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The Executive Director and the Program Director of “Equilibrium” both took part in the First National Meeting of Social and Health Experts from the Municipalities.

It took place on the 26th and 27th of October 2017 in Stara Zagora. The meeting was organized by the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria and its trading company NAMRB-Active in partnership with the Мunicipality of Stara Zagora and the National Alliance for Social Responsibility.

This is the first of its kind meeting with wide participation of representatives of Mayors, Deputy Mayors and key directorates from municipalities from all over the country as well as representatives of the non-governmental sector. In the meeting also took part Mrs. Rositsa Dimitrova, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy; Valentin Dimitrov, Deputy Chair of the State Agency for Child Protection; experts from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy; the Agency for Social Assistance and the Managing Authorities of the Operational Programs “Human Resources Development 2014-2020” and “Regions for Growth 2014-2020”.

The Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Ginka Chavdarova, presented the main topics for discussion: introducing a multidisciplinary approach to the provision of services, the successful implementation of the second stage of the deinstitutionalization of childcare activities, the long-term care strategy, the financing of social and health services, the improvement of quality and the measures to increase the capacity of municipalities to provide social services. She said that the municipalities have serious expectations from the new Social Services Act.

Deputy Minister Dimitrova presented the Ministry’s main priorities – the adoption of a new Social Services Act, the successful implementation of the National Long-Term Care Strategy, amendments to the Law on the Integration of People with Disabilities and its Implementation Rules. She also called for municipal experts to be active in the search for joint and working solutions.

The participants debated many issues and challenges facing all those implementing social, health and education policies at a local level, which should be synchronized to find solutions in the new Social Services Act, which started work in the MLSP (A team of “Equilibrium participated actively in the working group), as well as in all sub-normative acts that need to be modified and updated.

All participants agreed that in the field of social, health and education services, there are many good practices that have shown effectiveness and should be taken as models for the implementation of new policies.