipality: Support for investors – yes, but not at any price. Priority of local government are the environmental aspects – peace and healthy living, clean environment for citizens. This way he made a transition to the second panel of the forum.       

It discussed ecological solutions as a priority in the investment activity of municipalities. Rich practices of the Bourgas municipality in environmental investments, energy efficiency and green procurement were presented by Deputy Mayor Russka Boyadjieva. The implementation of commitments made in the Strategy Paper engagements to green and sustainable community was demonstrated with a number of completed projects – integrated urban transport with a major emphasis on trolley transport, achievements under the national program for energy efficiency in multifamily buildings, built regional system for waste management. Blagoy Stanchev, Parliamentary Secretary NAMB, presented European and national policies for the implementation of green procurement and analysis of practices in their implementation at the local level. The opportunities were stressed that the new Public Procurements Act provides for the application of green criteria in all stages of planning and implementation of the contract. Executive Director of the Association of Bulgarian Black Sea Municipalities Mariana Kancheva present opportunities to support municipalities in the procurement procedures, which will be provided through the project GreenS, implemented with the support of the framework program Horizon 2020.

Particular interest among the participants attracted the presentation for possibilities to financially support green policies of municipalities by the National Trust EcoFund, represented by its Executive Director Kamelia Georgieva. Along with a number of successful completed projects for environmental and energy efficiency measures, she pointed out the advantages of Ecofund to other funding programs – assistance to the contractor in all phases of planning and implementation of project, pre-financing, not applying financial sanctions. 

In the third panel of the forum discussion focused on another key aspect of sustainability – protection of created by municipalities and citizens from the whims of nature. Chief Commissioner Nikolay Nikolov introduced significant amendments to the Law on Disaster Protection from July this year. He highlighted one of the main aspects of the changes – focus on prevention. In this regard, the new mechanism was highlighted enabling municipalities to seek national support for measures on prevention – through the planning of priority measures as an annex to the municipal program to reduce disaster risk annually by the end of April. The Minister of Interior will report these proposals in summary form to the Council of Ministers annually by the end of June.

In conclusion, the forum moderator Alexander Gorchev member of NAMB’s board and mayor of the municipality of Veliki Preslav, concluded that green and sustainable municipal development includes many other topics that are discussed on other forums of the Annual Meeting. But considered three main aspects of sustainability, through the exchange of ideas and practices between local authorities, opportunities for interaction provided by institutions of the central government, have significant contribution and importance for all municipalities.

SC roundtable link:

Grant Agreement: 649860 – GreenS        Programme – Call: H2020-EE-2014-3-MarketUptake

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