Observing rules, transparency and civil participation – these three items gathered for discussions politicians and civil society representatives. They debated upon the concept of the state regarding the civil society; upon the opportunities for the Bulgarian NGO to take active part in the decision taking process. Bilyana Raeva, Member of the European Parliament (NMSS – ALDE) was the main participant in the debate called “The State and the civil society”. The debate was organized by the Bulgarian Centre for Not-for-Profit Law and the Bulgarian Donation Forum. Being the only member of the European Parliament among the politicians participating in the debate, Bilyana Raeva shared the best European practices and her experience also as an expert in an NGO in Brussels. She gave a number of examples how she has transferred to EP: signals from the citizens in cases like the dangerous cement; signals from the Gabrovo citizens to the Petitions Commission, concerning the western roundabout road; the problems concerning the vignettes, the quotas and CO2 emissions, etc.
“The best expertise we can receive from the citizens and the non-governmental sector” – said Bilyana Raeva. She specified, that the structure of the society itself is de-balanced – NGOs on one side and the social and economic partners on the other side. Bilyana Raeva defended the NMSS thesis for greater transparency and greater participation of the civil society in the governing processes. The NMSS ministers were the first to insist upon the necessity of external auditors in the public procurements, for example.
The idea of independent public fund to be created raised an animated discussion. The politicians and the non-governmental sector representatives united round the idea, with the condition of setting clear criteria about the transparency in the participation in and in the running of the fund.
Representatives of the political parties GERB, BSP, MRF, and the “Green” Party took part in the debates. Moderator of the debates was the journalist Ivan Bedrov.