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BULGARIAN CITIES AND REGIONS ASSOCIATION
Bulgarian Cities and Regions Association is a non-profit organization which activity is aimed at developing local governance in the cities and the regional policy in Bulgaria based on the European values. It is a partner of national, international and European policies and programs for development of local and regional governance and guarantee of sustainable development on the territories. The principles of the association are self initiative, equality, partnership, responsibility and legislative liability.
The Organization unites structures with common problems of public policies. It is standing upon the two main columns of the democratic development - the cities and the regions. Mainly half of the Bulgarian population lives in the cities. These people have the right and the obligation to be the driving force of the progress and thus to determine the direction for development of their cities. We stake on the cities, but it doesn’t mean we expel the remain of the population of the country. The another branch- the regions, actually embrace all the people- united in dissimilar, strong structures. These structures dispose of needed resources and capacity, which are very important for elaborating and putting into practice a modern, regional politic- befitting of an effective member of the EU, it challenges and responsibilities.
Nowadays the BCRA’ structure unites the efforts of all local and regional politicians and functionalists for forming of public politics corresponded to EU’ standards and requirements in the cities and regions. That kind of nongovernment association is favorable to a discussion about realization and introducing to second level of self-government in Bulgaria. This level –the planning regions which are suiting (in the meaning of size and consolidating resources) to the European standards for participating of sub national structures in applying the regional government and EU’ funds distributing.
The main purposes of the association are:
- Supporting the development of local governance and local democracy in the cities;
- Supporting the civil authorities and administration for improving the efficiency of the governance in the cities to protect the citizen’s interest and in accordance with the European values and standards;
- Creating conditions for introducing of a second level of governance in Bulgaria at planning regions level;
- Creating premises for sustainable development of the cities and the regions;
- Supporting the development of the regional policy in the country regarding the sustainable development of the regions and creating an appropriate environment for development of all sectors of the public policy;
- Cooperation and partnership with similar European and international institutions and organizations for proper inclusion of the Bulgarian cities and regions to the European policy.
BCRA’s institutional strengthening is realizing by courtesy of the national and foreign nongovernment organizations’ cooperation; elaborating and realizing projects with our partners - Konrad Adenauer foundation, Foundation for reforming the local governance, Institute for local and regional development, “Strategma” agency, European institute, National association of small and medium business, Institute for democracy and stability in south-east Europe, Committee for Economic Development, Bulgarian School of Politics “ Dimitry Panitza”, European Integration and Regional Competitiveness Foundation, Sustainable Development Coalition, “Integro” association, Technology center Sofia and the National and Regional municipalities’ associations in the country. Our work is grounded on the principle of supporting National Solidarity Fund and other nongovernment organizations in the activities for co-financing of the municipalities’ projects, these ones of the small, medium and big enterprises, too.
With a Board of Managers’ resolution from 2012 BCRA launched agencies in Brussels, Moscow and Thessaloniki. With the assistance of The Brussels agency –BCRA expand its cooperation with following European structures: European Commission, European parliament, EU’ financial institutions, and mostly the Committee of the regions. Through the offices in Moscow and Thessaloniki, BCRA partners with similar associations and organizations in the realizing of common, regional projects, also building of a functional structure- International Organization of the Black Sea Cities and Regions. In this meaning-the association made contracts with International Assembly of the cities from Commonwealth of Independent states (It main office is in Moscow) and Association of the miner cities- Donetsk, Ukraine.
The Bulgarian Cities and Regions Organization is initiator, publisher and distributor of the unique magazine for local governance and development- “Cities and Regions”.
Every physical person, which bear responsibilities and work in city local self-governance’ sphere, administration and regional politic, have the right to be a member of BCRA. The Juridical persons, too.
The association administrative bodies are: General meeting, Board of Managers and Committee of control. The General meeting is formed by the BCRA’ members. The representatives of the cities are The mayors ,the presidents of the municipal councils, the regional mayors of the cities with regional divisions. Representatives of the regions are the presidents of the regional associations and physical persons with appropriate experience.
The General Meeting elects Board of Managers (23 members) and Committee of controls(9 members).These members are distributed among the three main members of the Association- cities, regions and physical persons.
Coordinators in the sixth planning regions are electing through a resolution of the Board of Managers.