On October 1 2014, a meeting on the theme of the “European Semester” was held at the Information Centre at the European Commission in Bulgaria. The meeting was organised by the National Alliance for Social Responsibility (NASO) and it was attended by national umbrella organisations, NGOs, service providers, people with disabilities, representatives of local authorities, service providers (sic.) and experts from the social sector.
The purpose of the meeting was to get acquainted with the mechanism of the European Semester and to discuss the recommendations of the European Commission towards Bulgaria as well as future action on this issue in Bulgaria by the non-governmental sector, including the removal of alternative proposals and recommendations that have little real impact on the standard of living of the people.
During the meeting they discussed ideas and suggestions for alternative recommendations in 3 key areas; the reduction of poverty and social exclusion, employment and education, to be specified and finally agreed by all participants by the beginning of December, and then sent the European Commission.
Representatives of organisations, members and the secretariat of the National Network for Children advocated specifying recommendations for improving the efficiency of social transfers by linking social benefits with social work, the need for a comprehensive and integrated policy on early childhood development and the development of a long term plan of action towards the national strategy to reduce poverty and social exclusion with clear measures, activities, provision of funding and monitoring of the effects of its implementation and intergenerational poverty.
Translator: Morgan James, volunteer