Mayor of Sofia Mrs. Yordanka Fandukova, presented to the participants in the National Program “Governing Skills” the efforts that Sofia municipality administration is investing in order Sofia to become European city of culture. Fandukova was a special guest lector in the rubric “30 minutes in the company of…” She answered various questions connected to the future transportation and infrastructure projects, traffic issues, nursery homes and building renovations. The mayor paid special attention to the problem with the refugees and the initiated measures for tackling it.
The topic about the asylum seekers was thoroughly discussed during the course. Local and national authorities’ agenda concerning the refugees was presented to the participants by the chair of the State Refugee Agency – Mr. Nikolai Chirpanliev and the mayor of Kovachevci village – Vassil Stanimirov – where there is a refugee camp.
Government measures and how the European Union aid is to be used, as well as the possibilities for a better communication with the locals, were also discussed. During the work in the small groups, the participants tackled a particular case for the creation of new settlement ideas for refugees in a small Bulgarian village. They analyzed the positions of the interested parts and suggested actual measures for reaching a consensus.
Earlier during the day, accent in the program was the regional development. The morning session began with a presentation by Mr. Thomas Wobben from the Committee of the Regions. He explained the role of the regions at the decision making in the EU. After that the chair of the National Municipality Association of the Republic of Bulgaria talked about the process of decentralization and the challenges ahead of it.